Jeremy Reed is a British poet, writer, translator and iconoclast who began publishing poems in magazines and small publications in the 1970s. His influences include Rimbaud, Artaud, Jean Genet, J.G. Ballard, David Bowie and Iain Sinclair. Though he is not as familiar in the US as he is n Europe, this latest novel HERE COMES THE NICE may just bring enough attention to his talents that more aficionados of that fascinating aspect of British culture that started the 1970s Mod culture in clothing, music, and human behavior will support his work. He is a fascinating writer with a writing style so dense with cultural overlay and unique manipulation of language that at first the style overwhelms content - until the wise reader plunges into the story line: once the characters are delineated the richly colorful milieu in which they function becomes intoxicating. Opening this book provides a secret door to a time machine taking the reader back to the raw early gigs of the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Small Faces, and behind the scenes to a secret that will make the sixties live forever - somewhere.
The story is complex and has been distilled as follows: 'The Face came from out of nowhere - a self-regarding stylist like a rogue gene triggering the cultural acceleration of the sixties. The Stones had the notoriety, but the Face had the style. Cruising the Dilly or up on blues in Ham Yard, the Face was it. The Stones may keep rolling, but true Faces never die. Almost fifty years later, in an apocalyptic London whose urban maze is menaced by emotionally damaged veterans of a morally bankrupt war, Paul is researching the enigmatic designer John Stephen, Mod icon and inimitable king of Carnaby Street. When Paul experiences a time-slip, the two time-lines - present and sixties - begin to twist around each other like a DNA double helix. What is Paul's true relationship to the Face? Can the Face still be alive and unchanged in present day London? If the Face is real, does Paul's deepest identity lie in the present life he knows, or the lost past he dreams of?'
Jeremy Reed makes this quasi-science fiction/surreal time travel/recreation of an Era past accessible because of his innate knowledge of the 1960s--the clothes, the language, the sex, and the music. 'He doesn't shy from the queer side of mod culture and accurately portrays the legendary young bands as kids, both amateurish and brilliant. Either a critique of retro chic or its most extreme expression, this page-turner is a volume knob-turner as well.' Plan to spend quality time with this book as the period unfolds slowly but surely and it is at times easy to get lost in the sheer indulgence of the atmosphere. Jeremy Reed is a unique talent: perhaps with this recreation of the period all of America embraced once birthed in England there will develop a hunger for Reed's poetry. Grady Harp, January 12