Re: RARA-AVIS: How The Dead Live (Derek Raymond not Will Self)

Date: 18 Feb 2008

Yes they are... Well that's only part of the answer. All of the Factory series are very well worth reading - my favourite is He Died With His Eyes Open. The next one to come out is I Was Dora Suarez which?completely lives up to its reputation as one of the most-upsetting and disturbing and emetic crime novels - I've not gone back to reread it, it's too hard. A State of Denmark is his dystopian political novel - it's ok, with?pre-echoes to my mind of Alan Moore's V For Vendetta, but not, in my view up to the Factory stuff. The Crust On Their Uppers is enjoyable, with its glossary of cockernee. I?was disappointed by Nightmare on the Streets, which had all the existential despair of his?London novels?but little flesh beyond that, it was either an unpublished typescript, or (as I have seen on?t' 'net) was published in France, where he enjoyed far greater acclaim than in the English speaking world. I've read a none factory crime novel too, Not Till The Red Fog Rises, which, again,
 ?was a little disappointing, with an unsatisfactory Nuclear spy plot tacked on...

I love Raymond, and think of him as something akin to Jim Thompson in?his?other-worldly mental world,?I find his work extraordinarily moving - often not?in a good way. If noir's motto is 'Everyone's F****d', Raymond's is everyone is F*****g F****d to F*****g oblivion and good F*****g riddance to them. You're right that it's only?loosely crime, and, as crime it's not even that good! But, I'm enthralled by them - there's lots of stuff on the net on him and if you see his memoir The Hidden Files, save a copy for me!

I do remember reading somewhere - I think in a book jacket from the 80s listing among?his other works including, The Factory Series - now a BBC television production, but?I've never been able to find out any more; whether it was?never produced, or just a pilot -?if any avians know?any more about that I'd be thrilled to hear it!?Talk of films a few years ago doesn't seem to have come to anything.

All the best Avians,

Colin ????

-----Original Message----- From: Nathan Cain <> To: rara-avis-l <> Sent: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 0:34 Subject: RARA-AVIS: How The Dead Live (Derek Raymond not Will Self)

I just finished How the Dead Live by Derek Raymond, which Serpent's Tail is reissuing this year. I kind of feel like I've been punched in the gut. I'm not a huge fan of talk about "transcending the genre," but I think the concept applies to this novel. It's only a crime story in the most superficial sense. It's more of a meditation on love and mortality and it's very unsettling. It's one of the darkest things I've ever read. Are all his Factory novels this interesting? How about his other stuff?


________________________________________________________________________ AOL's new homepage has launched. Take a tour at now.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 18 Feb 2008 EST