When Bloch, a popular London novelist, starts writing a fictionalized story featuring his unremarkable friend Oscar, the invented details from the story start to come true. Gradually, Oscar embarks on a surreal odyssey into fame, while Bloch descends into the dark places of his soul. Oscar falls in love with Najette, a bewitching painter, but their relationship hangs in the balance as his myth balloons out of all proportion. At the centre of the hype and spin stands the demon-like publicist Ryan Rees, whose power enables him to manufacture the truth, and the story builds to an unforgettable, startling climax. The Fabrications is a novel possessing peculiar relevance to our tumultuous times. It addresses the myths of celebrity, the power of the internet and the media to disfigure and distort, and the madness of our culture, in which prophets, truths and legends can all be invented. Part satirical comedy; part meditation on synchronicity, sex and identity; and part love story, The Fabrications is unclassifiably new, abandoning realism to create a strange parallel world. It is a wildly inventive work, with a vast canvas of dazzling and unseemly characters, and will take you on a compelling journey filled with pathos, humor and subversive beauty.
Baret Magarian is of Armenian extraction, from London. He was a freelance journalist and contributed articles to The Times, The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph. He has interviewed such diverse figures as Peter Ustinov, the brilliant actor-director and raconteur, John Calder, iconoclastic publisher of eighteen Nobel prize winners, and Salman Rushdie, the celebrated novelist. He has worked as a lecturer, translator, fringe theatre director, actor and nude model. He is also a composer of piano music that is in the vein of Jarrett and Alkan and draws on the tonalities of Armenian music. His fiction has appeared in World Literature Today, Journal of Italian Translation, White Fly Press, The Sandspout, and Sagarana. His monologue The Pain Tapestry was recently staged in English in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Other books which you can purchase from his site:
Melting Point, short stories; Venetian novella Mirror and Silhouette; A bilingual poetry book in Italian/English, Scherzando Con Tutte, Le Mie Bestie Preferite
“In this rich, inventive and very funny novel Magarian mercilessly eviscerates the worlds of art, PR, and media…his literary ambition is clear from the first sentence of The Fabrications…and the core theme is fiction itself…the book beautifully distills the dangers of too willing a participation in illusion.” – The Times Literary Supplement
“A sparkling, darkly humorous novel….A resplendent tale.” – Kirkus Reviews
“The Fabrications is big, bold…entertaining, Faustian…it captures the absurdity of contemporary life and culture.” – The New Statesman
“Mind-bending…a profound engagement with words and ideas.” – Jamie Mackay, Review 31
“The Fabrications is a brilliant achievement….The novel aims high, unblushingly seeking out the company of the modern European masters.” – Jonathan Coe, author of Number Eleven, The House of Sleep and The Winshaw Legacy.
“Again and again, Mr. Magarian finds the exact right detail to render his scenes incredibly lifelike.” – Seattle Book Review
“Smart, witty, and honest, The Fabrications is a book that will leave you thinking about it for a long time after you have put it down.” – San Francisco Book Review
“The Fabrications clearly reveals author Baret Magarian as a novelist with a genuine flair for originality and engaging his reader’s rapt attention from first page to last.” – Midwest Review
“A tour de force….It’s a wondrous novel both cleverly satirical…and philosophically profound, a rare accomplishment.” –Lee Foust, The Florence News
“As well as funny and stinging lampoons of corporate ad-speak and the aesthetics of the publicity stunt, Magarian makes intermittent postmodern flourishes with The Fabrications by visually aping the format and presentation of newspapers, press releases, and webpages.” – Ruiari Connelly, Necessary Fiction
“The novel’s conceptual untidiness is finally one of the features that makes it both appealing and memorable.” – Daniel Green, Full Stop.
“Here we have a plot-driven, “page-turner” class readable novel that also contains complex layers of meaning and allusion… Magarian’s sentences are poetic and playful, (and with) a lovely sense of humor that ranges from the gallows to the simply sweet….Babel, in particular, for all his flaws, is about as lovable a character as a reader can hope for.” – J de Salvo, The Pedestrian Press
The Times Literary Supplement –
”A joyous embrace of the absurd…In this rich, inventive and very funny novel Magarian mercilessly eviscerates the worlds of art, PR and media….His literary ambition is clear from the first sentence of The Fabrications, and the core theme is fiction itself. “Without you I think I’d cease to exist”, Babel says to Bloch, while the demonic Rees insists, “There is no reality anymore; reality is what you choose to make up”. Magarian may agree, but this book beautifully distils the dangers of too willing a participation in illusion.” – The Times Literary Supplement
The New Statesman –
“The Fabrications is big, bold…entertaining, Faustian…it captures the absurdity of contemporary culture and society” – The New Statesman
Review 31 –
“Magarian’s authentic poetic voice is strangely addictive, articulated with a shamelessly exotic accent…A mind-bending debut…a profound engagement with words and ideas…” – Review 31
The San Francisco Book Review –
“There is so much going on in this book that I feel like I need to read it a few more times. There are plenty of questions about art and the process of making art, the cost to the artist, and the questions of authenticity…Smart, witty, and honest, The Fabrications is a book that will leave you thinking about it for a long time after you have put it down.” – The San Francisco Book Review
” In this sparkling, darkly humorous novel, Magarian explores the intersection of creativity, romance, and the schizophrenic media that both idolize and destroy. Oscar’s messianic ascent is entertaining (think Stravinsky’s riotous 1913 work The Rite of Spring), but Lilliana’s adventures are nearly as captivating. In a sumptuous illustration of Oscar’s message, she helps a miserable man she’s only just met come out to his parents. By the end, Oscar magically siphons nearly all of the mental and spiritual energy from Daniel, but not without both characters facing grand epiphanies…A resplendent tale.” – Kirkus
Lee Foust, The Florence News –
“Never more prescient than in our post-fact world — in which reality TV show figures who never read books but watch endless hours of television hold the highest political offices in the land, The Fabrications’ satire is spot on … a tour de force … A wondrous novel both cleverly satirical of our spectacle-based society and philosophically profound, a rare accomplishment.” – Lee Foust, The Florence News
Necessary Fiction –
“As well as funny and stinging lampoons of corporate ad-speak and the aesthetics of the publicity stunt, Magarian makes intermittent postmodern flourishes with The Fabrications by visually aping the format and presentation of newspapers, press releases, and webpages, and periodically makes astute critical observations on works of art and media which do not exist outside the world of the novel. The effect is to couch the deliberately ridiculous in the utterly plausible. ” – Necessary Fiction
World Literature Today –
“The Fabrications explores one writer’s ability to spin fiction into reality as he weaves a suddenly fantastic life for his otherwise boring friend, though, it appears, at the expense of his own sanity. Anglo-Armenian novelist Baret Magarian uses satire and surrealism to foreground some of the pressing issues of our times, including the power of celebrity, madness, and alternative truths that increasingly plague our society.” – World Literature Today
Jonathan Coe, author of The Winshaw Legacy –
“The Fabrications is a brilliant achievement. The novel is extremely original, ambitious and accomplished… Magarian uses his fiction to pose some of the biggest, most complex questions about life. How does one live with the passage of time, the transience of things? Can our desires ever be satisfied? How can one live a complete, meaningful life? Like all the best writers and thinkers, Magarian knows that you cannot paint an accurate portrait of the world without recognising its essential, desperate absurdity…The Fabrications aims high, unblushingly seeking out the company of the modern European masters.” Jonathan Coe, author of Number Eleven, The Winshaw Legacy and The House of Sleep
Seattle Book Review –
“As funny as the novel is, its real strength is its use of language. Again and again, Mr. Magarian finds the exact right detail to render his scenes incredibly lifelike. Silences between characters grow weighty ‘like clay hardening and setting,’ and a man’s snores sound like ‘the noise made by the final swirls of water as they are sucked down a drain’…Using this vivid realism to ground the novel’s more surreal moments works remarkably well. By using absurdity to heighten reality, the novel actually succeeds in burrowing beneath it, searching out what’s just below the surface.” – Seattle Book Review
Full Stop –
“Most of the novel’s action is outrageous, and only becomes more outrageous as the narrative proceeds (including a public orgy set piece), so that the book’s satirical effect inescapably comes to predominate over any other ambitions the author may have had for the novel—a work of metafiction, a horror fiction of sorts, even a study of psychological disintegration in its portrayal of Daniel Bloch’s ultimate descent into an existential despair so thoroughgoing it becomes pathological…. the novel’s conceptual untidiness is finally one of the features that makes it both appealing and memorable.” – Full Stop
Mid West Review –
“Unique, original, deftly crafted, The Fabrications reveals author Baret Magarian’s genuine flair for deftly created and memorable characters for a novel laced with throughout with humor and the unexpected. An absorbing, entertaining, read from cover to cover.” – Mid West Review
J de Salvo, The Pedestrian Press –
The plot of The Fabrications is elegantly constructed, but its real meat is its philosophical content.
During the modern period, literature famously split along the lines of Joycean superstructure versus Hemingwayesque clarity and simplicity. Magarian—like all of the best novelists writing today, in my opinion—refuses to choose between the two. Here we have a plot-driven, “page-turner” class readable novel that also contains complex layers of meaning and allusion. In art as in science, the only way to move forward is through synthesis, and Magarian is an adept synthesizer.
Yet even with all of this going for it, the novel might have fallen short had Magarian neglected some of the heavy lifting where character is concerned. In a tale sop concerned with shallowness and image, it would be easy—natural, even, in a way—for the characters to come off as merely satirical; more caricature than character. Magarian shows his skill in creating a world inhabited by liars who nonetheless…come off as fully realized human beings rather than 2 dimensional symbols. And despite the grim conclusions that Magarian draws about personality in the so-called “information age”, he has a lovely sense of humor that ranges from the gallows to the simply sweet. Babel, in particular, for all his flaws, is about as lovable a character as a reader can hope for. He has a naivete and vulnerability that draw us in to his world, just as his followers are drawn in…The Fabrications is, as I have mentioned, a very readable book, but never in an obvious or purely derivative way; Magarian’s sentences are poetic and playful; particularly impressive to me was his mastery over the adjective.
For the full review
Sebastian Burke –
This outrageous, profound, humorous and poetic novel will become a cult classic, and is accessible to everyone with an imagination sufficient to let loose the clinging of habit, who has control of grammar, and who loves the lyrical play of words. It is a “must read,” but not for the thin skinned.