Stark’s Thoughts: The Anti-Austerity Anthology by The Anti-Austerity Collective

Title The Anti-Austerity Anthology
Author The Anti-Austerity Collective – Steve Topple, Rupert Dreyfus, Harry Whitewolf, Mike Robbins, M.J. Black, Guy Brewer, Andy Carrington, Ford Dagenham, Matthew Duggan, Rebecca Gransden, Jay Spencer Green, Chris Harrison, Ruth F. Hunt, Bradford Middleton, Mary Papastavrou, Riya Anne Polcastro, Leo X. Robertson, Connor Young.
Genre Fiction, Political, Short Stories, Poetry
Format Kindle Edition
Page Length 230
Publication Date 25 August 2018
Publisher The Anti-Austerity Collective
Read Date Aug 2018
Recommended Yes

Synopsis
All proceeds from this book will be donated to food bank charities.

The Anti-Austerity Anthology confronts the draconian nature of modern austerity head-on. This powerful collection of short stories, poems and essays is brought to you by some of the indie author scene’s most talented and radical writers. Thoughtful, funny, tragic, angry, and filled with hope, each contributor uses their craft to speak out against the damning, ideologically-driven measures that are inflicted upon society.

As journalist and activist Steve Topple says in the foreword: “The rich are slowly eradicating the poor, creating a dystopian vision of society once often imagined in science fiction.” We can’t allow that to continue, so join the cause. The time for change is now.


An excellent collection of stories, poems and articles shining a light on the current issue of austerity. A couple of these pieces felt a little bit like preaching to the converted and a number of these stories do present with an angry mood to them, particularly the poetry ones. I wouldn’t normally enjoy that, but, it is OK to be angry at the current situation and so I was able to go with it. The book as a whole really does do a good job of not only showing the current political situation, but also the devastating effects it has on people’s lives. It really gets the message across that for the many, austerity doesn’t mean having a few less coffees a week. It means unemployment, homelessness, depression, and death.

All proceeds from this book will be donated to food bank charities. I used to work at a service that issued food bank vouchers, and let me tell you, they are literally saving people’s lives right now. So you can not only buy this book and enjoy the excellent pieces within, but also have that warm fuzzy glow of knowing you did something for the greater good.



One of the reasons I picked this up was because it contained stories from some authors I have been wanting to read for a while, namely Leo X. Robertson, Rupert Dreyfus, and Harry Whitewolf. This gave me a quick and easy way to check them out. But, let’s not be genteel about the matter, I bought this primarily because it has Rebecca Gransden’s name on it. If you’ve been following my reviews this last year, you know I am a HUGE Rebecca Gransden fan. If something has Rebecca’s name on it, I am throwing my money at it without hesitation. A cool kid would insert the futurama take my money gif here.

takemymoney

But those are not the only reason I picked this up. Like many, I also feel that austerity measures by the current UK government is a way to punish the poor, and keep the rich, rich. There is plenty enough money in our economy to ensure everyone lives a comfortable life. But our capitalist society ensures the distribution of wealth and goods is done with the mindset of ‘For the good of me’ instead of ‘For the greater good’. I will often hear the phrases, ‘Charity starts at home’ or ‘What do I get out of this?’ Which is not only a mindset that is not conducive to creating a unified society, but it because dangerous when the rich and powerful live by it. I hate our current political and social models. The selfish nature that it breeds and encourages seeps into our beings and becomes a part of our primary nature. I have a deep uncomfortable attachment to the mentality of, ‘I do this because I then get this in turn,’ instead of, ‘I do this because it creates a more inclusive and comfortable life for all.’ There is no self-righteous preaching happening here, I was raised in this and around them mindset and I battle a great amount internally with myself to be aware of when I’m doing this. On a slight side note, one of my earliest memories is from when I was about 7 years old and I was sat on the sofa and thinking to myself, ‘Wouldn’t things be better if we just got rid of money, and everything was owned by everyone for however long they needed to use it?’. I shit you not, 100% true. My political views have become a little more complex since then, but we all have to start somewhere, right?!

On another slight side note, I know, it’s fine, we’ll get to book in a second. My current WIP is about a group of people that decide to leave that mindset and lifestyle behind, and decide to live in a communalist village that is aiming to become self-sufficient and 100% off grid. So this collection came at just the right time for me.

Anyway, enough personal politics. What about the book? I really enjoyed this collection. There were a couple of pieces in there that I wasn’t overly keen on, but that is to be expected with an anthology. And it was few enough that it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the collection. I really enjoyed Leo’s, Rupert’s, and Harry’s pieces, so I will definitely be trying to figure out a way to squeeze in more of their work into my immediate TBR (which currently stands at 23 books!). Of course, my favourites were those by Rebecca Gransden. Look, I really did go into this trying to keep an open mind and with the acceptance that one day I might find a story of hers that I am not keen on. But, she is my favourite author for a reason – because she writes phenomenally good stories. Her mind taps into a different creative realm than the rest of us. Just read NV and tell me I am wrong! Well, do read it, but don’t tell me I’m wrong. I will fight you.

(I won’t fight you. I’ll sit down and have a reasonable discussion about how everything is subjective and it’s OK for you to disagree with me and encourage the belief that we should allow people to enjoy whatever they enjoy as long as it’s not harming someone else or stopping them from enjoying their things. Then we’ll make daisychains and sing acoustic campfire songs and stay up all night smoking weed, cooking food on an open fire and playing board games – it’ll be great!)

I also discovered some other writers from this that I definitely want to read more of. Such as Chris Harrison, Guy Brewer, and Matthew Duggan to name a few. A couple of these pieces felt a little bit like preaching to the converted and a number of these stories do present with an angry mood to them, particularly the poetry ones. I wouldn’t normally enjoy that, but, it is OK to be angry at the current situation and so I was able to go with it. The book as a whole does a really good job of not only showing the current political situation, but also the devastating effects it has on people’s lives. It really gets the message across that for the many, austerity doesn’t mean having a few less coffees a week. It means unemployment, homelessness, depression, and death.

All proceeds from this book will be donated to food bank charities. I used to work at a service that issued food bank vouchers, and let me tell you, they are literally saving people’s lives right now. So you can not only buy this book and enjoy the excellent pieces within, but also have that warm fuzzy glow of knowing you did something for the greater good.

Anyway, I’m off to burn all brown envelopes in my house. Until next time, Peace and Love!

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10 Comments

  1. Nice!!! I also got my copy! 🙂
    I’ve read Gransden and Whitewolf… I have read a couple of titles by Dreyfus and they’re just all good, no doubt about it! I honestly can’t wait to see what this anthology is going to do with my thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

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