There is another world, but it is in this one.

Paul Eluard. Œuvres complètes, vol. 1, Gallimard, 1968.

Friday, March 30, 2018

The writhing of something nailed down and in torment: Clock Without Hands by Gerald Kersh (1949)

If you only have time for one Gerald Kersh book, make it Clock Without Hands (1949) from Valancourt Books.

It contains 3 brilliant novellas.

"Clock Without Hands" tells the story of a landlord who expects to be star witness at a murder trial when one of his tenants is murdered. When he is robbed of this shot at fame, other plans must be laid.

"Flight to the World's End" is about an orphan in an orphanage, overwhelmed by emotional isolation of his existence and the mercilessly arbitrary decisions of adults controlling his destiny.

"Fairy Gold" is a masterpiece.

A virulent practical joke dupes a young couple surviving on £4 a week  into thinking they've inherited £103,751 6s. 8d.

Over a sweltering bank holiday weekend they decide to cash a £20 check with a local tout. The career of that kited check, its voyage hand to hand, as well as the sorrows and miseries of the couple, accumulate incidents of a picaresque masterpiece.

30 March 2018

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