Quarter Life – A Few Weekends
Quarter Life – A Few Weekends is a black and white A5 zine with a few chapters from his novel Quarter Life about a man entering adulthood but told through a series of weekends. CW: Drug and alcohol use
Quarter Life opens with a foreword explaining what this zine is about, where it’s from, and how various chapters have been published in magazines, zines, and other spaces. From there we launch into the excerpts, each given its own title – Third Weekend, Fifth Weekend – as well as where the excerpt was first published.
The excerpts are told in the first person present style, which I thought would throw me off because it’s not my favourite perspective or tense. (And it’s often not done so well, but I’ll try to rein in my editor side.) That said, TJ’s writing voice is personal but not intrusive. The ‘told in weekends’ format is an interesting one that adds a slightly different flavour to a story of a life.
The story itself is set in England, so you may not know what Coronation Street is or what a ‘proper little chavvy’ is, but I thin kthose sorts of details make it more fun.
I like the aesthetic of this zine with the recycled paper and riso cover. It’s easy to read, the pages are numbered… It’s an easy-to-tuck-in-your-bag-and-go sort of zine that asks to be well read.
I wasn’t quite sure how pieces of a novel would go in a zine, but this works quite well. The writing is fun, I enjoyed the excerpts in and of themselves, and the story is intriguing enough that I’m now quite curious about the novel. I hope to check out more of TJ’s writing in the future.