All my Real-Time Reviews are linked from here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/df-lewis-real-time-reviews/
RAIN DOGS by Gary McMahon
Ever since publishing stories by Gary McMahon in ‘Nemonymous’ in 2004 and 2005, I’ve been a fan of his writing. But I approached his first novel with trepidation to see if he could transfer his undoubted skills in the short form towards the longer…. I should have had no such fears. Not those fears anyway.
I wrote this out for myself about RAIN DOGS when only up to Chapter 9 of this novel:-
…savouring each moment of driving, compulsive destiny (a heightened physical (sexual) and spiritual (spectral) destiny) – hubris and nemesis – amid the relentless raining of words (sharp-edged cliches of fiction as well as startlingly original phrases in a symbiosis of both modernity and timelessness).
How pretentious of me! But never mind, it’s all still true. In fact, Gary McMahon writes in his Afterword: “I wanted my debut novel to be a simple story told in a simple manner, with no clever post-modern tricks or literary pyrotechnics.” Let me tell you, in that, he succeeded and failed, respectively, in the best possible way!
This book is the optimum of body and contents – a beautiful book in itself – and it is a tragedy that its publisher Humdrumming has recently been subjected to the Financial Meltdown – its form as a book-in-itself absolutely perfect for the novel of teeming words it contains – an aesthetic whole that should be on sale in all the shops – and indeed is a better popular-style, simply better written novel than most novels that are currently being sold on the mass market, I’m sure. It would be a genuine best-seller in different circumstances, if the luck had run with McMahon and his dogs. It still might. It deserves to do so.
There are touches of life in this novel that startle as YES,THAT’S A WONDERFUL SLANT ON LIFE THESE DAYS. Little snippets that tease and lead. Formed from the rain of words like angels and monsters. It conveys life as it is now, its hard survivals, mental and physical abuses, beautifully drawn believable characters, and inherent real and supernatural fears that most of us blot out…fears that are now in direct current socket to socket from author to reader … and (supernaturally?) back again!!
It has horror and beauty as one. Optimistic by being so utterly pessimistic.
It is a Metaphor for the Meltdown.