This past week I finished reading Harry Crews’ The Scar Lover. I haven’t made the time to write a formal review, but rereading this novel only confirmed why I like Harry Crews. He’s sort of a godfather of weirdo lit, a mix of Southern Gothic and the anarchy of The Sex Pistols.
The Scar Lover is about Pete Butcher, an ex-Marine who has just moved into a boarding house. A loner, he’s bent on escaping himself, and a strange past: Always lingering and tormenting him is the guilt he feels about accidentally disabling his younger brother, bashing him in the brain with the claws of a hammer. The action of the novel serves to lead Butcher to redeem himself and eventually become his brother’s keeper.
It’s the action of the novel that puts you into Crews’ gnarled world. At one point Butcher throws an old man into an alligator pit at a zoo — the alligators are too listless to snack. The chief action of the story involves an adventure with a pair of Rastafarians to reclaim a corpse from a funeral home, because the deceased in his will wants to be cremated via funeral pyre.
As I say, whacky stuff. Check Crews out.
A Reverse Metamorphosis, of Sorts
Well, my craving to sink my teeth into some creative nonfiction was sidetracked by the arrival via Bookmooch of Daniel Evan Weiss’ novel The Roaches Have No King, something of a reverse Metamorphosis, in which a band of intelligent roaches observes the lives of humans and try to manipulate them in order to survive. I’m about halfway through the novel.
Sorry this is a day late: Lunch called and I scurried to feed my belly; the humans I live with then decided to run errands and took me with them. So no further adventures on the Web for Sunday. Anyhow, good reading to all.