Congratulations on the publication day of ‘Man Of The World’ to Mr Paul. D. Brazill!
They say there are some jobs it is impossible to retire from, and being a hitman is definitely one of them, especially if you are an ex-soldier with a temperament more situated to violence and the settling of old scores.
Tommy Bennett has reached an age where he is searching fora quieter existence and believes he may find a more restful pace of life back up north in his native Seatown. But ghosts from his past lurk in the shadows and old friends with dark memories bring new chaos into his life.
With an extraordinary past working in covert operationsas well as dishing out his own type of justice for friends with cash to spare and grudges to settle; it seems that Tommy is more afraid of a visit to the doctor’s surgery than tackling hard men from his past,
‘You know, I’ve mellowed over the years,’ I said. ‘I really have. I lay off the booze for long periods of time. I drink bloody coconut water. I recycle. I even stopped smoking after half a century of sucking on them foul cancer sticks. But if there’s one thing guaranteed to get my goat, guaranteed to wind me fucking up, it’s if someone pisses down my back and tries to tell me it’s raining.’
His rehabilitation is short-lived, and it’s not long before Tommy is propping up bars all over Europe while laying low, after taking out a notorious self-styled, east end Mafiosi amongst many, many others…
It’s an action-packed tale, with vivid, eccentric characters, and plenty of comic dialogue to keep you amused!
This is a beautifully written, action-packed tale of a father and son, trying to reintegrate back into society after being away at war. Their responses couldn’t be more different. Father Tom sinks rapidly into alcoholism and gambling in a sorry, ineffective attempt to numb his pain and cope with life “back in the world,” bringing trouble to the family’s door in the form of a loan shark named Ed.
Johnnie attempts to control a hazardous situation by taking devise action, sending his hapless father off to Chicago, with a bag of money. Tom is adept at creating chaos at every turn, and some of his actions leave you wanting to throttle him.
Meanwhile, Johnnie changes his name to Jake and then sets off on a wild road trip to New Mexico. The whole story racks up several notches when he is picked up by a bunch of good time loving cowgirls in 1960’s T-Bird convertible.
“I was on the run. The bottom of my knapsack held twenty thousand dollars a fully loaded colt. 45 magazine-fed, semi-automatic pistol and an accountant’s ledger. She didn’t know that. They say that what you don’t know won’t hurt you. They are probably right, but it can get you killed. I learned that hard lesson in another life. Back in the world now, the same lesson applied. I added a wink to my smile.”
These girls are far more dangerous than they look, and Ed and other members of the interstate crime organisation are hunting Tom and Johnnie down to stop themselves from being killed and bring back the stolen money.
It was a hell of a road trip, which I enjoyed very much! Highly recommended.
Jason Michel’s unique writing speciality is the character on the verge of mental meltdown. In his latest novella, The Death Of Three Colours, Jonah is a man existing at the brittle edge of rapidly disintegrating economic and cultural system. His interactions with the rest of humanity consist almost entirely of an allegiance to a tightly-knit group of petty criminals, drug dealers, and their associated wives and girlfriends. The normally independent Jonah, who has enough existential angst to fuel an entire John Paul Sartre novel, becomes drawn into the groups’ ambitious new plans to expand their drugs empire internationally using the internet, from the relative comfort of the run down pub where they all, regularly meet.
Jonah is a closet internet entrepreneur, who can envisage a somewhat frightening future with new currencies on the Dark Web, and his skills prove to be invaluable to the business. With his help, the band of the disparate petty criminals can foresee a future in which their careers are about to progress to thebig time. Unfortunately, given their ages, average intelligence level, and the clashing of overblown male egos, this isn’t necessarily a good thing.
As mentioned earlier, Michel’s characters are never entirely, psychologically sound. Jonah’s psyche is fragmented and he wrestles daily with his wicked alter ego Milton, whom he is barely able to control. Milton is a violent, vicious, misogynist and the nearest this guy is ever going to get to paradise is in the acts of fulfilling his own monstrous needs.
Don’t be fooled into believing that this is a simplistic Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde type of situation, as Jonah/Milton is fully aware of his psychological condition – so,don’t expect a shocking reveal moment of the type found in Fight Club. At times Milton can be useful, and Jonah is prepared to acknowledge this, although the idea of dependence on the caged monster inside of his head fills him with shame.
Jonah is no angel either, when he is not dabbling in the Dark Web his world is ruled by his two overriding obsessions. The first of which, and predictably male, is sex, but his character has matured enough by now, to welcome a relationship into which he can ‘share his inner world’, without the need of painful medical intervention. So along comes Sally and he is looking pretty set. Unfortunately Sally has enough historical baggage to comprise everything he has been working towards: is she a dangerous femme fatale?
His second obsession is of the mystical goddess variety. No, he isn’t trying to upgrade his girlfriend; this Mexican folklore saint literally rules his world. Not only does he worship her but he fantasizes about sleeping with her too. (I know, I know, typical male behaviour). But the scene in which this happens is far from ordinary as Jonah is seeking sexual perfection in the form of a transcendent, ethereal and orgasmic state in which he can reside forever. That might not seem too shabby for a year or two, you might think, even if his chosen goddess is skeletal and not traditionally attractive by most peoples standards –But a word to the wise – passion between the gods, saints and humans rarely ends well and Santa Muerte, also known as the goddess of death, is a demanding and vengeful mistress…
I don’t often do book reviews, and this one is the first on my site, so why now and why this particular novella, you may be wondering? I chose this book as it a terrific read! I loved the dark, poetic prose, the Mexican mythology (or alternate religion), and the exciting plot with plenty of twists and turns, with characters I could emotionally invest in. Best of all though, was the cruel undercurrent of deliciously dark humor that runs stealthily all of the way through it.
This is a crime / horror novel and I must in all conscience include a mild warning for potential, psychologically unsound and emotionally unstable readers – prolonged reading usage may cause addiction, and in recommending this book, I am not prepared to take on any personal responsibility for that situation… You can read The Death Of Three Colours by Jason Michel, entirely your own risk! Links below…
I have always been fascinated with relationship time and memory. Memories seem suggestible, subjective and are colored by emotion. Can we ever fully trust them? Are they able to persist in their own reality?
What if memories could be record by the state for monitoring and social control? What if you were offered the possibility of reliving your most precious memory – would you take it? And at what price? These are some of the questions I am attempting to answer as I write my new Sci-Fi novella, Memory Stalker…
The original idea for this came from my poem Pure Perfection: