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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 30 April 2007
If society is reflected in the art that its produces then we are well and truly [...]. The Seven Days Of Peter Crumb is a novel so unremittingly dark and violent it would make Hannibal Lecktor despair. It depicts the a week long killing spree of a psychopathic resident of Hackney .The author is also a resident of Hackney -some who read this book will also believe he , like his fictional protagonist is a psychopath .How else could he come up with some of the stuff in this novel ?
Within the first fifty pages two Bangladeshi women have been beaten to death with a claw hammer and a crack addicted prostitute is kicked to death. But what at first may appear to be the sickening boastings of the truly amoral and insane turns out to be something far more complex and satisfying. Crumb it transpires has been adversely affected by a violent seismic event in his past that has cleaved his personality in two. But rather than use this plot device as trite clichéd explanation for Crumb's behaviour Glyn has the disparate alter-egos try to outdo each others personae and triumph. There is a touch of Jekyll And Hyde about this , but it's far more darkly comical and satirical , and of course infinitely more sadistically explicit.
Jonny Glyn writes with a pared down style and cleverly plays on that fascination that most of us have with the macabre and the grisly misfortunes that befall others-the sort of impulse that has us slowing down and goggling at accident scenes so we are both fascinated and repulsed at the same time. Glyn is also reflecting the sort of society he feels we live in, a horribly violent one obsessed with voyeurism which sort of brings us back to the first point I made.
The novel this will be inevitably compared to is "American Psycho" .It's not a nastily imaginative as Easton Ellis notorious novel , nor does it share that novels superb levels of satire though there is undoubtedly a level of satire employed here .And of course the narrator like that of Easton Ellis's novel is unreliable at best , completely deranged at worst so how much of his account can we rely on. Should we be more worried that Crumb carries out these acts or thinks the acts themselves are desirable and cool. Obviously the former is worst but the second may be more prevalent in our culture than is healthy and that is worrying in itself. To riff even more explicitly on this theme the book uses lurid newspaper type headlines to mirror societies fascination with twisted individuals like Crumb.( Note the way the media has been drooling over the perpetrator of the Virginia college massacre)
Some critics will no doubt point out that the novel lacks any moral centre but that is surely the point. A moral vacuum is opening in our society where we , and the authorities we rely on to prevent these things happening , wring our hands in consternation when terrible things occur yet appear less and less able to do anything about it .How long before we carrying on looking but stop caring altogether?
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