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SethLynch

SethLynch

Currently reading

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Philip K. Dick
Hothouse
Brian Wilson Aldiss
Hierarchy of Needs: A Theory of Human Motivation
Abraham Maslow

Dig Ten Graves

Dig Ten Graves - Heath Lowrance Dig Ten Graves is a short story collection. There are eleven of them. The eleventh is a bonus track – not really a part of the collection. It’s a good story though so I’m glad it was included. I think that, currently, Dig Ten Graves is only available in e-book format.I read the first few graves in late July. Then I went through some edits on Salazar and put it on hold. I cam back to it in September and read all the rest. This is the kind of book I would have loved in my late-teens/early twenties, when I was filling my head with Camus, Kerouac, and Colin Wilson. I loved it now – I just don’t have the same set of friends around to share it with. Except you, I didn’t mean to forget you. If only we were in a field late at night watching out for shooting stars, with no work in the morning (because we don’t work). I’d be filling you head with how good with of these stories are. My thumbed and scribbled copy (e-books didn’t exist) would be in your coat pocket. And, even though I’ve already recited each tale in turn, you will go home and read it from cover-to-cover: so tomorrow you can recite each tale back to me. Our copies of The Bastard Hand having been devoured months ago.Each short story, grave, has a death in there somewhere. They grow darker as you delve deeper in to the book, upping the dose to keep you high. These tales, full of dark humour, could have come straight from the writing shed of Roald Dahl – perhaps after he’s spent a night drinking wine with Kafka. This is the Roald Dahl of Tales of the Unexpected. Dark stories – not all with a twist at the end: a few start off pretty twisted. I’d never thought of Dahl as being a noir writer before, but I do now. These books aren’t for children (neither are Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected) but I think I’d like to read a children’s story by Lowrance: with all the sinister undercurrents of James and The Giant Peach, or Matilda.I’ve been avoiding talking about the graces themselves, deliberately. I don’t like to talk about the plots of the novels I review, in case I spoil them. As these are short stories I can’t even hint too much. There is a nice one (which reminded my of The Magic Finger, and is where I first picked up the Dahl theme) where the hunter becomes the hunted. This is echoed much later in The Bad Little Pet. There are some great lines too, here’s my favourite: It lay dead in the tub, already seeming to go stiff, like a snakeskin or a used condom.These stories would have inspired André Breton. They are full of dark surreal images, a delving into the subconscious desires of man. He would have loved the humour, the gallows humour, the weak laugh into the face of the abyss, is what surrealism was all about. I have a short anthology of Humour Noir by Breton, these stories would have been given a honourable mention had Breton been writing it today.I read a story a night, and wished there were more. I’ve downloaded That Dammed Coyote Hill, to get my fix. I’ll leave it a while first. I’m part way through another collection: The Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles. by Edward A. Grainger. It’s a book I downloaded after reading a blog post about it on Heath Lowrance’s blog. I warn you now – if you head over to Heath’s blog at Psycho Noir don’t read his book recommendations or his series on noir through time – it’ll cost you a pretty penny. If you are wiser than me, you’ll print of the posts and keep them in your pocket ready to pull out each time you enter a second-hand bookshop.If you decide to buy this book you could ask Heath for a Kindlegraph.