'To begin before a beginning ...I was petrified of my life on earth. Not a common complaint, I grant. You see, it was not the After that got to me Before, it was the During: Before-life was fine; the After-life held promise, but as to that earthling period, no, it was simply not my sort of thing. Most of us feel that way, if only before the event. Then we forget. Deep down, I foresaw a saga of familial horror unfold...' Thus, the entire first Chapter. (The others are longer). This novel is an extraordinary tale that gains in tempo and intensity as it unfolds. The protagonist is on a phantasmagorical, roller-coaster journey in a brilliantly observed, often hilarious, theatrical and literary hothouse - while more sinister forces are at play in the background. He is high profile in this Celebrity-land but for him the sheen is wiped off his glamourous lifestyle by the deadly predations of his stepmother - the father figure is an erudite, megalomaniac emigre turning by degrees in an Old Fool. A mix of the factual and, when his dreams nearly overwhelm his mind, the surreal, readers are drawn into an outre reality and empathy with the hero-victim.
He has to deal with an idiosyncratic and often bruising cast: theatrical producers, casting directors and their orbiting starlets, egomaniac stars, vamps, shadowy manipulators, a Milord and Oxbridge don-manque who conflates modern language with firebrand oratory, an unreconstructed hippie whose vocabulary is a lexicon of 'Sixties argot, a striptease glamour-puss - an authoress whose intention is 'to write as long as she can take off her clothes' - these are but some of the volatile characters sparking off one another. Stylistically, the glowing prose is of the very best around. The author has an almost eerie capacity to describe how James Blotnitz, the protagonist, feels in times of tension, bewilderment, hate, and daydreaming. His is a finely balanced mental world. One passage, describing his stream of thought, with its incandescent flow of hate, contempt, and murderous loathing, is unique in style and intensity.
Caught up in the beat generation, retreating at times into his own very-private world of thought and fantasy, frustrated by his love for the woman his father, a famous literary agent, marries, tormented by the suspicion that his mother may have been murdered, we see the subject holding fast to his sanity as the cumulative tensions become unbearable. The story has a dramatic and unpredictable climax. It filled with deep understanding, literary fireworks and wit.
Publisher: Chanadon Publications Limited
Dimensions: 210 x 150 x 27 mm