Re: RARA-AVIS: Themes of the Months

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 04 Aug 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "Joy Matkowski" <>

> Colin, you are so right about Derek Raymond and his books. _He Died With
> Eyes Open_ is stunning and, as you say, compassionate. He's got a
> comprehending heart for all of humanity, and even the most tangential
> character has a defining and individuating phrase or sentence. I liked the
> book so much that instead of next reading another new-to-me British author
> opened _The Crust on Its Uppers._ Unless somebody gives me a pep talk, I'm
> going to put it aside at page 21. It's written 20 years earlier. It's full
> of rhyming slang, past what even the glossary could help, which gets
> fast.

HE DIED WITH HIS EYES OPEN had the same effect on me when I read it last month. I subsequently read I WAS DORA SUAREZ, which plumbs the underbelly of humanity and, unamazingly, finds a sewage system (DORA is probably more famous because of the perversion featured therein, but although I thought it
[the book, not the perversion] was excellent, I didn't enjoy it as much). Recently I finished "DEAD MAN UPRIGHT", a quite magnificently convincing portrayal of a serial killer.


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