Reality Hunger

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What to expect

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of David Shields highly persuasive Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. Read by the actor Peter Marinker.

Reality Hunger is a manifesto for a burgeoning group of interrelated but unconnected artists who, living in an unbearably artificial world, are breaking ever larger chunks of ‘reality’ into their work. The questions Shields explores – the bending of form and genre, the lure and blur of the real – play out constantly around us, and Reality Hunger is a radical reframing of how we might think about this ‘truthiness’.

Reality Hunger questions every assumption we ever made about art, the novel, journalism, poetry, film, TV, rap, stand-up, graffiti, sampling, plagiarism, writing, and reading. Drawing on myriad stances, David Shields seeks to tear up the old culture in search of something new and more authentic.

‘One of the most provocative books I’ve ever read’ – Charles D’Ambrosio

Critics Review

  • A rare and very peculiar thing: a wake-up call that is a pleasure to hear and respond to. A daring combination of montage and essay, it’s crammed full of good things

    Geoff Dyer
  • I’ve just finished reading Reality Hunger and I’m lit up by it – astonished, intoxicated, ecstatic, overwhelmed

    Jonathan Lethem
  • Weird, exciting, incendiary

    Dazed and Confused
  • Bold, entertaining, contentious. Essential reading for readers and writers

  • The most provocative, brain-rewiring book of 2010. It’s a book that feels at least five years ahead of its time and teaches you how to read it as you go


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