The More Things Change

The More Things Change

The More Things Change
Jim Murdoch
Fandango Virtual (7 March 2017)
ISBN 978-1-908815-08-8
Paperback: 340 pages
12.8 x 19.8cm

We all know the story about Eve and the serpent and the trials of Job and then, of course, there's the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. But what if it never stopped there? What if God and the Devil still meet every once in a while to test someone just for the hell of it? And what if this time round that someone was a no one?

Jim Valentine is a middling English teacher, a loner and wannabe writer. Turning forty he encounters a strange man in his local park who seems to know more about him than Jim's comfortable with including his dearest wish. On returning home Jim discovers he now has a wife he can't remember meeting but to whom he's apparently been married for over twenty years and he has grownup children, too. Hard as it might be to accept it becomes obvious that the man in the park is more than he appears and he has more in store for Jim than giving him his ideal wife.

Over the next five years Jim struggles to reconstruct a past from the evidence available and ends up writing a book about his experiences—Memoirs of a Made-up Man—which is a runaway success but his marriage is not and five years later his wife leaves him "for a cat called Hodge, two goldfish and a view of the Atlantic that never seemed anything but cold and uninviting."

Jim fails to repeat the success of that first book. The much anticipated follow-up, a short-story collection entitled The Man Who Wrestled Angels, doesn't sell and he stops writing, at least on paper, preferring to spend his days sitting on a bench in his park waiting; for what he has no idea. Finally, after some thirty years, he meets the man again who points out that "Man is nothing other than what he makes of himself. With himself. Such is the guiding principle of existentialism." Only then is the truth about what's happened to him revealed including a final, satisfying twist involving a rake.

~Jim Murdoch (on his fourth novel, The More Things Change)

Though speculative fiction is not my go-to genre, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Longer than Jim's other novels, it's rich with literary imagery but it doesn't get in the way of the story. More character than plot driven, there's still a tale to be told that can be enjoyed by anyone who loves to read about how people cope with life in an alternative setting.

~ Carrie Berry, FV Books


For the last few years we have absorbed the cost of postal increases, but 2017 changes have been dramatic, especially on international shipments, so we have had to raise our prices accordingly.


   The More Things Change sent to UK (p+p inc.) now only £8.50
   The More Things Change sent to Europe (p+p inc.) now only £11.99
   The More Things Change sent to US/ROW (p+p inc.) now only £14.25

about Jim Murdoch

Jim Murdoch

Jim Murdoch, a Scottish writer living just outside Glasgow, is the character Beckett never got around to writing. His poetry appeared regularly in small press magazines during the seventies and eighties. In the nineties he turned to prose-writing and has since completed four novels, two plays and a collection of short stories. In his blog, The Truth About Lies, he discusses the art and science of writing, his own and that of other authors, and muses at length about his lifelong fascination with the perversity of language. Veering from the nostalgic to the acerbic, his blog will amuse anyone with a love of literature.


other titles by Jim Murdoch

Reader Please Supply Meaning
Reader Please Supply Meaning
Jim Murdoch
Fandango Virtual (24 January 2015)
ISBN 978-1-908815-01-9
Paperback: 122 pages
12.8 x 19.8cm

A poem is, at least according to Paul Valéry, "never finished, only abandoned." It's up to its readers to complete the text. This, of course, echoes what Samuel Johnson wrote: "A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it." A written text, any written text, the text you're reading right now, only comes to life when someone reads it. When I lay out words on a page and call that arrangement a poem, all I've done, if you'll forgive the crude and rather obvious analogy, is kludge together body parts and left it up to you to animate them. You are my bright sparks.

~Jim Murdoch (on his second collection of poetry, Reader Please Supply Meaning)


Making Sense
Making Sense
Jim Murdoch
Fandango Virtual (4 May 2013)
ISBN 978-1-908815-01-9
Paperback: 156 pages
12.8 x 19.8cm

How do you make sense out of life? We dream up reasons, justifications or excuses to give our lives meaning. In this collection of short stories from Scottish writer Jim Murdoch we meet a range of people who have nothing in common apart from this need to make sense out of their lives: a murderer, a gambler, an adoptee, a stand-up comic, a teacher; men, women, parents and children, all doing their best to answer the self-same questions, and where their five senses fall short they have to rely on their other senses, among them humour, justice, right and wrong, belonging and decency.


Milligan and Murphy
Milligan and Murphy
Jim Murdoch
Fandango Virtual (11 November 2011)
ISBN 978-0-9550636-6-4
Paperback: 180 pages
12.8 x 19.8 x 1.4 cm

There are no reasons for unreasonable things. So the protagonists of this novel are told having found themselves setting out on an adventure that they really didn't plan. Like many people, Murdoch has always had a great affection for the two lead characters in Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Have you ever wondered what Didi and Gogo were like when they were young and what led them to end up waiting for a man who would most likely never turn up? That's basically the premise Murdoch set out to explore in Milligan and Murphy but that was not the question he finally answered.


This Is Not About What You Think
This Is Not About What You Think
Jim Murdoch
Fandango Virtual (19 July 2010)
ISBN 978-0-9550636-3-3
Paperback: 132 pages
12.8 x 19.8 x 1.4 cm

It may be something of a surprise to discover that novelist Jim Murdoch (Living with the Truth and Stranger than Fiction) is fundamentally a poet, but he has been writing poetry longer than many of his readers have been drawing breath. This debut collection of his poetry would be at home on the shelf between volumes of Philip Larkin and Harold Pinter, both masters of straight hitting observational poetry. In the same vein, Murdoch's work delivers home truths with a wry innocence and subtle wisdom in language everyone can connect with.


Living with the Truth
Living with the Truth
Jim Murdoch
Fandango Virtual (4 May 2008)
ISBN 978-0-9550636-1-9
Paperback: 192 pages
12.8 x 19.8 x 1.4 cm

We meet Jonathan Payne, a faded old bookseller nearing the end of a wasted life, sitting alone in his flat just waiting for Death to knock at his front door. By the end of the book, having learned far more about himself than he ever wanted to know, he discovers that it's usually never too late to start again. Only sometimes it is.


Stranger than Fiction
Stranger than Fiction
Jim Murdoch
Fandango Virtual (4 August 2009)
ISBN 978-0-9550636-2-6

Paperback: 188 pages
12.8 x 19.8 x 1.4 cm

A sequel to Living with the Truth, the novel takes place in a landscape generated by Jonathan's memories of his past life. Everyone and everything is as he remembers it, not necessarily the way it was.