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.

The Big Sleep  and Other Novels - Raymond Chandler The breezy urban dystopia and edgy venacular of Marlowe's world is full of dark vitality - a kind of human energy that lurks beneath the punks and wise guys bravados. There is something here that most modern crime writers lack in spades: while Chandler certainly writes a good plot, he reveals it through the characters with such subtlety and irony. Marlowe is as tough as nails, and as smart as a cuban heal, but he is very human on the page, not a plot device, a fully functioning textual human being. It's worth the read just to see that happening, and also to see how the words can summon the shade of Bogart so effortlessly...

Perhaps even superior to 'The Big Sleep', 'Farewell My Lovely' once again Chandler delivers on every level - engaging plot with the requisite twists and turns, great characters - sometimes larger than life, but always still somehow clinging to it - and a voice that makes for some real edge and dark comedy. even some of the noir situations that have become cliche seem fresh with Chandler doing it. Great to have a tough-guy protagonist who is vulnerably human, and being as untouched by political correctness as only a 30s man could be...

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