Publisher’s description here:

On final page of this book: “‘Numbered as Sand or the Stars’ has been limited to 235 numbered copies for sale, plus extra copies, which are reserved for private distribution. This is copy number” 20 (in red ink)

64 pages – with hedonistic cover, partly spine-overlapped decadent shivery hardish velvet to the touch in black (and I have been told by a third party that this is some weird animal hide – such as that of the pengö’s?), and partly stitched yellow-smoky laid-back young-bright-thing depressed gorgeousness to the renewed touch with hardened heart, but a heart not as hard as the jacketless cover itself. Office-cluttered inside cover image at either end of the book. Luxury stiff paper pages.


This is my sixth post-real-time review after recently announcing my retirement from real-time reviewing following four ostensibly self- and autre-fulfilling years doing it.









The women’s faces covering the wall stare out at him. He returns their gaze. They are terraced like spectators’ heads in a stadium, or at a thousand tiny windows.”

[Cf Sand’s Dusk. And James Joyce’s Sermon on Hell.]

NUMBERED AS SAND OR THE STARS is a novelette by another of my favourite writers – John Howard –  cf my review of his story ‘The White City’ here = and here the currency talks like more stamps or faces on the wall, evoking a historical Hungary facing conspiring regents or hyperinflation or other loose ‘borders’ of integrity – even that era’s  equivalent (my inference, not necessarily the book’s) mentality of Stalinist ‘ebooks’ when compared to the hard currency of the stiff paper pages which this book boasts.  Hard coin or paper money? False borders or fixed geomancy? All in a stylish prose to die for – and to be buried with.

Loved it.  The ambivalence of right and wrong amid a Philosophy of History as another version of the ‘synchronised shards of random truth and fiction’. Challenge and response in endless cycle. Imagination or belief as you hold a banknote or a page of fiction. Or, God forbid, an ebook!


Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “NUMBERED AS SAND OR THE STARS – John Howard

  1. Another extract from my SECRET EUROPE review relating to ‘The White City’ which may be relevant to NUMBERED….

    “I forgot to mention that the postage stamp story (White City) depended on stamp-collectors buying the various versions of each stamp (with different watermarks etc!) for the currency to accrue. A bit like books and book collectors? Ex Occidente Books (and their varying versions) have been publicly noteworthy over the years in this regard, accruing the joys of literature, too. (3 Mar 12 – 9.15 am gmt)”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s