Anthropology and a hundred other stories
After thirteen years, Rhodes has finally got around to completing a vague follow-up to Anthropology. Titled “Marry Me”, it’s out now.
***END OF EXTREME NEWS***
Although he started it third and finished it second, this was Dan Rhodes’ first book to be published. It was written between October 1997 and November 1998, while he was working on Cherry Gardens Farm in Kent/Sussex border country. Rhodes would write the stories in his head while tying in rows of raspberries or picking gooseberries, often in the driving rain. Sometimes they would let him drive the tractor.
Anthropology is soon to be a Major Motion Picture (or, more likely, not). Click here to see the story so far…
In 2010, ten years after first appearing, it finally reached its natural home – a pocket-size edition at a pocket money price. Rhodes is one of Earth’s few writers to actively lobby their publisher to keep the cover price of their books as low as possible. So how about not downloading it for free? Or if you’re skint, get it out of the library so at least he’ll get 5.9p to put towards his groceries.
Here are some things people have said about it over the years:
Anthropology is very funny and very sharp. The Times
A book you’ll want to hurl from rooftops at passers-by to spread the word. Uncut
Touching and insightful… you’ll want to devour every one. Heat
Effortless to read, amusing and yet coloured by a deep sadness about the passing of things, you will want to hold on to the truths it so skillfully offers for as long as you would to love. The Independent
Anybody who liked There’s Something About Mary will love Rhodes’ book, and that’s a strange thing to be able to say about a piece of conceptual art. LA Weekly
Anthropology is a gleaming box of jazzy miniatures. Exquisitely funny. The Guardian
101 stories, all about girlfriends. They cheat, they die, they leave (frequently) and they name their daughters Lesbian. Every one a 20-second gem. ***** Maxim
The most wonderful, dark, hysterical book since Struwwelpeter – written more than 100 years ago. Anthropology should be compulsory for anyone who is, ever has been, or one day will be, in a relationship. ***** The Big Issue (North)
Rhodes articulates everyone’s worst intimacy nightmares… he should be commended for his economy of words and his outrageous humor. New York Times
A hilarious exploration of the challenges faced by the fairer sex. Despite being written from a male perspective, it will entertain any woman who can laugh at her own foibles. The Times
Almost like Barthes’ “A Lovers’ Discourse”, but rewritten so that it makes sense to the rest of us… What really makes the entire collection enjoyable is the fact that each absurd situation is, against all odds, believable – so maybe it’s not likely that anyone would meet their death from being thrown from a ceiling fan, but, goddammit, it’s possible. What makes the book border on beautiful is the extent of emotion that the narrator feels for each woman, however misguided. Newcity, Chicago
Rhodes’s stories have all the punch of a good one-panel cartoon. Washington Post
I cannot express to you how much this book delighted me. Go and read it. The Big Issue
Now you can try before you buy. Here are some stories from the book:
These boards are from the 2006 Small Wonder Short Story Festival at Charleston in Sussex.
ITALY, Le Vespe. ISBN: 8883790006
This was the first edition of any Dan Rhodes book to be published, on Valentine’s day 2000.
US, Villard/Random House. ISBN 0375504214
This great-looking hardback was Rhodes’ US debut, and it probably remains the most famous edition of any of his books, on account of it being fleetingly seen on Carrie Bradshaw’s desk in an episode of Sex And The City (Baby, Talk Is Cheap – season 4, episode 54 - evidence here). A fine edition, this is NOT to be confused with the nasty paperback look-alike at the bottom of this list.
NB: The email address on this edition no longer works. Rhodes was very grateful for all the investment tips and pharmaceutical recommendations his devoted readers were sending him, but it all got a bit much after a while.
US, Canongate. ISBN:184195649X
This is the current US edition of the book. The “True Love Stories” element of the subtitle is a homage to/rip-off of the classic album True Love Stories by Jilted John.
UK, Canongate. ISBN: 1841956147
Spot the difference…
UK, F***** E*****. ISBN: 1841151939
This hardback is very nicely designed by Chris Shamwana, with red and blue ink inside.
UK, QPD. No ISBN
Although it looks exactly the same as the one above, this is a paperback book club edition. We assure you that the next one will look very different, so please scroll down.
ISRAEL, Kinneret. ISBN: 9652866555
Yes, this one looks very different. A cracking edition from one of the few countries in the world to be named after a song by Siouxsie & the Banshees.
NETHERLANDS, Vassallucci. ISBN 9050001653
Back with the loo-sign theme for this hardback edition. The next book will look significantly different. Keep going for a treat.
RUSSIA, Eksmo. ISBN: 5699081089
Well, what can we say? This jacket is a magnificent addition to the Rhodes canon, and a must read for all Russians, volcanologists and otherwise.
SWEDEN, Lind & Co.. ISBN: 9189538536
A handsome hardback. The book has been renamed “Shipwreck” for this edition.
SWEDEN, Lind & Co.. ISBN: 918953879X
And now a handsome paperback, another “Shipwreck”.
UK, F***** E*****. ISBN: 1841151947
A double-sided design, with the bar code slapped on the spine. The new pink edition is recommended above this one.
FINLAND, Sammakko. ISBN: 9524830108
Speaking of pink editions, here’s one all the way from Finland.
PORTUGAL, Gotica. ISBN: 9727920802
If it’s an enormous edition of Anthropology you’re after, look no further. This beauty is about the size of a briefcase.
ITALY. A brand new translation from our friends at Newton Compton.
Last, and very definitely least, we bring you this monstrosity…
US, Villard/Random House. ISBN: 0812992237
Don’t be fooled by this edition’s superficial resemblance to the admirable hardback towards the top of the page. Here is the story of this sorry paperback:
Some time after Anthropology’s appearance in hardback, Rhodes was contacted by his US publisher and told that they would not be publishing the book in paperback. This was, of course, a disappointment, but ultimately just another dip on the rollercoaster that is the showbiz life. However, several months after this email, Rhodes was alerted by an acquaintance to a new US paperback edition. Investigation revealed that without his permission, and WITHOUT EVEN TELLING HIM THEY WERE DOING IT, Random House had printed a short run paperback edition of the book, which they were selling on line for $15. This wouldn’t be so bad, were it not for two things:
1. They had explicitly told him there would be no paperback edition, and had not made any attempt to contact him about this extraordinary volte-face
2. This edition is an abomination. It is not only the worst edition of any Rhodes book ever, but productionwise it is probably the worst-quality book by anybody ever to be published by a supposedly reputable house. It is an amateurishly Xeroxed, stretched-type nightmare that wouldn’t even pass muster as a galley.
Not a coup for author-publisher relations.
However, the story has a happy ending. Rhodes screamed at Random House at the top of his lungs until they returned the rights of the book to him. Then his wily agent (his own dark side) wangled a new deal, which resulted in the fine pink US edition you can see above. Phew.
HUNGARY. Rhodes has been trying to track down a copy of the Szukits Kiado edition of Anthropology for some years, to no avail. Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn’t. I wonder if we’ll ever know…