A Cruel Man Delighting in Flowers

...the mildness to which men ... had yielded was only half of the intoxication of beauty, while the other half ... was of such surpassing and terrible cruelty—the most cruel of men delights himself with a flower—that beauty ... failed quickly of its effect... 

Hermann BrochThe Death of Virgil

 

Jeremy Davies is made of ink, but don’t dip a feather in him. It tickles. He once painted a fingernail black and no one really noticed. He was disappointed. He’s also an editor, a religious atheist, a liker of strong coffees, a Shakespeare-lover, a political anarchist and someone who rarely has a pen when he needs one. He has been a PhD candidate, a personal trainer, a life model, a bouncer, an infantry soldier and someone who rarely had a pen when he needed one. He has had words published in a variety of places, in a variety of publications, in a variety of forms, in a variety of moments: Canada, Wet Ink, SMS and twelve minutes past three in the afternoon being some of these. His first novel, 'Missing Presumed Undead', will be re-published by Satalyte Publishing in February 2014. A second is on its way.

American Gods - Neil Gaiman A strong sense of character and place carries this novel, if a rather PC-read on religion and religious practice generally and a meandering plot that shifts gears a little like an old mountain man in his beat up ’57 Chevy pickup, going up a steep track the morning after Sunday drinks.

In my ‘10th anniversary edition’ I learn that there’s around 15000 words included in this edition that were cut due to editorial advice. If I was offered due recompense for my time, I believe I could make the same cuts with around 95% accuracy, and you’d end up with a better read. There are periods where this book is very put-down-able, but the moments where it isn’t still make it worth the four stars.

I’m an atheist but one who has a healthy respect for the Abrahanics and there humanising project. They were given short shrift here, which no doubt annoyed many of these kinds of theists, butt hey should be used to it by now, perhaps. It would be nice if they could be dealt with a little more intelligently, as maybe could the highly tenuous modern-pagan-esque retake on the Eostre deal: on a genuine research level she should have been suiting up with the newbies…

But, like I say, you can forgive all that for Shadow and Wednesday and there hangers-on. They are fantastic inventions and well worth the gamble to read and the gambol to read.

Currently reading

Lyrical and Critical Essays
Albert Camus
The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
Harold Bloom
The Rebel (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Albert Camus