Here's what one reviewer said the story: "Another powerful, edgy, and raw piece, juxtaposing the seedier aspects of a man's depravity, with the stuff that matters more - the ability to make decisions on a higher plane. And in failing, suffers the consequences of what emerges from the lower plane (so to speak). This is another example of Smith's prime motif throughout the anthology."
I like that. I like dealing with the grittier aspects of life or at least allowing the characters to roam amidst the honest psychological landscape said aspects inspire; and, really, as always, it's not me allowing them, no no, it's the road they choose. My interests as channeled via them. Sure. I don't mind getting my hands and mind dirty. What? Yeah, okay, my mind is dirty in many ways, but here I am referencing gritty. C'mon! Life on the streets, baby.
Here's the link to the previous blog take on the story, lots of fun reading there.
One of my favorite sequences in all of my stories occurs in this story, when revelations are made yet not quite acknowledged, yet. Too bad for poor Trane, our main character, as he slips and slides through the dark alley existence ignoring guilt or his best intentions until it's too late, riding it all the way down to the blackest pit of horror imaginable. Well, okay, it's dark stuff, black as pitch, brother to the abyss, that kind of true darkness.
Otherwordly, too. Hmmm...
Here's that sequence, after Trane and The Sunglasses Girl have had sex, sex and more sex in his car, and he wants something more--"something more" being another prime motivation for many of my characters, not always for the best--and she shows him a hint.
A moment of revelation he chooses to ignore...
...because after that last paragraph, that one moment, he's so disorientated, well, his choices, as they've been for awhile, are not in his best interest. But as for her survival, his bad choices are what she's banking on.
Gave you a little more set-up before it all goes off the edge of the table, I hope you appreciated that. What? A quote from Eddie Van Halen, I think. He said that in an interview when talking about influences and saying Eric Clapton was a huge influence, and how he loved the way Clapton's guitar solos often sounded as if they had fallen off the edge of the table. What? Yeah, useless info, but I gotta let it out to play sometimes, y'know?
Also, one more note, the end of the story has a strong nod toward the movie, The Man With The X-Ray Eyes, starring Ray Milland and directed by Roger Corman. That and something Stephen King said in his book, Danse Macabre. He mentions movies and how at the end of this movie, the final line that they edited out was supposed to be, "I can still see." Which, under the circumstances of Milland's character, just having plucked out his eyes, is a widly disturbing image yet fraught with possiblities. That's where, well, when you read this story, remember that and when you get to the end, that was my mindset.
Here's some lovely links to buy the book, my friends. Don't be afraid, it won't bite. Well, it might nibble on your brain and make you squirm with discomfort or dread but, no, it won't really...bite.
Amazon Amazon UK Amazon Germany Amazon France B&N OmniLit Kobo and how about the Amazon reviews pages, eh?
And, yes, I will update the look of this blog at some point, probably more so when back in Rome which isn't toooooo far off! ;-)
As for a photo here, hmmm, how about a painting by the surrealist, Vladimir Kush, who does uniquely Kushesque art. If you look over all of his pieces, there's a tone, feel, there's that element that distinguishes it as his work and nobody elses; not dark, more playful, which I can appreciate, too. Here we have a pair of sunglasses...with the eyes captured within, something that could have saved Trane a lot of anguish, eh? What? Yeah, buy the book, find allll about what becomes of him, okay?!