terça-feira, abril 17, 1990

Coagulating Disgust: "I Was Dora Suarez" by Derek Raymond





(Original Review, 1990-04-17)


“He produced a big 9mm Quickhammer automatic with the tired ease of a conjurer showing off to a few girls and shlacked one into the chamber. He told Roatta: ‘Now I want you nice and still while all this is going on, Felix, because you’re going to make a terrible lot of mess.’
Roatta immediately screamed: ‘Wait! Wait!’ but his eyes were brighter than he was, and knew better. They had stopped moving before he did, because they could see there was nothing more profitable for them to look at, so instead they turned into a pair of dark, oily stones fixed on the last thing they would ever see – eternity in the barrel of a pistol. His ears were also straining with the intensity of a concert pianist for the first minute action inside the weapon as the killer’s finger tightened, because they knew that was the last sound they would ever heard. So in his last seconds of life, each of them arranged for him by his senses, Roatta sat waiting for the gun to explode with the rapt attention of an opera goer during a performance by his favourite star, leaning further and further forward in his chair until his existence was filled by, narrowed down to, and finally became the gun.”

In "I Was Dora Suarez" by Derek Raymond  



I've read most of the important stuff when it comes to Crime Fiction, and some of them are very disturbing in their way, but I'm not sure any of them can hold a candle to "I Was Dora Suarez", the fourth novel in Derek Raymond's Factory series.

Ostensibly, it's a detective novel, but the first fifty or so pages are the most gut-churning, flat-out disgusting thing I have ever read - allegedly, they made the publisher throw up over his desk when he read them. Chris Petit described it thus: “a book full of coagulating disgust and compassion for the world’s contamination, disease and mutilation, all dwelt on with a feverish, metaphysical intensity that recalls Donne and the Jacobeans more than any of Raymond’s contemporaries.”

Why do people read, or write, this kind of stuff? Why does anyone voluntarily invite hideous images into their minds? The few examples of this kind of stuff I have come across are still stuck in my memory, and pop out to cause a little bit of mental pain at random times. It's like some weird form of masochism.  

Not for me thanks. It's hard enough feeling good without that to contend with.

[2018 EDIT: I read it many eons years ago, and stuck with it to the bitter end, and I can honestly say that many years of baths and showers still haven't completely removed all traces of the horrible residue that it left behind. If you think Stephen King writes about horrific stuff, you don’t know the half of it…]