The great underground novel is reborn...


... such was publisher Rob Dellar's description of SHITKICKS AND DOUGHBALLS, Ben Watson's scrofulous "novelisation" of Art, Class & Cleavage, phrases scribbled in capitalised biro on a ragged piece of paper in The Crooked Billet, Lower Clapton Road ... these words are now printed on the back of ACTUAL VOLUMES of the work courtesy Rob's Spare Change Books imprint ... you can order copies from bookshops - ISBN 0-9525744-8-9 - or by sending an email to Include your name and address and we will send you instanter a Spare Change invoice for £10 plus postage, or contact Spare Change at Box 26, 136-8 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2NS. Or send us money by PAYPAL or NOCHEX - enquire by email for P+P prices.

"His greygreen mac - OUT TO LUNCH emblazoned across the back in orthopedic pink - was flecked with drizzle by the time he made it from the bus, through the busy lunchtime traffic and into the hallway of the Holloway Art College. The moisture brought forth a waft of familiar campbed mustiness. A press of students, giggles, bubblegum reek, glasses steaming-up in an instant. He pushed his way through the crowd to stand by the relative safety of a cordoned-off alcove, and proceeded to polish his glasses on an ostentatious polka-dot handkerchief. Red, like OTL's fantasies of posthumous temptation: the meat trick always dressed to impress. Pink pork chops on a bed of shredded nettles."

Pulp novelisation was the only direction after successive doses of Itch'n'Scratch "Improvor" Improvisation, oracular Mad Pride événements and scatological Zappology which refuses to die - plus the curse of a vocabulary too commodius for Nick Hornby-style infantilism. The shits are kicked and the doughballs stonebaked as fictional mainman Out To Lunch combats esthetic error and political timidity at every conjuncture of the contemporary problematic, no matter how paltry, risqué or embarrassingly bonehard splendide the results.


"It's a laugh, especially the idea of it being in print." Rob Dellar

"As prophetic as Iain Sinclair's Downriver." Eleanor Crook

"Contains a transporting evocation of a pre-yuppie Brick Lane curry house ..." Stewart Home

"More Pricks Than Kicks would make a better title, but Sammy B. got that one ... I like the bits with me in ..." Esther Leslie

"Art, no question." Derek Bailey

Shitkicks & Doughballs and By Theft & Murder ( by Ted Curtis - another Mad Pride: An Anthology of Mad Culture contributor and editor - a first-hand account of the occupation of Palestine tells it like it was for a visiting peace activist: bulldozers, snipers, terror, tea parties and all: ISBN 0-9525744-3-8,) were launched together Upstairs at the Garage on 31 August 2003. The night started at 8.00pm and cost £3. By Theft & Murder, about Ted's recent bout of peace activism in Palestine - opposing the bulldozers etc - triggered the presence of fellow ISM member Jeremy Hardy, who addressed the audience humourously. Ben Watson believes that the realism of the novel form puts literary experience at one remove, and so did not read from his "novel". His "act" presented a real and singular moment in the hectic life of Out To Lunch - some anti-poetic diatribe written the day before, some dog-eared Free Improvisors and snorting poems to annoy everyone. To read this extension of Shitkicks & Doughballs, plus pictures from the launch, press here.

To sample before ordering your copy, please click here


Get You Back Home