|Posted by ryanbracha on April 30, 2015 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
The following is a prime example of what you can expect The Switched to offer you. It really is the finest work that I can physically create at the minute. I hope you agree. You can pre-order The Switched on Amazon now, and it's released on June 15th. For UK readers it's here and for US readers it's here.
I'm awake and I'm me again. I'm on the sales floor and they're shouting out numbers. Prices. Martin McKeown is yammering like a cunt down the phone to whoever, and he's saying that they need to sell now or it's pointless owning the things. I'm trying to focus on shifting my own stuff, but I'm fucking frozen. My hand reaches for the buttons on the phone but it's like there's a force field deflecting it. I reach again but the phone's on Martin's desk now. He's saying how the punter on the phone has got shares in Jake Francis. He says they're expensive, but the market predicts a slump. He says Francis fucked a pensioner. His stock is gonna drop. He did a shit on a Soho slut, and not in any kinky way. He just shit the bed. He says any minute now shares in Jake Francis are going to be worthless. I'm shouting to him to shut the fuck up, or at least I think I am. My mouth doesn't move but I hear it, so I must have said something. Martin winks at me. Holds a hand over his receiver. He says relax mate, they don't know about the blow job from the fat cunt. He says there's time for them to boom again. I pull at the phone in his hand but he's not holding a phone. He's holding a fucking dildo. He's talking into the rubber cock. He says fuck Jake Francis. Fuck Jake fucking Francis. He says he knows I fucked his wife. Oh fuck. Darlin’s here. The Soho slut. She's covered from head to toe in shit. Only her face is clean of the green brown sludge. Martin McKeown takes the dildo and pushes Darlin onto her back on my desk. He talks into the dildo as he pulls what must be his cock from his trousers. I don't see it though. It's a blur. He's saying you need to sell. Jake Francis shares are going to drop in the next few minutes. I try to look away but I can't, and Martin fucks Darlin on my desk, and the shit falls from her with stinking splats to the floor, and she's not Darlin. She's me. She's Jake. Martin isn't Martin. He's fat cunt, and Jake's laughing at looking right at me as he lets fat cunt's hands paw at his chest. Every time I turn my head it's there. The dildo. The end of it starts to bleed, and the room gets smaller and the bleeding dildo gets bigger and there's only me and Jake getting bummed by that fat cunt Charlie and the blood fills the room. And. I'm not there. I'm in the lift, and old Maureen pulls out her tits. She's flicking her tongue at me from her whiskered mouth. Her tits roll out like a fireman's hose onto the floor of the lift, and she's playing the dildo like a horn. Her tits start to move on the floor, and it's like she's charming them, like two wrinkled snakes, each with one thick nipple for an eye. The sound that comes from the horn isn't any Indian shit though. It's a man's voice. Yellep, it says. Yellep. Yellep. Yellen. Yellen. Helen. It's saying Helen. Fucking Helen. I could go the rest of my life without hearing that name again. Old Maureen’s tits are up in my face, like leathery cobras. The nipples dance before my eyes and still the horn says Helen. Helen. Helen. Then it's nothing. Blackness. The blackness peels away and there's the fat cunt looking down at me. He holds a bowl, and he's telling me I need to eat. He's pouring some liquid onto my lips, and I choke. I say fuck off, cunt. He says no, he says I need to get my strength up or it's curtains for me. I give in to it because I'm feeling weak as fuck. I don't know where I am. Where am I? I try to ask the fat cunt but he says shush. Eat, he says. I eat.
|Posted by ryanbracha on February 21, 2015 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
The following is the first draft of the first chapter of the forthcoming novel-of-stories, Twelve Nights at Table Six. To give you a feel for the seedy atmosphere of the high class Little King's restaurant.
I breeze past Rupert at the front of the restaurant at a quarter to seven. He doesn’t acknowledge me, and neither do I him. Mr Maître D. The cunt thinks he owns the place but the truth of it is that he’s fucking the owner. Oh yeah. They think we don’t know but you can see it in their eyes when they spot one another across the restaurant. Julian will flash just a sparkle of sleaze towards the front of house postman who makes special deliveries every fucking night into Julian’s tight little post box. Rupert’s mouth will curl up a fraction, a filthy sneer of satisfaction, before he blinks away the slime so that he can greet and seat another of the restaurant’s clientele. Then Julian will glide on out of the place, upstairs to his luxury, open plan flat. The minimalist space he calls home. To wait for his dominant and arrogant fuckwit of a lover to come show him who the real boss is. Ella told me that Julian never gives head though. Just prefers a good old jack-hammering in the poop chute. Rupert acts like he’s got ten inches of dangling death, but with that gut he’s cultivating there he’d be lucky if he could coax three out from under that flab. Yeah, they think we don’t know. We know. All of us. Fuck, even Danny and David know, and they’re borderline retarded.
Danny and David. The hunchbacked twins. They’re Julian’s nephews. They rhythmically lope around the place, pulling grease-stained plates and cutlery away from the fronts of the gluttonous wankers who choose to make Little King’s their eatery of choice for the evening. The only way you can tell the difference between the spazzy fuckers is that Danny is trying to grow a moustache. Trying, being the operative word here. It’s a fine fuzz that you can really only see in the pale blue glow of the tasteless water feature that trickles pathetically down the back of the bar. Otherwise, they’re identical. The way they canter toward you, with the hunch peering over the backs of their heads, it’s like a Mexican wave. That kind of mesmerising perpetual rolling motion. When they aren’t limping around collecting crockery they’ll sit opposite one another at the end of Ella’s bar frantically masturbating the knives with a polishing towel, in that kind of symmetry that you’ll only ever get from twins. You’d feel sorry for them if only they weren’t so fucking stupid.
Ella. Sweet, sexy Ella. The true definition of unattainable. Not that you’d think that with the way she talks to you. That slow lick of the full lips. The wink. You’d swear that she was giving you the come on, but it’s all for show. To part the tourists that frequent this part of town of their freshly bureau de change’d cash. They go nuts for her too. Queuing up to flirt with the owner of the long brown hair that cascades down her back, the buttons on her white blouse struggling to keep her massive tits from breaking free. The flutter of the tiny fake eyelashes around the sparkling brown eyes. It’s all for show. I’ll never get into her pants, nor will the plethora of potential suitors, and neither will you. Her girlfriend is more of a man than I could ever hope to be. She’d rip off your hand if you ever thought to help yourself to a portion of Ella’s goodies.
The restaurant is Little King’s. It’s the kind of place that bellows from the roof tops that you can’t afford to eat there. You basically need a credit check to get your call answered by Rupert. What’s that? You plug yourself in at the cigarette kiosk at your local supermarket? No, we aren’t for you. Try somewhere else. You don’t work, but you volunteer at the homeless shelter, feeding the poor wretches that life threw a shit hand? No, we don’t accept karmic satisfaction. We take cash, card, and direct fucking debit. Get out of our sight. Yeah, that’s the kind of place it is. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the shit manages to breach Rupert’s usually meticulous defences, and those people find out very quickly that they’re not somewhere they belong. I’ll maybe tell you about one of those types later. We’ve only just met, cool your jets there captain. Do you try to get knuckle deep into the object of your desire on the first date? I bet you do. You strike me as that sort. You’ll fit right in here.
I creep through to the back of the restaurant and almost slam face first into Freddy, one of the chefs.
“Oi, watch out fuckfingers!” he says. Freddy likes to be imaginative with his cursing. He’s not bad, but he can get a bit much if you have to spend any length of time with him. Once, I got stuck talking to him at a party I was at. It wasn’t a work thing or anything. He just knows some people that I know. Anyway. He bored the shit out of me. It’s like he doesn’t know how to make conversation, so he just hammers you with shitty gag after shitty gag. The cunt takes nothing seriously.
“Alright Fred?” I mutter, my hands held in a surrendering gesture as I sidle past him in the narrow corridor.
“Yeah, you?” he says.
“Yeah, not bad.”
I leave it at that and climb the stairs to the staff room two at a time. There’s some heated muttering going on inside there. I consider hanging back and letting whoever it is do their thing, but I only have ten minutes until the start of my shift, so I swing the door open hard. I wish I’d not. In the staff room there’s this pungent wall of stink that hits the back of my throat hard. The source of such stink is obviously Samantha’s fanny, which is filled from wall to wall with Dwayne’s cock. Dwayne glances at me over his shoulder as he thrusts into the chubby waitress.
“Hiya mate,” he grins, “won’t be too much longer.”
Samantha winks at me as I lean past her to grab the black tie from my locker, which is situated directly next to Samantha’s sweating face, before jamming her fat arse further back onto Dwayne’s cock and calls him a cunt.
Dwayne likes to think he’s master swordsman. A lothario. He’s not. I mean, he’s not bad looking, but he’s not the legend that he thinks he is. When he was off his tits on coke at work a few months back, he was yammering on, and told me his secret was to hunt down the girls who’d be grateful of it. He plays the field on social networking sites, starts a little flirt, likes a few pictures, tells them they’re beautiful and what have you. A week later he’s balls deep (his words, not mine) and deleting their presence from his list of friends. And to think that some people think chivalry is dead. He’s younger than I am by about ten years, but he looks twenty years younger. He often flits in and out of some sort of clichéd gritty urban speak that you see in the films, even though his mum is quite a well-regarded head teacher, and they shop at Waitrose. He’s alright, I actually don’t mind Dwayne. He amuses me.
Samantha is a needy girl. I wouldn’t tell Dwayne at this point in time, because it might throw him off his rhythm, but I’ve also sampled the goodies that he’s currently enjoying. Afterwards she tried to buy me a telly. I refused the kind offer. She buys me a telly and then what? She’ll be after staying over the next time we get a little carnal? No, just the once was enough for me. It took an age to clean the stink off my sheets. Seriously, it’s not pleasant.
“You’ve only got five more minutes,” I tell the pair of them as Dwayne fires his muck up inside Samantha with a sleazy groan of joy that drips from his nostrils like the sweat that’s dripping down her doughy white back.
“No danger, my man, no danger at all. I could probably go again. Unless?”
He’s pointing at Samantha with a look that questions whether it would be impolite not to offer me a turn. I shake my head.
“No, no you’re alright, thanks though.”
He shrugs, and pulls himself out of her with a disgusting slap, before pulling up his trousers and buttoning himself up. Samantha yanks down her skirt, and without any kind of cleaning, she tugs up her big knickers and straightens her clothing. She goes to kiss Dwayne but he’s already turning to me and the look of hurt in her face might break another man’s heart. For me, however, it’s one I’ve seen before. It rarely hits home. Maybe I’m just as big a cunt as Dwayne here. Maybe.
“Got some really nice coke, pal, you want a little tickle?” Dwayne asks, pulling quite a large bag of powder from his pocket and holding it my way. I shouldn’t, but since I’m on the first of twelve shifts on the spin, I feel inclined to take him up on the offer. Coke, however, makes me really horny, and I fear I might be tempted by the stinking delights that Samantha has to offer later on. Fuck it. I take the bag and tap a few spots out onto the back of a laminated menu, before scooping it up into a nice fat line, and I send the lovely crystals up into my nose and they crackle into my throat. I look to Dwayne as I make to set myself another one up.
“Do you mind?” I ask, and he’s shaking his head and waving his hand dismissively.
“Nah, man. Got myself loads at home, fill your boots. What’s mine is yours.”
I don’t need to be told twice, and another generous ridge is inhaled before he’s even finished talking.
“Can I?” Samantha asks, and is rewarded with an impatient sigh from Dwayne as he kisses his teeth, and shakes his head, unimpressed. He mutters something about being cheap, but his face breaks into a grin and he gives her the go ahead. By seven o’clock we’re all fizzing, and our shift can begin.
There are twenty four regular tables at Little King’s. These twenty four are divvied up between four of us. There’s me, Dwayne, Samantha, and then there’s a weird French bloke called Jacques, that nobody really talks to. He ghosts in, does his thing, then he’s away at bang on midnight. No time for after work drinks in the bar while we compare tips or anything. We call him Cinderella. I heard he lives in a basement flat and all of the money he earns goes onto paying for an estranged Thai wife who ran away with a black man. Seriously. He works his arse off to pay for her to come and live over here, he marries her, then she runs away with a black man. He’s still paying for their kids to go through school. Not even his own kids. The kids of the wife and the black fella. He doesn’t talk much to us, but the customers love the accent. They think they’re getting some French cuisine just because the froggy cunt is serving them.
Anyway. These twenty four tables. We have six each. On those six we might see three sittings in five hours, people like to know they’ve been to Little King’s, they like to stay and they like to drink. Who are we to kick them out? They’re paying silly money. Anyway, each of those three sittings will throw an average of about two hundred into Julian’s pocket, and, if you work at the standard ten per cent, twenty into mine. All those sittings over six tables should give me a nice little earner, right? Not really, because of table fucking six. I always get lumbered with table six, and nobody ever tips. They seriously never tip. It doesn’t matter whether it’s royalty, or some local footballer schmoozing the next girl he’s likely to rape. They never tip. I hate table six.
“Alright, Ella?” I ask, barely interested, but we’re all going to be together for a very long time, it pays to be civil.
“You been doing coke?” she asks with a raise of the chin. I nod with a cool smile. She raises her chin again as her eyes go narrow.
“Dwayne?” she asks.
I nod again.
“Mind the bar,” she commands, and I do as I am bidden as I watch her criminally great arse wiggle across to Dwayne, punching him hard on the arm. She’s looking animated, but he passes her exactly what everybody can see it is, and she disappears into the back. Dwayne looks over at me with an annoyed grimace as he rubs at his sore arm. I shrug. You don’t turn Ella down for anything, you can’t. Those eyes. That punch. Killer combination, you might say. Two minutes later she returns, completely bypassing Dwayne with a cheeky smile that immediately puts all things right again, including the fact that she’s either snorted the lot or is keeping hold of it for later. She edges past me, her backside just an inch from my cock, so slowly. She turns as looks to smile at me as my breathing stops of its own accord.
“Thanks,” she whispers, and gets past me onto the bar, turning to scowl at me, “now fuck off, Rupert’s dropped Bertha and Don on Table Six,” she barks, “unlucky.”
|Posted by ryanbracha on October 25, 2014 at 5:40 AM||comments (0)|
Bracsman Vs Allen Miles
Now then. It's been a while, and a good friend of mine, Ryan Bracha, has only gone and fucking extended the Abrachadabra name. Originally just a name he put his own books out under, he's decided that what the publishing industry needed was a label that stuck two fingers up at minimum term contracts. He figured that writers put way too much effort in to be walking away with 3% royalties. He figured also that there's too much of that wizard shit out there and not enough quality writers of just straight up good stories getting their faces out there. So he branched out, and he signed the supremely talented writer, and cohort on the literary collaboration Twelve Mad Men, Allen Miles. A long man from Hull with an unnerving interest in football from the 90s, an encyclopaedic knowledge of great music, and more than a passing resemblance to Ellen Degeneres. Mr Miles, or Big A to me, is in the studio discussing all manner of things, including Steve. He's here to publicise his latest book, This Is How You Disappear. Allen, watch your head on that door frame, you long bastard, sit down, and answer the shit out of these questions, you cunt.
1. Allen Miles, Milesy, The Milester, The Big AM. How's tricks? Keep it brief, I don't have all day.
Mr Miles, if you don't mind. Apart from a little lumbago I can't complain.
2. I heard you had a new book out, why should I give even the slightest of fucks?
You shouldn't. I can't imagine for a second someone like you could appreciate the genius of this book. Frankly it will be way over your head, it will appeal to people with intellect and taste. Not the likes of you and your... ilk.
3. That's cheeky as fuck, but I'll let you off because you brought me crayons. Does it have any pictures in it?
We're really not on the same level here, are we? There are no pictures.
4. What? Not even any biro pictures?
No. One of my work-colleagues seized my proof copy and scrawled on the first page "PEOPLE WHO WRITE BOOK'S R GAY BENDERS", and I am not counting the naked Polaroid of yourself that you slipped in between the pages of the copy you sent me to autograph. I hope rash that clears up, by the way, but no, no pictures.
5. That's wank, I only bought it because I thought it was an illustrated magic book. That's a waste of a few quid I could do without spending. Okay, you love your music and your football, what are your thoughts on the many combinations of the two? My personal favourite is that shit Status Quo reworking by Manchester United ages ago.
The two peaks are clearly the John Barnes rap on World In Motion and Hoddle and Waddle's Diamond Lights. I wanted to cover the latter during my days in a punk band, and wrote to Glenn Hoddle himself for permission. He vetoed it on the grounds that my late grandmother spent some time in a wheelchair during her last days.
6. You're a pretty girl, how comes you have a boy's name? Cruel parents?
I am not a girl. I am a very masculine person. I once assembled some flat-pack furniture incorrectly and the other day I very nearly bought a steak from Morrison's. I even tried some lager once. I noticed when you walked in how struck you were by my androgynous appearance, but really I'm just Peter Crouch's body with Helen Mirren's head. I sincerely hope there will be no stray fingers around my nether regions during the remainder of this interview.
7. I never make promises I can't keep. What's heavier? A fat cunt or Metallica in a hot air balloon?
I must say, I hadn't prepared for such obscene vulgarity. How dare you use the word "Metallica"?
8. Have I told you lately that I love you?
Sigh. It begins. Kindly remove your hand from my thigh, Mr Bracsman.
9. But your legs are so thin and holdable, like a pair of Peperamis wearing nice shoes. Anyway, have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
Several times. I actually roomed with him for a few months during my summer job on a doughnut stall in Scarborough. At the end of the shift we would have a couple of dry sherries each then wander over to the beach in our stripy blazers, stick Avalon by Roxy Music on our ghetto blaster and have a slow waltz. We haven't spoken since the "high-tide incident", but I always found the devil, or Steve, as he was actually called, thoroughly pleasant company.
10. Who's gonna play Davy Sheridan in the BBC2 adaptation of 18 Days?
I've thought about this extensively and I can't think of a single thespian from any era who could inhabit such a complex role; not Robert De Niro, not Marlon Brando, not Ross Kemp, so I've decided it would have to be myself. I'm an utterly superb actor. I've managed to convince everyone I know that I'm a skinny white kid from East Yorkshire, when in actual fact I'm a middle-aged Ugandan woman called Bertha.
11. Who's the actual jammiest cunt in music right now? Chris Martin?
Chris Martin isn't in music, he's in aural sewage. I'd say the jammiest cunt in music right now is Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Hutz-Tewilliger-Nahasapeemapetillon-McClure because everyone seems to have forgotten that she kicked the living hell out of a nightclub toilet attendant in a booze/coke fuelled possibly-racist rage. Can you imagine what would happen if Wayne Rooney did that?
12. There'd be uproar, like that time he chinned a Japanese tramp. What's next for Allen Miles the writer?
I don't honestly know. I'm preparing to slog my guts out to promote this book. The bloke who I've signed with strikes me as a bit of an untrustworthy slimeball, to be honest, and I reckon the whole "author" thing is a front to pimp me out as a male escort to rich elderly widows. I'm going to carry on working, very slowly, on my novel, which is preliminarily entitled "Dick", and we'll take it from there.
13. What's next for Allen Miles the man?
I'm feeling rather bilious so I'm going to take some Gaviscon.
14. Who'd win in a fight between your old PE teacher and your local newsagent?
My old PE teacher was called Mr Law. I would not have got on the wrong side of that man. He didn't have blood in his veins, he had cement. Our equipment store once caught fire, so he ripped his t-shirt off, charged over and told the fire to shut up. And it did. He'd kick the living fuck out of me, you and my newsgent. Could you put your trousers back on please?
No, I put that ring on your finger, and it wasn't so you could cook my fucking tea. Get in that bedroom you slag.
Allen Miles is a six-foot three anaemic stick insect with a bit of a cold. He lives in Hull with his wife and daughter and annual purchase rates. When he’s not writing he’s either watching old footage of Matthew Le Tissier on YouTube at one in the morning while drunk or moonlighting as an Ellen Degeneres look-a-like. His rants, along with other ludicrously talented writers such as Gill Hoffs, Paul Featherstone, Andi Ware and Martyn Taylor, are to be found at http://www.sittingontheswings.com
You can find his books here
|Posted by ryanbracha on May 31, 2014 at 7:35 AM||comments (0)|
You know those times where you suddenly stop what you're doing and you think to yourself, Who does Leonardo DiCaprio think would win a fight between a Swan with a knife or a Rabbit with a gun? or What's the best thing Jack Nicholson could build with Lego? Well, Bracsman has those same thoughts, and now he's here to find the answers to those questions. He goes head to head with some of the finest indie authors the world has to offer, asking the questions that matter. Are you going to be a wanker when you get famous? Can you do magic? That kind of thing. Today, it's the turn of prolific noir writer Paul D. Brazill. He has written some great books and I'm a big fan. All the links and stuff in the usual places, now, let's ask some fucking questions...
Bracsman Vs... Paul D. Brazill
Paul D. Brazill. What do you know? How’ve you been?
I know a thing or two about a thing or three. I know who shot liberty valence and where the time goes. I’ve been to paradise but I’ve never been to ME.
Yeah yeah, keep it brief, okay? I don’t have all day. Look, I heard a rumour you don’t even come from the present. I heard you came by time machine from the past to conquer literature. What the fuck? How comes you’re so damned vintage with your noir? Did you rip off my pal Steve from the 50s?
My brain was frozen around the same time as Walt Disney’s and has recently thawed. What’s the difference between Tom Wait’s and Walt Disney?
Okay. Why the fuck should I read your new book and not Misty Sackencrack’s Tales of Barry the pissed up detective?
Cos A Case Of Noir has got the lot-blood, bodies, bullets, booze, birds and bingo. Okay, I lied about the bingo but in snow smothered Warsaw, Luke Case, a boozy English hack with a dark secret, starts a dangerous affair with a gangster’s wife. Case thenescapes to the sweltering Spanish heat where he meets a colourful cast of characters, including a mysterious torch singer and a former East End villain with a criminal business proposition. In stormy Toulouse, he encounters a blast from the past that is positively seismic which forces him to return to England and confront his past
Good answer. I like your style. There’s a bubble in your new wallpaper, what do you do? Rip that shit off and start again or you think you can smooth it before it dries?
Cover it over with random newspaper clipping. Draw red circles around a few of the faces in the photos and link them with wobbly lines. And –ta da!- now you’re an FBI profiler.
Who’d win in a fight between you and Stephen Hawking, taking into account that Hawking’s a faking cunt and knows two types of fighting?
Stephen J Hawking the blues playing scientist would clearly win. He’d hit me with his guitar.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, are you more likely to sing that’s amore or turn into a werewolf detective?
An Italian werewolf. Like James Caan. Have you seen him in that vest in The Godfather? Knit one, pearl one, knit one ...
If you did turn into that detective, do you think you could solve the mystery about who the fuck pinched my next door neighbour’s washing off her line?
It was Shaggy, though he denies it.
Yeah, I heard he was a thieving cunt. Good work, Brazill. You’ve got a massive and quite good taste in the old music, this might be tough, but what’s the one record you own that you could happily never listen to again?
The Broadway musical of Kafka’s The Trail starring Jimmy Cricket as Josef K.
Can you do any magic tricks?
Wait till it’s my round, you’ll see me disappear.
What genre do you think you would totally struggle with writing? Why?
Thriller writing. I’m not much good at plots and also thriller writers need to know the names of ‘technical stuff’ like camera, cars, guns. I haven’t a clue about technical stuff.
Do you think my arse looks big in this?
Like a moon hitting your eye like a big pizza pie.
Nice call back. You’re pretty much the author that all other authors love, don’t try to deny it, it’s a fact. What do you think that you’ve got that other might lack? Don’t say that beautiful smile, because we’ll take that as a given.
I write stuff that entertains me and by the law of averages, some people like the same things as me. Anyone else is a bonus.
When am I going to see a full length novel from you? Will you do me one for my birthday?
I’ve a few more novellas to come out yet. Maybe never. I always preferred singles to LPs, with all those fillers.
You emigrants sicken me. Polish jobs for Polish people! I jest of course, I’m of Polish stock myself, I can say shit like that. Would you ever consider coming back or is that you now?
Nigdy nie mów nigdy! Will have to wait for the ASBO to expire first.
Indeed. Well, I'll be waiting with a hammer and a bottle of whiskey to get revenge for that thing you did. What’s next for Paul D. Brazill?
Pimping A Case Of Noir and Exiles: An Outsider Anthology. Stories in a couple of anthologies and online. Finishing Holidays In The Sun, the follow up to Guns Of Brixton which should be out at the end of the year from Caffeine Nights Publishing.
Paul D.Brazill: Bio
I was born in England and am now on the lam in Poland. I left school at sixteen and my first job was on a government scheme updating Ordinance Survey Maps. It wasn't as glamorous as it sounds. I've worked in a second-hand record shop and played bass in a couple of post-punk bands. I've been EFL teaching for over ten years and still seem to be getting away with it.
I'm the author of A Case Of Noir, Guns Of Brixton, Roman Dalton- Werewolf PI and a few other tasty snacks that you can find here.
My writing has quite shockingly been translated into Italian, Polish and Slovene. I know! I've had stories published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime 8, 10 and 11 - alongside the likes of Lee Child, Ian Rankin and Neil Gaiman. Which is nice.
I also edited the charity anthology True Brit Grit, along with Luca Veste, and a couple of other things, too.
Oh, and I regularly contribute to Pulp Metal Magazine and have a regular column - Brit Grit Alley - at Out Of The Gutter Online. I'm a member of International Thriller Writers Inc.
A Case of Noir:
In snow smothered Warsaw, Luke Case, a boozy English hack with a dark secret, starts a dangerous affair with a gangster’s wife. Case escapes to the sweltering Spanish heat where he meets a colourful cast of characters, including a mysterious torch singer and a former East End villain with a criminal business proposition. In stormy Toulouse, he encounters a blast from the past that is positively seismic which forces him to return to England and confront his past. A Case Of Noir is a strong shot of international noir from Paul D. Brazill.
|Posted by ryanbracha on May 27, 2014 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
Now then you bunch of ratbags. It's Question Time again with me, Jeremy Bracsman. Today I'm up against debut author Rewan Tremethick with the superb name, but I'm not here to kiss the arse of people who name people. I'm here to put some real highbrow questions his way. You in? If not why not, and why the fuck are you still here? Here we go...
Bracsman Vs... Rewan Tremethick
Tell me about your fucking book. What the fuck’s it about?
It’s about a paranormal detective, Laslo Kane, who has to take the most dangerous case of his career if he wants to get out of the game and do something a little less deadly for a job. He’s a bit tired of slimey, bitey, chopping, stompy, stabby things trying to kill him on a daily basis, you see. The money’s huge, but it does mean following a trail of bloody corpses back to the most dangerous crime family in the city.
There’s a lot of paranormal stuff out there, why the fuck should I buy yours and not Misty Ballbag’s Tales of Jedwin the Psychic Sperm?
To be honest, the sperm book sounds awesome. You should buy that.
But after you’ve read that, you should buy Fallen on Good Times because it’s like what would happen if Terry Pratchett wrote Sin City*. It’s dark and gritty in places, but some of the things that happen are just plain silly.
*This is probably an invalid comparison, but people like that kind of statement, so I’ll stick with it.
Good answer. That’s fair enough. The trailer for Fallen on Good Times is pretty pro. Did you do that yourself?
I worked with a local videographer that I know. The concept was mine, I edited the whole thing, and I certainly helped direct it. Chris was great though, and put a lot of his expertise into it. The music and voiceover were done by Christopher Escalante, and that little animated version of the cover was done by Snakeskin Studios, who also designed the cover. I could have done it myself, but it saved me half an hour so I let them do it.
Who you gonna have playing the lead when Hollywood eventually comes and buys your soul?
By the time that happens, I expect the people I’d want now will be too old. But if I were casting today to film tomorrow, I’d probably say Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He’s still a little too old, but he’d do a great job.
How come you decided to write? Is doing the Avon in your local area not enough for you or what?
I never really sat down and though ‘Today, I shall start writing’. It was just something I did. I’ve been writing since before I can remember, which is a terribly cliché thing for a writer to say. Maybe I already knew as a child that the real world was going to suck, so I thought I might as well get started on creating somewhere better that I could escape to?
So where does the dream ultimately lie? Shelves of Tesco or shelves of all good bookshops? Why?
I’d prefer the good bookshops. Less chance of someone going to buy my book and realising that if they do they’ll have to put one of their cabbages back in order to still qualify for the 10 items or less tills.
Your name is pretty cool. What’s the story there then?
Tremethick is about as Cornish as it gets – my dad’s side of the family goes back until church records began. Rewan is an alternate spelling of Ruan, one of the saints of Cornwall, who supposedly was either A) responsible for ridding Cornwall of wolves, B) invulnerable to wolves, or C) a werewolf. I am none of those things, although I have yet to be killed by a wolf, so maybe…
Can you do any magic tricks?
I’m British, so I can take any scenario and turn it into a reason to self-depreciate. You can check up my sleeves first, if you like.
Who’d win in a fight between a bear and a ninja who only has a stick for weapons and none of that throwing shit? Why?
Well the main danger is that a bear can take your head off with a paw, but if anyone’s going to have the reflexes to dodge that kind of thing, it’s a ninja. Those guys only need a stick, so that bear’s destined to become a rug.
Who’s your favourite character from any book, film or telly show?
I think it has to be either Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly), or Richard Castle (Castle). You can probably detect a Nathan Fillion theme going on here, because that man is a genius.
When did you go to the toilet last? Number one or two?
I am struggling to believe this is a question that anyone wants answered. Unless you are secretly Gillain McKeith in a Ryan Bracha mask.
What’s your favourite band/artist?
Muse and Globus. The former most people have heard of. Globus are an epic rock band that take film scores and turn them into pop songs – something like 120 piece orchestra with a 60 piece choir (might be the other way around), then a load of drummers, bassists, guitarists, pianists and guest vocalists.
If you get dead famous are you gonna be a wanker?
‘Course not. I’m going to be a lovely, kind, genuine human being. Maybe I’ll be a wanker on weekends.
What’s more important in an eatery? Good beer or good food?
Good food, definitely. More importantly, good desserts. Seems like it’s not hard for a decent chef to put together a good burger, but after that I want a huge pile of ice cream with all the toppings, or the best cake in the world, and you don’t get that many places.
What’s next for Rewan Tremethick?
To be honest, I’m probably going to have a biscuit.
Rewan (not pronounced ‘Rowan’ Tremethick is a British author who was named after a saint. St Ruan was invulnerable to wolves; Rewan isn’t. Rewan is a fan of clever plots, strong woman who don’t have to be described using words like ‘feisty’, and epic music. He has dabbled in stand-up comedy, radio presenting, and writing sentences without trying to make a joke. He balances his desire to write something meaningful by wearing extremely tight jeans.
Fallen on Good Times
Fairy tales are warnings. Legend is history. Monsters are real.
Paranormal detective Laslo Kane learned this truth the hard way. He’s had enough of the supernatural trying to kill him, but his latest job offer could provide him with a way out. A desperate investor has come to him for help investigating the murder of his business partner, and the money he is offering could change Laslo’s life forever.
It quickly becomes apparent that the killing is just one of several and that they are all linked. Laslo must follow the trail, even though he knows exactly where it ends: the mob.
Fallen on Good Times is released in Paperback and on Kindle on the 31st of May. Visit www.rewantremethick.com/fallen-on-good-times-novel to sign up and get chapters 1-3 for free.
|Posted by ryanbracha on May 27, 2014 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
Now then shit bags. I'm Jeremy Bracsman, the most feared interviewer this side of Jeremy Paxman. I ask the questions nobody else dare. I ask the important stuff. If you don't like my in-your-face style then you can go and take your fucking face for a shit. Anyway, my first interviewee is one Craig Furchtenicht. He's the author of one of my favourite indie-published novels, Dimebag Bandits. He's also written and released two horror/bizarro collections, in The Blue Dress Paradigm, and Night Speed Zero. The links for all of those will be around here somewhere. Now, enjoy!
Bracsman Vs... Craig Furchtenicht
Craig Furchtenicht, the man who can, tell me about yourself.
I live in Iowa with my beautiful wife, Henrietta. Our humble abode if located about 10 miles from Iowa City, where we work at a large toothbrush manufacturing facility. When I'm not slaving away to preserve the oral hygiene of the world or maintaining my 5 acre slice of heaven, I am busy converting the crazy thoughts in my head into written words. My work may never be seen by the masses, but I hope to psychologically scar as many minds as possible along the way.
Why should I buy your books and not Misty Crackersnatch’s Tales of Gerry the Fucked-up Hobo with a Gimpy Leg?
Although the Misty Crackersnatch thing sounds appealing enough, I would wager my left nut that it is as predictable as every other gimpy-legged hobo book you have ever read. You will find my writing to be anything but predictable. If somebody ends up maimed or crippled in my books, I guarantee that it will be done in an in-your-face fashion that will leave your teeth aching for more.
Where do your bizarre short story ideas come from you sick fuck?
I was a “latch-key” child growing up. I watched a lot of television after school while my parents were still at work. Time in front of the old idiot box kick started my over-active imagination. Some of my ideas come from quietly listening to the ramblings of the people around me. I believe in the principal that every good lie contains at least a sliver of truth to it. My stories are just well orchestrated lies in written form. I also get a lot of inspiration from my wife. We will be talking and she will say, “Why don't you write about a killer and his toilet paper.” or something off the cuff like that. Sometimes I think she just throws random ideas just to see how far I will take them. It's a strange dynamic but it works.
Your novel Dimebag Bandits was one of my favourites to come out of 2013, how the fuck are you gonna keep me entertained to that level next time?
I am grinding away at the follow-up to DBB right now. It basically picks up right where the last book left off. I hope to maintain the same level of violence and offensive dialogue at a pace equal to the first novel. I will never skimp on profanity or gratuitous violence for the sake of conformity. You will either love it or close the book with your panties in a wad.
Sleeping: Undies , pyjamas or the birthday suit? Why?
Usually I sleep in my skivvies. Keeps me cool enough and leaves me a good place to rest my hand down the front of them while I’m sleeping.
I prefer birthday suit, it lets the old lad downstairs air in the night. Anyway, who’d win in a fight between you and your postman?
My dad is a retired mailman so I know all of their tricks. They appear to move slower than they really are and carry pepper-based dog spray in their vehicles. My mailman is pushing 70 so I know I could kick his ass. It's just a matter of sneaking up from behind and catching the old bastard by surprise. A Gracie-style choke hold followed by a few well placed blows to his arthritic spine and it's game over.
If you found a suitcase full of money that you knew was from a dead gangster would you keep it if nobody saw you take it?
Hell yeah, I'd take it. Then I'd start digging for the dead dude that had it before me. Not sure what I'd do with the body, but it would have the makings for a great story.
How much would it take for Baz Lurhmann to buy the rights to turn your novel into a musical starring Sylvester Stallone with the cast of Glee doing most of the numbers?
Not as much as one would think. The price tag would probably be along the lines of say a few grand, front row tickets (for the entire tour) and a guaranteed role as Virge the Perv.
What are your thoughts when you do one of those shits that just disappears from the bowl?
My first instinct is to check the pants bunched up around my ankles. Never know, I might have missed the bowl entirely. Then I feel cheated. Kinda like watching the Under the Dome mini-series on tv after reading the book by Stephen King. All the while you're thinking that it started out like okay but somehow the ending got all fucked up. Either way, it's better than looking in the bowl after wards and saying, “I don't remember eating corn.”
Who’s your favourite band/artist?
Like my reading, my taste in ear candy doesn't bind me to one specific genre. I spent my youth jamming to mostly heavy metal and hard rock, but I will listen to anything but country or gospel. If I have to pick one fav it would definitely be Queensryche. Operation Mindcrime was by far the best rock opera ever produced.
How many languages can you swear in? Mine is about 4.
I work with a very diverse group of people so I have been privy to many a foreign-tongued swear words. Spanish, German, Czech, Loa and Vietnamese. It took me about ten years to realize that the Vietnamese were addressing me by saying “mother fucker” at the beginning of every sentence. Until then I thought “Du Ma” (sp?) meant sir.
Can you chew your own toenails straight from the toe?
Not a chance. Do I look like Ron Jeremy to you?
What line did you use to get your good lady wife to go out with you? Was it ‘You smell nice, have you been jogging?’
No, it was more like Kyle Reese in the original Terminator flick. “Come with me if you want to live.”
What’s the ultimate dream for Craig Furchtenicht?
My ultimate dream is to be able to write full time, giving me the ability to call in to work and tell them I'm too rich to come in today. I would love to see how badly Hollywood could mangle Dimebag Bandits into a box office smash. That and world domination.
What’s next up for Craig Furchtenicht?
I am currently working on the follow-up to DBB. It is tentatively titled Behind the Eightball. I am also thinking of throwing a novella in the mix. bringing back some of the characters from DBB that were thought to be lost forever. Then I will bury the Cedar Ridge crew for good and go off in an entirely different direction. I have a few ideas floating around. Just need the time to scoop them off of the surface and slap them on paper.
The Craig Furchtenicht Bio:
My first novel, "Dimebag Bandits", was published last year and I am currently working on the follow up to it. The second work also takes place in Iowa, mainly in the fictional towns of Cameron and Cedar Ridge.
Most of the ideas for my books come from past personal experience, both good and bad. Many revolve around extreme situations involving recreational drug use and the violence that accompanies them. I do not condone these activities, but god only knows that without my years of mispent youth I would not have the material to fill my pages today.
I also write short story collections that lean towards the horror/bizarro genre. These works include "The Blue Dress Paradigm" and the upcoming "Night Speed Zero". All of which can be found on Amazon.com
|Posted by ryanbracha on May 16, 2014 at 2:35 PM||comments (0)|
Broken River Books head honcho J. David Osborne is a writer that intrigues me. His extremely strong online presence has caught my eye on several occasions, not to mention the absolute works of art that are the covers of the books his imprint puts out. So when Our Blood in its Blind Circuit was available as a special offer I took the plunge and downloaded it to see what depths of darkness this intriguing mind was capable of creating, and whether it was a case of severe style over substance. Take it from me, it’s dark as hell, and this confident writer more than fulfils the promise that the phenomenal imagery of the cover makes.
It’s a series of shorts and flash fiction that have been available in other places at some point over the last few years, and have now been collected and turn into a genre straddling, surrealist and nightmarish anthology which demonstrates exactly how talented a writer Osborne is. His stories are thick with descriptive prose that drips from the page, slithers up into your eyeballs and feasts on your mind, spitting out pitch black imagery and tortured souls that stay with you long after your window to their world slams shut.
The stand out tales for me, by an absolute mile were ‘Amends Due, West of Glorieta’, ‘Cash on the Side’, ‘The Thick Fog of the Alabaster Mountains’, and ‘Three Theories on the Murder of John Wily’. On the strength of this collection I will certainly be taking another venture into the twisted imagination of J. David Osborne, and you really ought to do the same yourself. Highly recommended reading.
You can buy this book here
|Posted by ryanbracha on May 16, 2014 at 2:05 PM||comments (0)|
Last month, I was invited to take part in something a bit new by Gerard Brennan, along with fellow authors and friends, Keith and Mark. It was a bit of an interview relay, whereby we would each ask a question to everybody else, just to see what makes the others tick, and to generally get some shit off of our minds. Here's how it went.
GB - Keith: You're an active reviewer on Big Al's Books and Pals and CrimeFiction Lover; what have you learned from the experience?
KN - The two sites have a different focus - Al's is on self and indie published books, whereas typically (but not exclusively) CFL is on larger, more established authors and publishers.
It's hard to find good writers, I mean really good ones, skilled in their craft. There's a huge number of books out there, and more being added every day. Of the self publish stuff I see about 10% are top notch.
The indie published authors have already been in effect filtered and generally they are of a higher quality - they have a contract for a reason.
Having a traditional publisher contract doesn't guarantee the reader is going to pick up any better books, however. I don't suddenly find a huge step up over at CFL, for instance.
Finally, unless you're a major name like Ian Rankin, visibility is key.
KN - So Bracha, name the three best and one worst decision that has meant the most to your success as an author?
RB - Good question that. The best three decisions... Okay, first and foremost has been the decision to do everything myself. I've learned to create cover art, edit, publish and market it to my own standards, so if any part fails it's on me. If it's a success I get to congratulate myself. Plus it means everything I do is cost free, ensuring maximum return on investment, which goes only to me. Or the wife. Which is nice.
Second one, um, I suppose it lays with my decision to never revise my work other than for continuity issues or typos. It gives me a chance to hammer the work out and get promoting it. I reckon I've done well so far, in that the work has been greatly received and performed far higher than I ever hoped. The longer it goes on though, the more the expectation that the bubble's gonna burst with the next book when it turns out to be utter garbage.
The third one is to know when to take advice. I've been known to think I know it all, but with my writing I'm always happy to learn from more experienced hands and apply it to my increasing arsenal of skills and knowledge. It's been a huge case of slowly slowly catchy monkey. I want to make a real success of myself in the literary arena. The worst decision I made was to ignore my wife the first ten times she told me to self publish. I could be a year more experienced if I'd listened to her!
RB - Mr Wilson, your 4 main works of fiction have been 4 vastly different genres, each with various influences. Which one taught you the most about your art and why?
MW - In all honesty I only began to feel like I was becoming a competent writer by my third book, Head Boy. By the end of it I reckoned I was developing enough to start thinking of myself as a writer. Writing from the mindset of a sadistic sociopath brought me right out of my literary shell.
MW - Question for Gerry: For a writer who sets his books in Northern Ireland, you do a good job of focusing on issues that don't directly involve the sectarian aspect of the region. Ever feel like shining a literary light on any experiences you'll have had of this?
GB - Most of my Troubles experiences are now blurry memories. I remember British soldiers who emerged from a graveyard next to our house in Warrenpoint in the eighties at regular intervals. I remember being searched by prison guards at Long Kesh prison when I visited family members at the ripe old age of 6. I remember my mother handing her handbag over to security guards at the front door of Castlecourt Shopping Centre in Belfast and wondering why they were allowed to poke around in there when I wasn't. But there's also a stock-pile of primary and secondary source Troubles stories in my memory banks from lips lubricated by liquor; mostly from a Republican perspective.
It took a long time to get everything almost straight in my immature brain. And I'm one of the lucky ones. I was shielded by a lot of the shite by my father and his decision to raise his family outside of Belfast. I was still aware of the conflict and the roles that people I knew played in it, but those aren't my stories. I think if I wrote about the Troubles (and I probably will) it would be with the intention to explain my own opinions and experiences to my children, who will have as many questions as I had as they grow up. I just don't know when will be the best time to do that. I think I need a little more distance first. Until then, it'll remain peripheral to my work.
GB - Ryan: One of the things we seem to have in common is a pretty eclectic taste in music, at least according to the Facebook updates you've written that have caught my eye. Do you draw on music for inspiration in your writing? And do you listen to music when you write?
RB - Most definitely, is the answer to your first question. Music is one of my truest passions, and yeah I do consider my tastes eclectic. I love that feeling you get when you hear a band or artist for the first time and you just instantly know that you've found something that's gonna be with you forever, and then seeing it performed live is another level altogether.
As far as influences go, yeah, I take a fair bit of influence from artists who stretch themselves, and don't play it safe to compromise what they're trying to say. Scroobius Pip is one such artist. Or Beck, I love how he changes direction with every release. I like instrumental music to write to, because I find myself sidetracked by singing along otherwise! The soundtrack to Amelie, by Yann Tiersenn is a consistent favourite in the headphones when I'm tapping away.
RB - Keef! We're all authors who set our books particularly local to ourselves, as I'm sure most are, what is it about Margate that inspires you to set you work there?
KN - Ok several reasons. One is write about what you know. Margate is on my doorstep. But the biggest factor was the backdrop, ie a once successful town gone to seed, suited the narrative and characters.
KN - Wilson, you've produced work across a wide range of genres - memoir to superhero thriller to crime to dystopian. Are you a restless writer?
MW - Restless is a good way to describe my head, so, yes I suppose. I'm a bit of a slut to my brain's whims. The business side of my brain wants to pick a genre and stick to it. The writer part just wants to go with whatever story is tugging at my literary knickers. I can't sleep until I empty my head so I just crack on. I don't really think about what genre a particular book fits into until I'm about half way through the manuscript, then I start marketing to that genre and the business brain lets out a long fart of released tension.
In all honesty, despite the obvious benefits of sticking with a genre or style of writing, I don't think I'll ever be able to stay faithful to one. I'm quite happy to be a genre-tart.
MW - Bracha: More than once I've seen comments (and made them) noting your very 'Scottish' writing style. Even in your books that lack Scottish characters, a very Celtic humour and tone comes through. Explain yourself.
RB - I dunno mate. Maybe it's the Scots who have a very Bracha humour and tone? Nah, it's just the way I've always written, I think I've told this story before, but when I first started writing Strangers, I would hand out the first few chapters to anybody that would take them, and one fella who read it handed me a novel saying I'd probably enjoy the writing, based on my style, and it took me months to finally read it. It was Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs by Irvine Welsh and it blew me away. Superior to mine without a doubt, but it set me on course for a love affair with Scottish writing that shows no sign of abating, and has no doubt filtered into my own writing. I completely associate with the total disregard for convention, the foul mouthed humour and sometimes inhuman ability to be inventive with the language that the best Scots have. The short answer, though, is I dunno.
RB - Brennan: If you were stuck in the Andes with your characters, which would you eat first? Which would you kill in a fit of fury? And which would you be happy to chill out and shoot the shit with?
GB - Right; eat, kill, shoot the shit... I'll pick WEE ROCKETS as the basis for the answer since (judging by sales and reviews) it's my most popular book. So, I'd probably eat Liam Greene, as he's the meatiest and he deserves it. Feckin' parasite. I'd probably kill Joe Phillips in a fit of rage, because he's pretty gormless and frustrating. He's not a bad lad, really, but I know how irritable I can get when things are going good. Put me on the Andes with no food, you better not break wind. And for shooting the shit, it has to be Wee Danny Gibson. He's the most likely to have remembered to pack a carry out and he's pretty funny. I should point out, that in my mind, these kids aren't 14 years old anymore. They're almost 20 now. That makes me a little less creepy, right?
GB - Mark.... I imagine it took a lot of courage to write Paddy's Daddy. Reading the dedication alone almost broke my heart. How do you feel about your son reading this book in the future? I ask because I'm playing with a similar idea myself and I'm a bit scared of it.
MW - Good question Gerry.
I thought about that a lot in the months after I published the autobiography. Spent a lot of time worrying that my son would be disappointed when he grew up and realised his da' isn't who he thought he was. Two things happened to take that worry away. First I realised that every son gets to a point when they lose their illusions about the hero dad they believe in, and then they grow up and hopefully reconnect in a different way.
Secondly, I spoke to my wife about it and she pointed out that I was forgetting who the boy is.
He's only five but is a very self assured, confident, empathetic and funny as fuck wee dude. Seriously, my five year old is the best man I know. My Mrs reminded me of that and asked me what I thought Paddy's reaction would be when he was a grown man and understood the childhood I'd had and the resulting problems that followed.
Simple answer. He'll be well proud of his old man for changing his life for his kids.
KN - Where the fuck did Fireproof come from? Quite different to your other books - religion, God and the devil none of which figures elsewhere…
GB – I’m actually surprised that this is the first time I’ve been asked this question. The answer’s pretty simple, though. FIREPROOF was published after WEE ROCKETS, but it was actually written before. Back then (about 2006, I think – other books were written and abandoned back in my earlier writing days and I didn’t keep date records), I considered myself a horror writer rather than a crime writer. But then I realised that I was actually better at writing crime. However, Al Guthrie, once my agent and now my publisher via Blasted Heath, thought that FIREPROOF was a decent read when I showed it to him. It needed work, of course, and Al helped me with that. Al’s input and reassurance made me realise that the book was a lot better than I’d originally thought.
The next thing was to decide whether or not to release it under a pseudonym, even an obvious one, like how the late, great Iain Banks put an ‘M’ in the middle of his name to denote when he’d switched to science fiction. My middle name happens to begin with an M as well, but I’d have gone with something a tad more original. However, after some thought, it seemed like I’d be making work for myself by trying to handle two writing careers side by side. So I let it come out under my name and waited to see if anybody called me on it. Two years later, and you’re the first to do that…
But yeah, why a supernatural book that’s heavy on religious and social piss-taking? It was just good fun to write, to be honest. I’ll return to that universe some time soon, I hope, because there are readers who prefer it to my other stuff and I think it’d still be fun to just let my imagination and mischief run riot again. But I’ve a bunch of crime stuff lined up first.
RB - (Round-up question) So the film or TV show of one of your books has been made, and the opening credits are rolling, I don't care who made it or who's in it. What's the song that's playing over those credits? For me, I'm choosing Prodigy, Invaders Must Die for PAUL CARTER IS A DEAD MAN. Might be a bit obvious but it's frantic enough to cover that opening scene.
GB - I'm going with Thin Line by HoneyHoney to open BREAKING POINT.
KN - Flyswatter by The Eels for THE FIX.
MW - I'm having Brasco by Hopeless Heroic for dEaDINBURGH.
|Posted by ryanbracha on May 16, 2014 at 2:00 PM||comments (0)|
"Things in life ain't always quite what they seem, there's more than one given angle to any one given scene..."
That lyric's from a quite awesome track by a quite awesome act, and it's about not taking situations at face value, that there might be unknown acts by whoever which can often have horrifying consequences. It's also what this tale by Ignatious Doode set me in mind of.
It starts with Hannah, a woman trapped in a terminally dull marriage by a husband that takes her for granted, and their young daughter. By chance she meets the single mum of one of her daughter's friends, the vibrant and overtly sexual Sarah. The pair hit it off in several ways, unbeknownst to Hannah's husband Gary, who himself begins to sniff around pastures new. The whole episode brings into their lives a host of characters, stories and tragedy, largely due to the one man tornado that is the psychotic Jason, an injury lawyer with a penchant for violent and sexual retribution.
So let's have some words about what I thought eh?
I liked it, and I liked it a lot, with only a couple of buts. It's the classic device of several lives and stories intertwined, sometimes bumping gently against one another, sometimes one crashing literally head on into another. The author handles it superbly, not one strand is left dangling from the literary jumper that Ignatious Doode masterfully knits from a ball of sexual wool. The character of Jason commits some truly atrocious acts throughout the book and this drove me more than anything, to see who, and what would cause his inevitable demise, and although the acts in themselves are horrific, they never feel gratuitous or forced. Also the bonds between some of the characters feel excellent as the naive fall into the grips of predators.
So the couple of small buts then. There's sex. A lot of it. I'm not averse to it at all, and the author handles it remarkably, again knowing how to rein it in when other less skilled hands might drag it through a puddle of gratuity, but I felt the sex might have stopped me getting to know some of the characters a little more, which was my other but. I am a characters man, I love good characters above all else, this is purely a taste thing, and the introduction of sex as a way to show what kind of person I was dealing with became a minor irritation by the time I met Jasmine, as I say, it's written well but that was a case of personal preference.
Anyway, as an introduction to Ignatious Doode's work it was superb, well written, fearless, and held nothing back. I'll be picking up his other book, and keeping my eye out for more from an extremely promising author.
You can get this book here
|Posted by ryanbracha on May 16, 2014 at 2:00 PM||comments (0)|
I picked this up when free, and it came recommended from some respectable places. I'm not entirely sure what to say about it, but I'll do my best.
It's a sequel, of sorts, but I was assured would be easily pick-up-able as a standalone book, and it is. It's a series of fictional review-cum-vignettes written by the population of a village of simpletons, each of whom believes themselves to be the smartest tool in a box of very blunt tools. The reviews are of items tenuously linked to each vignette, and each as each reviewer takes a turn, you see that everybody is in some way to blame for another's misfortune.
Okay, so the device is excellent, and applaudably original. I'm yet to see another book like this, and I can see why it is such a popular item. Sortwell has come up with a quality idea, and huge kudos for him for that.
My issue comes with the content, and it's down to a personal preference thing rather than anything that the author has done wrong. The humour is far too gentle for my tastes, aside from a few glimpses of innuendo, which prevented me from cracking much more than an occasional smile. The thing I could compare it to most, is the sort of eighties children's TV which had subtle dirty jokes that only adults could get. TV like Dangermouse, or Rainbow. So, apologies to the author for only 3 stars. If it had been pitch black in humour and content then it would have been five stars. As it is, however, it's just the 3. Excellent format, but personally I'd prefer the content a bit riskier.
You can get this book here