The Rebel’s Sketchbook by Rupert Dreyfus — Reviewed by Guy Portman
The Rebel’s Sketchbook is a collection of 13 first person satirical short stories. Subjects encompass capitalism, class war, drugs, viral culture, boy bands and zero hour contracts. The compilation’s motif is rebellion. Outrage is a tale about citizens turning into zombies and attacking people on benefits. There is also the surreal and aptly named Dead Man’s Blunt. Another features a community of anarchist punks. The book’s colourful cast includes Palahniuk-esque creation Eat Nasty, the proprietor of a popular YouTube channel. Amongst the visceral and erudite descriptions is the comparing of social media consumption to sucking vomit through a straw, gagging and wincing, but continuing to do so.
These stories are not for the faint-hearted. The dark humour, cynical observations and scathing social commentary appealed to this reader, an ardent devotee of transgressive fiction. Though not all will share the socialist sentiments of the author, they will find it difficult to ignore the ominous warnings regarding capitalism and the vapid nature of consumerist society.