Theo Tait writes:

Kapow! explains its own form as it goes. It’s a short novella/novelette, nicely presented by Visual Editions (mission statement: ‘we think that books should be as visually interesting as the stories they tell’). On the front cover is Marie Antoinette’s face, from a well-known French School portrait, turned upside down, with a large white exclamation mark cut out of it, below the word ‘Kapow’ in a small font. On the back cover there’s a circular photograph of a rioter kicking in a plate-glass window somewhere. On the first page, the main text is interrupted by a pasted-on inset panel, also upside down, about dope and coffee and burritos and YouTube clips. These cut-outs continue throughout the book, adding digressions or qualifications or lyric interludes (‘above the tower blocks towards the flyover, a last bird was clumsily trying to punch in the code of the sky’). There are also pull-out pages, into which the digressions sprawl. Some contain little concrete poems or opaque fragments: ‘A dying/B things/C thinking/And so on. You think any of those are verbal, buster? But basta.’

(LRB 7 June 2012)

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Adam Thirlwell

From the publisher:

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