This is Paul D Brazill at his best; the humour is just tongue in cheek but the descriptive prose is perfection. It is so atmospheric it appeals to all the senses; I swear that there was one moment when I could even smell the cigarette smoke curling into the air of the bar (that I looked around the room for some evidence of it). This is a Roman Dalton anthology which begins with the Brazill's ‘Drunk on the Moon’, a zombie/werewolf collection. If you read any of this book, you must read the first especially if you are a writer, a would-be writer or a ‘wish I was’ a writer – here is the first lesson. Had me totally intrigued just from the exquisite prose, the story is merely incidental. His dedication, however, to women with red lipstick is as cameo as Hitchcock’s appearance in his own films, if you read enough of his books you’ll know what I mean. Excellent! Pat McDonald British Crime Author.
In this unique and interesting anthology Paul D. Brazill has gathered together a collection of the finest crime and horror writers and brought you something special. Paul kicks off the anthology with the title story. The inspiration for the story is the Tom Waits song of the same title. Brazill creates a world of boozy and violent characters that he peppers with his usual witty one-liners and running gags. Music references litter the story like jewels waiting to be discovered. He tells the tale of Roman Dalton a former cops who is coming to terms with the fact that he is a werewolf. The descriptiveness of the writing is sublime and a tangible atmosphere is created expertly by the author. I was soon hooked on this dark world so excellently conveyed.
Paul has carefully picked writers that he believes will bring a certain unique something to the publication and it works a treat. Each writer has left his or her own signature on the anthology. We see the character of Dalton grows with each story and slowly the delicious secrets of this dark world are revealed to us. If you like the idea of a hard drinking werewolf PI then I highly recommend this anthology. An original idea with an array of talent behind it that is worthy of five stars.
I'm not a fan of the crop of paranormal fiction from the past few years. Glistening vampires fighting ripped werewolves over some ancient what-not has zero appeal. Not that it's suppose to grab me. I'm a married guy from the Midwest living the middle class dream. Frustrated metaphors for puberty have passed me by.
But you know what I do like? Paul D. Brazill's Drunk on the Moon short story anthology. It features detective Roman Dalton, who is also a werewolf. On paper, I shouldn't like this at all. But Brazill is a noir guy through and through. One of the best noir writers today, in my opinion. So despite the paranormal elements, everything is filtered through the lens of crime fiction.
That's why Roman lives in a crime-infested, beyond dark hellhole known as The City. His activities revolve around three things: Getting sloshed at Duffy's bar, kicking some crime lord tail and getting sloshed at Duffy's bar. He drinks enough that it counts as two separate things. Throw in more otherworldly creatures (some of them - gasp - from the federal government), and you have a sense of Roman's world.
Brazill's writing is strong enough to have carried the short story series, but he went a different route instead. He got together a top crew of crime writers to carry the torch. Each of the authors wrote their own take on Roman's world. Some stuck to the plots Brazill introduced in the inaugural story. Others drifted into new territory, but stayed within Roman's "world."
This approach gives the anthology a lot of depth. Each short story refreshes Roman's world. You never feel "stuck" reading it.
Here's a rundown of the authors and the titles they wrote.
Drunk On The Moon/ Before The Moon Falls - Paul D Brazill (UK/Poland)
When a full moon fills the night sky, P I Roman Dalton becomes a werewolf and prowls the dark streets of the city battling creatures of evil
Can someone please explain why Paul D. Brazill is not on every best seller list? Seriously folks I need to know the answer. This short story of ex cop, now an alcoholic PI, who also happens to be a werewolf, is probably the best short story I have read in recent memory.
I kid you not folks the writing, plot and execution of this story is damned near perfect. Practically every sentence has been honed into a thing of beauty. In lesser hands this could easily have descended into an overworked bloated and self indulgent short story. Instead Paul has created a Noir - horror masterpiece, that really is jaw dropping in quality. Every page has moments, where you actually stop reading, just so you can take in the amazing literary talent dislayed here.
This story is so good I don't feel that I have a strong enough grip on the English language to do it the justice it deserves.
Paul has created a fully realised world full of Noir staples as smoky gin joints, manipulative broads and a dependable bar man. This is the sort of story that makes me want to invest in a trench coat and trilby and set myself up as a PI.
Here are a couple of my favourite passages,
It's happened to most people at one time or another. Maybe after a birthday party or a fight with the wife. You wake up throbbing with gloom and aching with guilt. Memories of the previous night trample all over your thoughts with dirty feet. Nausea curdles away inside you. Your mouth's like the bottom of a bird cage and Keith Moon is playing a drum solo in your head.
Days bled into weeks, which hemorrhaged into months, until the winter crept up and smothered the whisky coloured autumn days with darkness. Night after night, Duffy's flickering neon sign dragged me back like an umbilical cord. Or maybe a noose.
BUY THIS BOOK IT IS A MASTER CLASS IN THE EXECUTION OF THE SHORT STORY FORMAT (and yes I am shouting)
Yowza. I just bought Paul D. Brazill's newest offering, DRUNK ON THE MOON, a couple of hours ago and read it all the way through, my mouth agape on every single page.
There are writers one reads for plot, for story, for strong characterization, for brilliant description, for brilliant dialog, for... all kinds of things. I read Mr. Brazill for all of those and more, but the thing I always look for in his work and am always amply rewarded is his writing. To wit, the way he turns a phrase, creates original-diginal language and so much "gooder" than any other writer I know. He's the only writer I know who makes his work hard to read on a Kindle. Why? Because on just about every page I keep dropping it when I can't help myself and clap my hands in delight.
Here's just a few of the gems that are sprinkled liberally on almost every single page:
Nausea curdles away inside you.
...the migraine bright bathroom...
The oil slick of night...
Detective Ivan Walker flew in out of the storm like a murder of crows...
Suddenly, a sickly stew of screams and howls clung to the wind and drifted down to my car.
The moonlight oozed across The City's dank cobblestones like quicksilver...
Days bled into weeks, which hemorrhaged into months, until the winter crept up and smothered the whiskey coloured autumn days with darkness.
Outside, a sharp sliver of moon garroted the coal black sky.
The winter moon hung fat and gibbous...
Dark dreams lapped at the shore of my sleep until I awoke drowning in sweat.
On the stage, partially clad young women slid around like spaghetti on an alcoholic's plate.
He rolled the `r' in grim like it was a chainsaw starting up.
* * *
I mean--who writes like that! Nobody. Nobody but Paul D. Brazill. As a writer, whenever I read one of his stories I feel like the pig who fell into a vat of sour cream. Brazill isn't just a writer; he's a poet and you can take any of his stories and write a master's thesis on just the language employed.
As Emily Dickenson said about the very best of writing: It takes the top of my head off.
If you're a writer, read Brazill at your peril. He'll make you want to take your typewriter and go home and learn plumbing. Or just blow your brains out...
If you're just a reader who loves brilliant writing, go right ahead. Be prepared to keep yelling out to your roommate, "Hey! You've got to read this!"
PI/werewolf/alcoholic ex-cop Roman Dalton is keeping busy in the first installment, kicking ass and chowing down on the bad guys. There are several tasty tales wrapped up in this short story. In one, Dalton works for the sultry singer, Daria, whose kid sister got mixed up with vicious gangster Ton Ton Phillipe. Then he's off to work for a Mr. Morocco, whose family's been kidnapped... by aliens.
It's exactly as much fun as it sounds, all told in Brazill's blazingly original voice with his gift for absurd metaphors and rapid-fire dialogue.
PDB is the man and it was an honor to play in his sandbox. This is the book that started it all a fun read to be had. This guy can twist every ounce of juice from a word. Start here before moving onto the other tales in his lupine universe.
Paul D. Brazill always writes with punch, and this tale of a detective with the wolf man's curse is a thrilling noir romp in the vein of David Goodis and the classics, with a modern vibe and never the feel of a pastiche. It's the real deal, and the city Roman lives in feels as real as the blood he spills every time moonshine bathes his back. A great read, and an intriguing start to a highly anticipated series!