3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Here's a taste of Malcolm Pryce's loopiness: "During my years as Aberystwyth's only private eye the client's chair had seen just about every type of backside there was..some hot with indignation and some cold with hate. But only one had a tail."
Pryce has welded a high level of daffiness to a Raymond-Chandler using and Chandler's overwrought prose. Ingredients in the mix include: Louie Knight, the Bogie-like private detective of a rundown Welsh seaside town (that such a town would have such a detective is a large part of the book's humor). A client who is an organgrinder's monkey with a knack for sign language, seeking her longlost son, Mr. Bojangles. Knight's lost love, Myfanway, a singer of such overwhelming power that she even has her own academic journal (The Journal of the Proceedings of the Myfanway Society). An evil mad genius, Mr. Brainbocs, whose plans include collecting the DNA of Jesus in order to clone him (Him?), bring him back from the dead, and make him perform miracles.
The effect is similar to that provided by Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, a parody-premise wed to a hallucinagenic comic imagination. You will feel positively oxygen-deprived if you spend too much time making sense of it, but it is pretty fun.
I found out too late, though, that this is the THIRD of Pryce's series featuring Louie Knight (the other two bear the promising titles "Aberystwyth Mon Amour" and "Last Tango in Aberystwyth"). The whole thing would have made a lot more sense to me if I had started at the beginning. On the other hand, I sense there are probably diminishing returns on this series - one may be all you want. Go seek out "Aberystwyth Mon Amour", which if more coherent might be worth 4 1/2 stars, but which might then reduce the present volume to a lower rating.
- Published on Amazon.com
In his third foray into the alter-Aberystwyth of his imagination, Pryce sends Louie Knight even deeper into the underbelly of Aberystwyth's dark side, into the Bed and Breakfast ghettos with the Toffee-Apple Dens, Tea-Cosy shops and sinister Druids lurking in every shadow. This instalment is quite dark, but also quite funny, and revolves around an organ grinder with amnesia, his monkey who is looking for her long-lost son, the solving of a 100 year-old crime that must be solved by the following week and the disappearance of his comatose girlfriend, Myfanwy.
As with the other, the plot is secondary to the bizarre world that is Pryce's Aberystwyth; a world that, at times, strangely reflects our own.