Fifteen Minutes by Erinna Mettler

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Fifteen Minutes by Erinna Mettler

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Category: Short Stories
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: In Fifteen Minutes author Erinna Mettler presents the reader with 22 clever tales about fame and our relationship with it. Whilst she allows various celebrities to make cameo appearances here and there, Mettler's real focus is the humanity that exists within ordinary, everyday people - making for 22 original and entertaining reads.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: August 2017
Publisher: Unbound Digital
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1911586364

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Our world is obsessed with celebrity culture - and in this advent of social media, the updates on celebrity come 24 hours a day, delivered to us on our televisions, our magazines, on our phones and our computers. In focusing on these heightened and airbrushed lives though, are we missing the more interesting and human stories that are out there? That's what Erinna Mettler considers in 15 Minutes - short stories that feature celebrity encounters told through the eyes of ordinary, but no less compelling, characters.

In the future everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes: an eerily accurate prediction from the late Andy Warhol. It's fair to say that our culture is celebrity obsessed these days - with even the very definition of celebrity now expanded to cover all manner of people, no matter what their profession or claim to fame. It's something that has fascinated author Erinna Mettler, and when a reader asked her why her stories tended to contain famous people, she was prompted to question what makes a celebrity, and how the very notion of celebrity affects those who encounter it.

Fifteen Minutes features twenty two short stories, all of which either contain a celebrity encounter, or an obsession with a particular celebrity or franchise. These aspects aren't the focus of the stories though - instead Mettler uses them as a lens through which she focuses in on the workings of her other, non-famous characters. As a whole, it works well, and the author is able to experiment with a range of voices and styles over the course of the stories, injecting a large amount of interest and variety into a relatively short volume. She isn't afraid to take risks either - with the stream of conciousness style story Miley Cyrus Fault a particular stand out for me in its originality.

Each story explores humanity in a subtly different way - and combined these reads are moving, funny, and an intelligent meditation on how celebrity and fame impact all of us, whether we want them too or not. It's also worth mentioning that this book was published through Unbound - a publishing company made up of three writers who clubbed together to form their own publishing house. Writers give Unbound ideas, which potential readers are then able to pledge their support for - building a network of patrons for the reader. I heartily reccomend checking them out, and perhaps supporting a book or two if they take your fancy. Thanks to them publishers for the copy, and for further reading I recommend Burning Your Boats by Angela Carter - short stories filled with beautifully chosen prose and compellingly gothic plots.

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