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Regicide Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Rebellion (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907992014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907992018
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

When record shop owner Carl almost gets lost walking new girlfriend Annie back from their first date through streets he should know well from his days as a cycle courier, it's just the first in a sequence of unsettling events that will lead him to a disturbingly grim otherworld from which he may never escape. Walking home, he is drawn to a relentlessly ringing telephone, breaking into a house to answer it, only to hear a woman's voice pleading for him to help her. Outside his shop he finds a photocopied map showing streets he doesn't recognise and can't track down, and he finds himself steadily drawn into an alternative world that exists in the gaps between places in this one. Royle's deceptively informal prose draws you in so that each step in the deepening of Carl's story seems logical, inevitable even, until you end up in a place that is decidedly strange and nightmarish the kind of place that China Miéville or Jonathan Carroll might take you to. It's written with the deft and economical touch of a skilled short-story writer. --The Guardian

About the Author

The winner of two British Fantasy Awards, Nicholas Royle is the author of a short story collection, 'Mortality', two novellas and five novels, including 'The Director's Cut' and 'Antwerp'. He teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and reviews fiction for the Independent.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bâki on 4 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
In recent literary times a lot has been made of the concept of weird in fiction, and various writers old and new have been said to write under this banner or of its stillborn offspring, the New Weird. For a whole host of reasons, I've never much cared for this concept, even though I like and appreciate the work of a number of writers labelled weird. Nicholas Royle is not weird - in the literary sense. He may be the freakiest dude you'll ever meet in reality, I've no idea - and is not generally considered such, as far as I'm aware. So why mention it? Well, because I think in some ways his writing represents another loosely aligned stream of fiction that plays with abstraction and the otherworldy, but which has not received the same degree of attention, that of the uncanny. A style that owes much to psychoanalysis and the writings of Sigmund Freud, and which can be seen in the works of authors like Roald Dahl and Christopher Priest, and in the films of Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch among others.

In Regicide, the motifs of the uncanny are present from the outset. From the moment that Carl (the narrator) breaks into a strange empty house to answer a constantly ringing telephone - only to find the person at the end of the line seemingly knows his name - the reader's perception of normality is eroded. The ringing phone re-occurs as a theme, along with puzzles and maps, records playing silent messages and dogs - violent, dangerous dogs. All of these have symbolic associations, that reveal the inner workings of Carl's mind. As the narrative progresses it becomes increasingly difficult to tell what has actually happened in this reality, and what has occurred in another place, that may or may not just be an aspect of Carl's psyche.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Carl meets Annie Risk and falls for for her but Regicide isn't a love story instead it's about a map and Carl's obsession with finding the streets it matches. Though it isn't really about love or obsession either. What Nicholas Royle does is slowly peels away Carl's psyche but what it feels like is Carl's psyche unhinging as you read.

What really stands out is that it gets weird fast and then remains teetering back and forth on the edge of sanity/reality before finally leaping off the deep end. This isn't an easy at times to follow especially as it's not clear where Carl ultimately heading.

But through apparent asides and personal revelations Royle is really putting the reader in the same mental space that Carl inhabits and that makes this a haunting and disturbing tale.

It's not often that books effect me after reading them but this one lingers especially when you start asking how unhinged Carl actually is and when you first started to notice..

Now as this is a meditation on the life of a record store owner as he deals with love and inner demons the way Royle does things is going to effect your connection to Carl. And as this isn't a straightforward novel in terms of hero or narrative it requires an element of , especially when you're fast approaching the last few pages with no apparent ending in sight.

But it's those pages that make, rather than break, Regicide. It's not a trick ending but it does pull back that final layer that leaves Carl raw in front of the reader.

There are however things that do feel oddities in this strange tale. One is a feeling of being slightly dated or least it being date ambiguous.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this last year after reading a favourable review of it in the Saturday `Guardian' newspaper. Fantasy novels can be an acquired taste but this is a compelling read that packs much into the tale of Carl, a slacker and record shop owner, who discovers a mysterious portion of a map of an unknown city. Written in the first person singular the plot develops with the hero becoming infatuated with an Annie Risk and his subsequent entry into a bewildering and strange town and that's where his nightmare really takes off.
I read this book in one sitting and although there are one or two weaknesses in the plot it did prove to be an enjoyable if somewhat sinister read and it certainly helped me to revise my previous attitude towards fantasy fiction. Royle is a good writer who portrays a growing sense of insecurity and anxiety culminating in some dangerous and potentially life threatening situations for Carl. With it ambiguous ending this is one fantasy novel that deserves a wide readership and more interest in Royle's work.
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By Law Tech on 3 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some authors when they make their writing more accessible somehow loose some of their distinctive effect. That is not the case here. I did manage to finish Saxophone Dreams but I can't see it being reprinted anytime soon. Even Nicholas Royle wrote me a note before I read that book hoping I did not struggle too much with it. This is nothing like that and is far and away the easiest to read of his books and restored my faith in the author of Counterparts Just brilliant.
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