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.

Candy - Luke Davies An engaging, darkly humourous and appropriately fragmented story that holds its own in the youth-drug-culture genre, but manages to do more. We get an account of humanity under the influence of forces that it cannot understand and deal with adequately. It makes some very flawed and bitter and beautiful observations about all of us, how we aspire and how we exist in ourselves and with others.

The weakest parts are the italicised 'truth' segments of prose poetry where you end up getting impatient waiting for the characters to come back on stage.

I enjoyed an interesting ironic tension that developed through Candy and the narrator's relationship. You feel sympathy for them, and you want them to be together, and yet you realise pretty soon that the heroin is te thing keeping them together, so when they're tying to kick, in a perverse way, you celebrate thir failure, so that you can further enjoy them.

The sex is written well, apart from the occasional jarring expression, such as 'down there' as a vaginal description when things are really heavy and throbbing. Otherwise, it's dirty and harsh when it should be, and touching and beautiful when not. Althogh how you could manage to have the concentration to do that while giving the finger to a police helicopter I will never know...

Currently reading

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The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
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