Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Celtic archetypes, Belfast murder(s), 31 Oct. 2012
This review is from: A Verse to Murder (Kindle Edition)
This cover merits study--it's well chosen and ties into the mystery elaborated by an informant. The title, a play off of the "murder of crows," echoes in the name of Barry Crowe, a Belfast journalist (or is it "sleazy tabloid hack"?) pursuing the backstory behind the sudden demise, apparently by auto-asphyxiation, of Northern Ireland's leading poet. The compromising circumstances unfold neatly in this e-book novella.

Bailie, whose novels The Lost Chord and Ecopunks delved into respectively gnosticism and New Age quests, continues his application of Celtic and esoteric themes into his fiction. As a Belfast-based journalist (and a poet), he enjoys sending up his profession(s) and their shared pretensions. His short story "The Druid's Dance" in the anthology Requiems for the Departed by Irish mystery writers incorporating Celtic myth and archetypes anticipates the mood and tone of this new tale.

Reviewing a mystery, one cannot give much away. The blurb at Amazon sums up the premise enticingly. It's not betraying the story to admit that the set-up elaborates into, over 74 quick pages, an entry into the symbol of the spiral and the Triple Goddess of Celtic lore. Drawing on, in my "guesstimation," theories of spacetime and the earlier attempts of Irish writers Denis Johnston (The Brazen Horn) and Francis Stuart (The Abandoned Snail Shell) to plunge into the liminal, the results for Barry recall those of the warp-spasm of Cú Chulainn, and the cosmic terror that seems to cross generations and centuries as Bríd, Andrea, and Alma enter the lives of Barry and his cop pal Dervla.

Phrasing sharpens: "curtains all along the street begin twitching in a semaphore of suburban noisiness" updates Brinsley McNamara's once-famous novel about a gossiping lot, in the "valley of squinting windows." Rowan Tree "looked like a poet should do, elongated body, gaunt face, exploding hair and eyes that suggested insanity." Another, once-promising, poet's eyes "retained the primal urgency of someone who wanted to say something but had no idea of how to say it."

Futurist couplings of poetry as violence, "sexual electricity," a jealous bard Rowan Tree's curse in verse, hallucinogens, nods to Robert Graves and pagan rituals still alive today in the heart of the city: these exemplify the details Tony Bailie adds to enrich his narrative. If you find this enticing, you will find this efficiently conveyed but pleasingly allusive tale a pleasure. I'd like to hear more from Barry.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Los Angeles

Top Reviewer Ranking: 185,432