Third mall from the Sun – Morrison and Cargo combine on a brave new world

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CHAIN stores, skateboarding neds, Gok Wan fashion shows and zombies – a few of the things I associate with shopping malls.

Luckily Ewan Morrison has a different story to tell . . . quite a number of stories to be exact.

And even more luckily the hip young gunslingers at Cargo – Scotland’s most cutting edge publisher – are bringing the stories to life in a unique way.

‘Tales From The Mall’ is threatening to break ground in almost every department (store).

From one of the UK’s most acclaimed literary and film talents, ‘Tales From The Mall’ is a mash-up of fact, fiction, essays, true stories and multi-format media that describes the rise of one of the most defining and iconic symbols of the modern age – the shopping mall.

* Why would one woman threaten to kill another for a pair of shoes in the bargain bin?

* Why do shopping malls evict old ladies?

* Why are transvestites drawn to mall car parks?

* Why are malls dying in the USA?

* What do impulse buys have to do with rioting?

* And why are market research companies hiding the truth from us?

If you want to work out how the modern world works, then ask Ewan Morrison.

For the last three years he’s been scouring the shopping malls of Britain uncovering the secrets of retail heaven and hell, to tell us how malls manipulate our emotions in 20 cleverly calculated ways; how some malls are ‘vampiric’ and other malls are ‘pregnant’, and how malls are an ideal space to meet a new lover or to end it all.

From over a hundred interviews and confessions, Morrison re-tells the true-life tales of those who work, shop and sometimes even find love inside their walls.

As shopping malls spread round the globe at the amazing speed of one new mall every 72 hours, and everyone, in every country, ends up wearing the same fashions, ‘Tales from the Mall’ gives us a page-turning tour of the history of the mall and a vision of our coming future.

Wry, humourous and fast-paced; packed full of brain-boiling facts and gut-wrenching, often hilarious stories; it will change the way you think about your hair colour, your loyalty cards, the global economy and your boyfriend . . . forever.

Morrison has been praised by no less than Douglas Coupland, author of ‘Generation X’, and controversial literary force James Frey.

He has signed with Cargo Crate, the digital arm of Cargo Publishing and Scotland’s first digital label.

The ebook and app version include new animations and videos by the BAFTA-nominated Morrison.

“What’s particularly appealing about this thoughtful, mature and beautifully-constructed set of stories is that its content remains one of the most interesting, educational, intimate and engaging reads for me this year,” said Editor In Chief of Cargo Crate, Anneliese Mackintosh.

But the plans for the digital aspect of the book go much further.

“We’re looking at several groundbreaking options,” said Cargo MD Mark Buckland.

“Animation, audio and video are fast becoming the standard for what we use to enhance a book, with ‘Tales From The Mall’ we’re looking at augmented reality, interaction across social networks and how we bring the book into the real world through flash mobs and user contributions.”

The format of the book follows a plan of a mall rather than a standard contents and Morrison was delighted to explore this non-linear concept in a book, digitally and in paper form.

Anneliese Mackintosh was equally pleased with the technological potential: “Not only is it an exciting step forward for Ewan in terms of both subject matter and style, it is also an extremely inspiring project for Cargo Crate, in that we can use technology in completely new, innovative ways in order to explore the concept of ‘the mall’.”

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Report: Alan Muir