Sam Jordison

Sam Jordison is the author of Sod That: 103 Things Not to Do Before You Die and co-editor of Crap Town

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The End of Vandalism by Tom Drury, book review: A delicious slice of American pie

This book – this astonishing, beautiful book – was published in the USA in 1994. I mention this not out of any interest in its chronology, but to register astonishment. How can it not have been published in the UK until now? How can we have missed it?

Where I'm Reading From: The Changing World of Books by Tim Parks - book review: Talented if flawed investigation of why reading matters

If I had to name two of the most irritating trends in contemporary publishing I'd probably jump on: 1) the recent proliferation of books with titles taken from Raymond Carver story collections and 2) the deluge of self-congratulatory books about the act of reading itself. My initial reaction to Tim Parks' Where I'm Reading From was therefore a predictable Will You Please Be Quiet?

The Secret of Evil by Roberto Bolano, book review: Crumbs from a master's table

Eleven years after his death in 2003, Roberto Bolaño books are still hitting the shelves. His executors are doing a good job of prolonging his afterlife – but some might question how much they are helping his literary reputation.

Classic re-issues: From Cider with Rosie to Shakespeare's Montaigne - fresh outings for the gifts that keep on giving

It isn't just new books that can spring surprises. The Cyberiad (Penguin, £9.99), a collection of stories from Stanislaw Lem first published in Polish in 1965, knocked me sideways. I only really knew about Lem because of Solaris, the masterful (and determinedly laugh-free) film by the great Andrei Tarkovsky, and the rather ponderous translation of the source novel that found its way to the UK in the 1970s.

I said Hull was the worst town in the UK in my Crap Towns book, but now I’m queuing to visit

The city has even, I was told, got rid of its notorious pong

Back to the scene of the grime: The man behind Crap Towns revisits Morecambe

Sam Jordison first identified Britain's ‘Crap Towns’ 10 years ago. Could time improve them? He revisits previously dull and decrepit Morecambe to find out.

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