Collins, Dan 1959-
COLLINS, Dan 1959-
PERSONAL: Born 1959.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Jonathan Cape Ltd., 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA, England.
Cannibals, Jonathan Cape (London, England), 2001. How It Ends, Jonathan Cape (London, England), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: Dan Collins's debut work, Cannibals, attracted attention as much for its structure as its writing. "Novel? More like a verbal sketchpad of talented charcoal portraits in fast, minimalist banter that catch victims of sexual cannibalization at their most exposed," according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor. The eighty-eight stories, some no more than a couple of lines, one beginning mid-sentence and stopping abruptly three pages later, capture moments and thoughts in the lives of modern urbanites surviving in a world flooded with images and consumer products. Not everyone was pleased with the results. For a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "There are far too many six-line chapters that, while edgy, are simply too brief and vague to make an impression." According to Times Literary Supplement contributor Glen Duncan, "No sooner do Collins's cues allow us to locate a narrator and begin to infer a context, than the channel changes: has-been glamour model to troubled mother, washed-up housewife to broken-hearted movie star, material teen to precocious teen—and it is not long before the reader starts to feel like a trapped therapist, compelled to listen as client after deviant client harangues him with unsavoury anecdotes." For others, this profusion of characters and situations was an indication of the author's talent. "It is clear that we are in the company of a highly inventive and gifted writer," concluded Guardian contributor Lisa Darnell. "The characters in Cannibals are as manifold as the situations Collins has created. His ability to write about almost anyone—an infatuated teenager, a model, a middle-aged alcoholic, a prostitute, a wife-beater—is testament to his enviable powers of observation," noted Sunday Business Post contributor Helen Boylan.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Guardian, March 24, 2001, Lisa Darnell, review of Cannibals.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2002, review of Cannibals, p. 1638.
Publishers Weekly, February 10, 2003, review of Cannibals, p. 163.
Sunday Business Post, August 22, 2001, Helen Boylan, review of Cannibals.
Times Literary Supplement, March 16, 2001, Glen Duncan, review of Cannibals, p. 23.*