Living are Few, the Dead Many, The Paperback – 8 Nov 2012
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Jahnn has the most in common with these two authors, and perhaps even outdoes them here. The Night of Lead is a complete submersion into a thousand foot deep vat of tar that our disembodied protagonist attempts to swim his way out of. He is a soul dropped onto the streets of a nameless city, apparently left by some colossal presence to navigate the landscape. Inside the facades there are supposedly flickering lights; outside their doors perhaps a doorman to show the way in. Once entered the proceedings are gauzy, the spaces fleeting, with characters urging that this instant, this moment, can never be returned to. The door will lock behind you. There is doubling, but doubling like you've never quite seen it, done so ingeniously and with such purpose that it quite literally baffles on first reading. And, at the risk of sounding redundant, there is the gradual closing of a door that begins with the first breath.
Huge, this novella. As though being dropped into the labyrinth beneath a casket.