Sartre's Sink

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Sartre's Sink
Author Mark Crick
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre DIY/Pastiche
Publisher Granta
Publication date
Pages 98
ISBN 978-1-84708-047-9
Preceded by Kafka's Soup
Followed by Machiavelli's Lawn

Sartre's Sink is a literary pastiche in the form of a do it yourself handbook. It contains advice about how to undertake 14 common household tasks each written in the style of a famous author from history.[1] Sartre's Sink is the second book by photographer and author Mark Crick. Excerpts have appeared in The Independent[2] and the Evening Herald.[3]

The book includes chapters on how to; bleed a radiator by Emily Brontë,[1][4][5] tile a bathroom by Fyodor Dostoyevsky,[4][5][6] hang wallpaper by Hemingway,[4][5][6][7] unblock a sink by Sartre,[1][5] repair a dripping tap with Marguerite Duras,[2] put up a garden fence with Hunter S Thompson,[2][3][7] paint a panelled door with Anaïs Nin,[2] re-glaze a window with Milan Kundera, board an attic with Edgar Allan Poe,[8] loosen a stuck drawer with Samuel Beckett[8] and how to paint a room with Haruki Murakami.[6][8] Other parodied authors include Goethe and Joseph Conrad.[1][7] Mark Crick says that he found Dostoyevsky the most difficult author to parody.[9]

As with his previous work, Sartre's Sink is illustrated with paintings by the author in the style of a number of famous artists including van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, Magritte and Turner.[1]

Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times noted that the book was "only marginally instructive".[7] The Telegraph felt that the subject matter of Sartre's Sink was "not as interesting" as that of Crick's earlier book Kafka's Soup. However, the editor nonetheless believed that the quality of the pastiche was equal to that of the earlier book calling both books "a gem".[10] Roy Williams of The Australian called it "a minor masterpiece" naming painting the panelled door and putting up the garden fence as his particular favourites.[1] Ian Sansom of The Guardian called it "hands-down droll".[6] Nicolas d'Estienne d'Orves of Le Figaro called it "Irresistible".[11] Sartre's Sink was named Sunday Times humour book of the year 2008.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Roy Williams (3 January 2009). "Take my advice". The Australian. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The great writers' guide to DIY". Independent. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "The great writers' guide to DIY". Evening Herald. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Sartre's Sink: The Great Writers' Complete Book of DIY by Mark Crick". Sunday Times. 30 November 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2011. (subscription required). 
  5. ^ a b c d Christopher Matthew (19 December 2008). "Stocking up on a good joke". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d Ian Sansom (13 December 2008). "Crackers for all". Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d Carolyn Kellogg (30 October 2008). "Hemingway's home repair". LA Times. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c Rosie Blau (13 December 2008). "Brick lit". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Will Gore (6 May 2009). "Sartre sinks in for Mark Crick". Surrey Comet. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "A Perfect Recipe for Enjoyment". The Telegraph (Kolkata). 7 November 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  11. ^ Nicolas d'Estienne d'Orves (2 January 2009). "La Baignoire de Goethe". Le Figaro. Retrieved 29 May 2011.  In French

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