Daily Bookshot: Madras Quartet



Madras Quartet, originally uploaded by Robert Burdock.

So you may remember at the start of last month I spoke about ‘new publisher on the block’ Madras Press, and their quest to create a publishing platform for the novella story-form; a publishing platform that would also be involved in raising funds for charitable causes. Well the first four titles which make up the first series have now officially launched, and to mark the occasion I’m using today’s (returning) Daily Bookshot to show you the first set of four ‘in the flesh’. From left to right:

So what are my first impressions? Well the first thing that struck me about these books when I first turned them out onto my desk was their ‘unique’ format, in terms of size. Measuring 5in x 5in – a perfect square – these books (maybe ‘booklets’ is a more appropriate term) are certainly portable. Their squareness perhaps makes them a little awkward for the average pocket (I know because I’ve tried, without success, to pocket them while ‘walk reading’), but they’re perfect for bag or briefcase, with hardly any weight consideration to worry about. The same ‘squareness’ however, does make the books a real pleasure to hold, and to skim the eyes across.

Have I actually read any of these titles yet? Actually yes I have – all four. But I’m holding back on offering any in-depth opinion right now, in favour of keeping it for my official afterthoughts, which I will be posting in the next day or two.

What I will say for now though is as a whole the four titles in this first series certainly make for an eclectic mix. From fateful dinner parties to magical elevators, and sugar-loving witches to prolonged telephone calls, there’s a whole spectrum of storytelling to be found in the pages of these books. The big question is whether the calibre of that storytelling is up to the same standard as the delicious aesthetic quality of the books? I’ll let you know what I thought, very, very soon.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).

Comments

  1. Frances (Twitter: nonsuchbook)
    says:

    Rob. Rob, Rob! I must have these. The square, the whimsy. I hope the content lives up to that design aesthetic. I will look out for your thoughts.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      ‘Whimsy’ hits the nail square on the head Frances. They’re certainly that.
      Warmest
      Rob

  2. Please please write your afterthoughts soon. Can’t wait to hear if they’re worth having. I especially want to get my hands on The Third Elevator and Bobcat.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      I can confirm that they are both good stories Claire (Bobcat is my favourite of the four), although my wife spoilt it a bit by joking that with The Third Elevator it looked like I was reading a baby book 🙂
      Warmest
      Rob

  3. Mark Jones says:

    Yeah, loving these covers – dead interested to read afterthoughts on these and Soothing Music for Stray Cats ditto. You manage to find some great books. Appreciated.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)
      says:

      Thanks Mark,
      Yep I’m shockingly behind on writing up my reviews. Hopefully this is the week I put myself back onto the rails
      Warmest
      Rob