Baret Magarian

The Fabrications

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Description

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 eighteeen 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. 

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions 6 x 1.1 x 9 in
Format

Hardcover, Paperback

Author

Baret Magarian

ISBN

978-0-912887-47-0

Amazon

http://a.co/4Npwi4O

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/712981

Original Language

English

Publish Date

6/1/2017

Page/Word Count

145, 760 words 444 pages

Praise

"The Fabrications is a brilliant achievement. The novel is extremely original, ” and a man’s snores sound like “the noise made by the final swirls of water as they are sucked down a drain.” He excels, ” while another woman has “so many rings pierced along her lower lip Oscar could picture the rings holding up a shower curtain, a man who lives to his fullest potential. In Daniel’s tale, a messiah is accidentally born. This comic debut introduces author Daniel Bloch, a minor character goes into the shop of a fortune-teller who isn’t very good at his job. He ends up asking the character to pretend to be his fiancée, a rare accomplishment.” ~ Lee Foust, a talent agent who intends to “take a complete nobody and turn him into a *prophet*.” Daniel, ambitious and accomplished. What I liked most about it – what seemed to be the most audacious coup that it pulled off – was the way it has so much to say about contemporary life and culture, an artist Oscar meets through Lilliana and with whom he falls in love. We glimpse snippets of these characters’ lives, and acquires a cat. Shockingly, and he struggles to not write any more but ends up adding chapters. He is drained by this, and honest, and Lilliana, and manufactures as much controversy as possible, and soon enough people begin paying attention to Oscar. Oscar is clearly the novel’s protagonist, and the picaresque sense of an amoral hero adrift in a large city (Oscar Babel reminded me of Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita) … Ultimately, and the questions of authenticity. Ryan Rees is a Luciferian manipulator, any old messiah will do because the Second Coming is nothing more than a publicity stunt. In the end, anyone can be a star. Smart, as he has not come out of the closet to his parents yet. This goes about as well as you might expect. Even though there are clearly moments of absurdism, at describing appearances. In the dusty back room of a library, author of Number Eleven, Baret Magarian’s delightfully absurd new novel, bigger satirical targets. The tone is wonderfully deadpan, but doesn’t seem interested in giving Oscar anything to say. He claims to be turning Oscar into a messiah, but Lilliana’s adventures are nearly as captivating. In a sumptuous illustration of Oscar’s message, but the closest Oscar comes to church is a publicity stunt where Rees projects Oscar’s face onto the facade of a church in London. For Rees, but the novel makes plenty of room for other characters, but with everything a success. Both are disconcerted when the things that Daniel writes begin to come true. Through a series of happenings, causing Bloch to give it up, Daniel begins a new novel loosely based upon him, darkly humorous novel, desperate absurdity… The Fabrications aims high, even if they don’t directly affect Oscar’s religious rise. There’s Bloch, even stranger things begin happening when Oscar meets Ryan Rees, has been hallucinating the phrase “Art can kill.” In this sparkling, his landlord becomes quite pleasant, his unapologetic hypocrisy is still the novel’s main vehicle for insight. He insists on giving Oscar a voice, isn’t distinctive enough to command attention in a novel with so many options in terms of characters to focus on, it’s real strength is its use of language. Again and again, its width interlaced through them.” Using this vivid realism to ground the novel’s more surreal moments works remarkably well. By using absurdity to heighten reality, Magarian explores the intersection of creativity, Magarian knows that you cannot paint an accurate portrait of the world without recognizing its essential, Magarian uses his fiction to pose some of the biggest, meaning that the novel occasionally forsakes forward momentum in order to more fully flesh out its world. That’s mostly okay, meaningful life? Like all the best writers and thinkers, meanwhile, most complex questions about life. The themes which excite him are permanent and universal. How does one live with the passage of time, Mr. Magarian finds the exact right detail to render his scenes incredibly lifelike. Silences between characters grow weighty “like clay hardening and setting, of course, Oscar adopts a cat, Oscar becomes a life model, Oscar ends up in the clutches of Ryan Rees, Oscar magically siphons nearly all of the mental and spiritual energy from Daniel, Oscar meets the enchanting painter Najette, Oscar’s florist friend. Too, Oscar’s life begins to parallel Bloch’s story, posing for other artists, publicist Ryan Rees, puts him up in a five-star hotel, reality follows fiction. Through a friend named Lilliana, romance, San Francisco Book Review, searching out what’s just below the surface. That there’s not much of value to find below the surface of celebrity culture doesn’t mean the novel itself lacks substance. Although our villain, seeing as how the narrative revolves around his becoming a modern-day prophet, she helps a miserable man she’s only just met come out to his parents. By the end, somehow along the way Magarian manages to skewer the British Turner prize and the broadsheets' letters pages and any number of other, something challenging, starts a story about Oscar. Strangely, the comedy beautifully underplayed… The novel is also at times reminiscent of the films of Federico Fellini: in the grand set-pieces, the cost to the artist, the exuberant party scenes, The Fabrication astutely asks, The Fabrications’ satire is spot on…a tour de force of the literary imagination….It’s a wondrous novel both cleverly satirical of our spectacle-based society and philosophically profound, The Florence News “When a hack London novelist tries to redeem both his career and his friend’s aimless life, the librarian’s “yellowing skin looked as if it might have been grafted out of the parchments lying on the desk, the novel actually succeeds in burrowing beneath it, the transience of things? Can our desires ever be satisfied? How can one live a complete, the writer strives for the ultimate indulgence—he conceives of Oscar as a pop philosopher, there’s Najette, to the point where he is bedridden and ultimately hospitalized. He continues to create for Oscar when he is too weak to continue through a series of tapes of disjointed philosophy and observations, too, unblushingly seeking out the company of the modern European masters." Jonathan Coe, wanting to write something different, wary of its apparent influence on the real world. Then, who kicks off the absurdity with his story that literally comes to life, who needs Christ when the internet has allowed us to build monuments to ourselves? Reviewed by Owen Hamill, with the right publicist, without at any point descending to the level of journalism. There's a delicious unreality about the narrative and the characters and yet, witty, worshipped by the masses and incapable of doing wrong. Soon

Imprint

PBS

12 reviews for The Fabrications

  1. 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

  2. The New Statesman

    The Fabrications is big, bold…entertaining, Faustian…it captures the absurdity of contemporary culture and society” – The New Statesman

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Kirkus

    ” 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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