First line in and I feel the murmurings of an anxiety attack. This is a compliment in my book. Door opens, I’m dragged in, Smack! Sean Styne is up late and fueled, hepped up on a delicious coke and whisky cocktail. His mind ticks over with a barrage of truth from his 37th floor apartment. The millions of lives that have been and gone as a city changes, its life sucked vampiric. I don’t take a breath as my eyes dart through the chapters from this modern outsider. UV Ray’s novella, The Migrant wasn’t written to make us feel all warm and fuzzy, this is off the scale uncomfortable and from deep in the gut, the best kind of writing always is. You won’t be lulled into a false sense of security either, you will know one page in whether this book is for you, the razor is sharp and the window is open. You have control of the leaves. The weight of the early fog lifts quick and those beautiful nihilistic sensibilities take a brief back seat. Taking our position, the reader sees the world the way Styne does, distant. I quickly fell in love with his dark truths and empty empathy “The sky may be black as a velvet shawl and the stars glittering bright and some might consider these beautiful images with abandon but to me it’s nothing but an empty vacuous expanse”
His wasted friends get rich quick schemes are a great distraction from his beautifully bleak, substance gorging and emotionally flaccid characters that we are introduced to throughout. It’s not until he meets Gloria in all her Natassja Kinskiesque beauty, that you really get a feel for his inner pain. This dead doll fills him and each other with something comforting, red lips, pain and fists distract from the hurt of knowing too much. Their liaisons squeeze your lungs tight in between hair brain schemes that have you reaching for the ventolin. Thank goodness there are exquisite poetical respites to catch your breath from laughing at the antics of these strangely real and hopeless people, the tales that skim his life. That is how Sean is. His poetry and thoughts fly into the night, the search for human connection, he knows his place within the stars and time, believes in nothing, embracing his foibles, his anger and vision of the world. This is great writing, I wasn’t expecting to snort it all in a few hours but I did. Unstoppable.