First up, a book. Long Pig is the latest Static Movement Press book I appear in, edited wonderfully well by Dorothy Davies. After some books I’ve read lately, it’s good to see an editor who knows her job. Anyway, as the title may give away, this is a book about cannibalism.
Man, is it graphic.
This is not a book for the faint of heart or the squeamish. Some of the stories are really quite graphic and you know exactly what’s going on. This is that form of horror often called the gross-out, but the stories are generally so well written that you get beyond that into some deep and dark psychological territory.
The book is book-ended by a pair of poems by Neil Lackman which are the perfect way to start and finish this book. In the bulk of the book I think there were only four pieces that I did not enjoy at least a little. Many of the works were also quite short, which meant very few over-stayed their welcome. So if you didn’t like a piece, it was over soon enough. I liked that about this book as well, because I can certainly see not every story being for every reader. So, it is a strong book, definitely worth a go.
But this book does bring to the fore something I have mentioned in a few other reviews – sometimes a topic does tend to overwhelm the stories, reducing the impact they might otherwise have had. So, in that regard, what I would recommend is that you read this in bursts, enjoy a few talks, go to something else, come back to this one.
It is to be devoured, like a bottle of fine Scotch whiskey, not chugged like a carton of beer.
But I would like to point out that there is a review of this book by Arthur Sanchez which is worth checking out, not least because he likes my story (‘Here’s One I Prepared Earlier’).
Next, a first for this blog – an album review. Australian Songs by Perfect Tripod has just been released. Featuring the vocal talents of Tripod, a comedy musical trio and Eddie Perfect, best known for Shane Warne: The Musical, this is an a cappella album. Essentially. A guitar makes an appearance at times, but it is when they allow their vocal harmonies to soar that this album really takes off.
Some of the songs are given such a beautiful make-over that Perfect Tripod make them their own. ‘Errol’, ‘Overkill’, ‘Meet Me In The Middle Of The Air’, ‘Little By Little’ are all almost perfect. But the stand-out track has to be their version of the Cold Chisel classic ‘Forever Now’.
Of course, not everything works – the comedy of ‘You’re The Voice’ falls a little flat, and there was something about ‘Oh Well That’s What You Get For Falling In Love With A Cowboy’ that just did not sit right. That’s not to say the comedy is unwelcome – it works superbly in ‘Reminiscing’. But, really, that’s just quibbling. Two songs I wasn’t that keen on out of 13 makes this one of the most satisfying albums I’ve bought in years.
Even now, as I’m typing this, ‘Errol’ is blaring out and my kids are listening to it and are starting to learn the words (something that would be difficult on the Australian Crawl version, let’s be honest here!) and joining in with the chorus. When a 6 and 8 year old like it as much as their 40+ year old dad, you know you have an album that hits the right chord with listeners.
I have been looking for an a cappella album for many years, and the ones I have found have been rather disappointing. Well, that gap in the collection is now filled. Great album. Buy it. You won’t be disappointed.
(I bought the so-called ‘signed copy’, by the way, and it wasn’t signed. That’s not the band’s fault, not at all, but be careful of the offers when you buy anything, I guess.)
EDIT: I got the signed cover today in the mail. Maybe this should be a warning to people like me to read the detailed description beforehand…
So there you go – two reviews for the price of one, and both really worth getting.