Bargain prices. Sales. Food courts. Sex. Death. Destruction. Unrelenting capitalism. Free parking. Welcome to the mall.
From one of the UK’s most acclaimed literary and film talents, Tales From The Mall is a mash-up of fact, fiction, essays, true stories and multi-format media that tells of the rise of one of the most defining and iconic symbols of the modern age-the shopping mall.
Why would one woman threaten to kill another for a pair of shoes in the bargain bin? Why do shopping malls evict old ladies? Why are transvestites drawn to mall car parks? Why are malls dying in the USA? What do impulse buys have to do with rioting? And why are market research companies hiding the truth from us? If you want to work out how the modern world works, then ask Ewan Morrison.
For the last three years he’s been scouring the shopping malls of Britain uncovering the secrets of retail heaven and hell, to tell us how malls manipulate our emotions in twenty cleverly calculated ways; how some malls are ‘vampiric’ and other malls are ‘pregnant’, and how malls are an ideal space to meet a new lover or to kill yourself. From over a hundred interviews and confessions, Morrison re-tells the true-life tales of those who work, shop and sometimes even make love inside their walls. As shopping malls spread round the globe at the amazing speed of one new mall every seventy two hours, and everyone, in every country ends up wearing the same fashions, Tales from the Mall gives us a page-turning tour of the history of the mall and a vision of our coming future.
Wry, humourous and fast-paced; packed full of terribly tweetable facts and gut wrenching, sometimes hilarious stories; it will change the way you think about your hair colour, your loyalty cards, the global economy and your boyfriend … forever.
“Morrison continues Ballard’s tradition of locating menace beneath the sleekness and shine of postindustrial life. You also learn a lot along the way. A truly interesting book.”
-Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X
“Tales From the Mall is a great book. It’s touching and emotional
and part of a new form of literary storytelling. It’s worth reading,
-James Frey, author of a Million Little Pieces
“One of the most innovative and groundbreaking books published in the last couple of decades. Mixing disciplines and drifting between fiction and fact, Ewan Morrison deconstructs the stultifying Venus fly-trap of the society and culture we’ve constructed under consumer capitalism.”
-Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting, Skagboys.
“Ewan Morrison captures beautifully the point at which anecdote becomes urban myth and reportage slides into fiction. A really
important new form has emerged.”
-Claire Armitstead, Books Editor, The Guardian.
“A wonderful and important book that does the most difficult thing: laying bare the overlooked everyday world in which we live. The dark dreams and lightweight fantasies of shopping malls and those within them are exposed with incredible acuity and great tenderness.”
Catherine O’Flynn, Costa prize winning author of What Was Lost
“The most groundbreaking and moving book to come out of Britain in years. A dazzling book about everyday peple trying to find heart in a heartless place. Morrison is so far ahead of the zeitgeist it’s frightening.”
-Doug Johnstone, author and journalist
“‘A definitive expedition into the alternative universe death-star environment of the mall. Sure-footed, smart and necessary. Morrison unpicks security barriers between genres, documenting his fictions, and smacking us with real-world retrievals. I was grateful for every word of it.”
-Iain Sinclair, writer and filmmaker. author of Ghost Milk
“An innovative way of delivering his trademark obsessions with globalisation, consumerism and relationships, its an engaging mix of fact and fiction. The stories range from laugh out loud funny to on the button social commentary. Staffing the tales from the mall are brilliant characters, this is a book for anyone who’s ever dated, waited, worked or berated in a mall. Which is all of us.”
“Welcome to a new kind of 21st-century storytelling. This remarkable collection of writing is hard to categorise in any orthodox sense, but it is a brilliant and often profound form of literature that says more about the modern human condition than a hundred more conventional novels might.”
-Scotland on Sunday
“stories such as “Recycling” and the oddly compelling history of the shopping mall deserve the reader’s full attention. Morrison glides us through people’s lives, picking up tips for creating havoc at malls, digesting facts and stats, dipping into the loneliness at the heart of consumerism. The effect is, like a mall, mostly dazzling.”
“’… Morrison has produced something really special with Tales from the Mall. It’s to Morrison’s credit that he has created an engrossing book which will change, to just a small degree, how you will look at the next mall you enter.’