CONFUSION INCORPORATED A COLLECTION OF LIES, HOAXES & HIDDEN TRUTHS by Stewart Home. Codex, Hove 1999.
Reviewed by John Davidson
This is a broad collection of 40 of Stewart Home's articles and journalism ranging from the serious to the seriously funny. His last piece is a long, previously unpublished essay entitled "Anarchism is Stupid: Comedy, identity and fictive politics" which reminds us that when Home puts his mind to it he can write clearly about difficult, arcane subjects, bring them alive and subject them to his own lively and extreme critique. His excellent interview with the pioneering British pulp fiction editor Laurence James of the New English Library (which published, among hundreds of other things, Richard Allen's Skinhead novels and Mick Norman's Angels from Hell; Angel Chronicles) shows that Home is fascinated by the fiction he parodies so well in his own works (Blow Job, Defiant Pose etc.) These are the high points. Often the laboured mischief of his other pieces (that have appeared in publications as varied as The Big Issue, Variant and The Independent) fails to translate and his posturing toward the art world and the "bourgeoisie" becomes wearisome. For an introduction to some of the wilder excesses of the "literary underground" Home is a better, more informed guide than most and, despite its unevenness, this is a decent collection.