The Empire of Things: a new book by CJ Stone

The Empire of Things by CJ Stone

CJ Stone wrote a column for the Guardian Weekend from 1993 till 1998. It was called Housing Benefit Hill and won the writer much acclaim. He has also written columns for the Big Issue, for Mixmag, for Radio 4’s The Afternoon Shift, for Prediction magazine and for Kindred Spirit, as well as writing regularly for the New Statesman and the Independent on Sunday, amongst others. Currently he is a working postman. The Empire of Things is his sixth book.

The novelist Jon McGregor attributed Housing Benefit Hill with making him want to become a writer.

He wrote: (The Observer Sunday 13 February 2011):

I blame the Guardian. Specifically, I blame CJ Stone’s Housing Benefit Hill column, which was then running on Saturdays… This was not only enough to persuade me to join an anti-road protest; it also made me want to become a writer. See what a couple of good sentences can do.

John Higgs (author of I Have America Surrounded and KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band Who Burned a Million Pounds) said of CJ Stone’s work:

He has a knack for telling you things you need to know before you’re aware that you need to know them… He sees the archetypal in the mundane. He captures moments which should be washed away by the passing of time, and he hammers them into permanence.

This new collection of writings is culled from various sources: from his work for Prediction magazine, from Kindred Spirit, from the Independent, from the Whitstable Gazette and from his popular blog. It covers such diverse subjects as drugs, economics, politics, paganism, the Stonehenge mystery, synchronicity, Robin Hood, King Arthur, holidays in Transylvania and wearing pyjamas in the Co-op.

The author can be contacted at

What the critics say about CJ Stone:

“Stone writes with intelligence, wit and sensitivity.” Times Literary Supplement

“Wry, acute, and sometimes hellishly entertaining essays in squalor and rebellion.” Herald

“The best guide to the Underground since Charon ferried dead souls across the Styx.” Independent on Sunday

“Passionately serious, irresistibly compelling, and hilariously good-humoured.” Professor Ronald Hutton, Bristol University

Buy the book here.

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