The prose poems in The Underground Cabaret form the final volume of a quartet, following on from New York Hotel, Identity Papers and Makers of Empty Dreams. “In The Underground Cabaret, Ian Seed is at his unsettling and uncanny best. In each of these tightly constructed pieces, Seed gives us people who are helpless in the face of absurdity, who miss each other or form only transient connections and who suffer alienation and loneliness in eerie and surreal encounters which emerge out of the seemingly ordinary and mundane. ‘Just when I thought I’d turned everything inside out,’ says one character; just when we think Seed has turned the world upside down as far as it will go, he turns it further, holds it tighter.” -Andrew McMillan “The real and the uncanny turn on a sixpence in The Underground Cabaret. If Raymond Carver and Jacques Tati had collaborated, it would be here. In bars, offices, bedrooms, cafes, trains, fields, and many other likely and unlikely places, Ian Seed pulls daily reality taut, twists it with expertise and distils it down to its finest surreality, navigating what it means to be human, everywhere, nowhere and at any given moment.” -Jane Monson. ‘Seed’s micro-narratives and oblique parables are at once droll and haunting, as unpredictable as quicksand, and as elegant as the work of those masters of the prose poem, Max Jacob and Pierre Reverdy.’ -Mark Ford, on New York Hotel, in the Times Literary Supplement
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