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Excavate!: The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall


This is a book about Mark E. Smith and The Fall - or more precisely, their ever-influential world. The Fall were so many things, so many worlds; if you got it (and not everyone did), they represented everything.

'To 50,000 Fall Fans: please buy this inspired & inspiring, profound & provocative, beautiful & bonkers Book of Revelations, choc-stock-full of loving Acts by true Apostles, simultaneously both the scrapbook you wished you'd kept and a portal to futures & pasts, known & unknown, & a Fantastic Celebration of this Nation's Saving Grace.'

'Mind blowing . . . there is so much to enjoy in this brilliant book.'

'A container sized treasure trove bursting at the hinges with strangeness and wonder . . . I strongly advise you to buy it.'

This is not a book about a rock band. This is not even a book about Mark E Smith. This is a book about The Fall group - or more precisely, their world.

Over a prolific forty-year career, the Fall created a world that was influential, idiosyncratic and fiercely original - and defied simple categorisation.

Their frontman and lyricist Mark E. Smith spun opaque tales that resisted conventional understanding; the Fall's worldview was an education in its own right. Who wouldn't want to be armed with a working knowledge of M. R. James, shipping-dock procedures, contemporary dance, Manchester City and Can? The group inspired and shaped the lives of those who listened to and tried to make sense of their work.

Bringing together previously unseen artwork, rare ephemera and handwritten material, alongside essays by a slate of fans, EXCAVATE! is a vivid, definitive record - an illumination of the dark corners of the Fall's wonderful and frightening world.

'An insane hardback fanzine of found items from one of Mark E. Smith's carrier bags and essays by a really fascinating variety of people . . . this whole book is the most wonderful, unashamedly intellectual, pretentious, ridiculous, exciting hymn to this incredible group.'

'A bit like a eulogy and a lot like pornography for Fall fans. This is not in the pejorative . . . True to the Fall, EXCAVATE! hurtles downward into the psychogeography of Smith's gospel, flinging hot and strange shrapnel in its wake . . . gorgeous.'

'Excavate! is testament to the power such an effort sets out to rationalise, domesticate and destroy, placing The Fall in the hidden heart of the last 40 years of contemporary art.'

'A satisfying reminder of Smith's scabrous wit, unique visual style and rich literary hinterland.'

'A thoroughly engrossing, insightful and immersive trawl through the wonderfully strange Fall-world' RECORD COLLECTOR

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