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

The Bastard Hand

The Bastard Hand - Heath Lowrance This is a seedy, dirty, book with enough bastards to populate a small town – which they do, Cuba Landing. Heath Lowrance gets disconcertedly into the mind of Charles Wesley, the mentally ill narrator, and takes us to some dark places. We start with muggings in Memphis and end up with beatings, shootings, and … and you’ll have to read it to find out what it escalates too.Wesley hooks up with a preacher and joins him on a trip to Cuba Landing. The preacher is taking over at the Free Baptist Church there. On first meeting the preacher we know little about him, except he likes smoking and drinking and most of all fucking. In fact he points out that it doesn’t really matter what he’s doing, if he had the option, he’d rather be fucking.Cuba landing is a small town with all the small town tensions. The women folk like to flirt with the new pastor. And it doesn’t take too long for him to get them into bed. He uses his pulpit to stir up trouble in the town. That trouble sees Wesley being drawn into plots to expose the preacher. Wesley keeps himself occupied by shacking up with the sister of the previous preacher whilst heading up to Memphis to rob crack house with a gang that mugged him early on. All these unlikely events are held together well through a neat, sparse, prose that kept me turning the pages – even when I should have been getting off the bus. Even when I should have been sleeping.I enjoyed this book from start to finish. There were no lapse in character voice or dialogue which brought me out of it. From the moment I started reading I was locked in. It must have taken a lot of planning and a lot of crafting to write this book – but none of that shows. The text flows with ease, at a good pace, through the sordid, desperate world of Charlie Wesley. I’m looking forward to reading more of his books as soon as he can write them.