Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane" by Stewart Home





For reasons I don't fully understand, since I live in Los Angeles, I love novels by Londoners when it has London in its narrative.  Stewart Home maybe my favorite London novelist in the 21st Century, and I am saying 'maybe' because i haven't read every novel by him.... yet.  But nevertheless his new novel "Mandy, Charlie, and Mary-Jane" is a superb piece of work.

Like his other writings, this novel runs on different pistons of the engine.  Its a commentary on culture, its politics and the by-products of that culture - for instance film.   The slasher film to be more specific, and at times the novel is a consumer's (in a hysterical way) guide to the films that are out there.  Someone (not me right now) should list all the albums, bands, music artists, as well as the filmmakers and their films that are listed in this novel -  which comes to mind that one day there will be an annotated edition of all his works.  But till then the reader can pick and choose the references that are posted in Home's work, and just go off into another adventure.   And in some cases the author goes into detail about those references, which I always finds fascinating.

The one of many aspects of Home's aesthetic that I love is his take on cultural history set in a narrative.  One is reminded of other books, for instance, "American Psycho" but i think Stewart is much more entertaining and in-tuned into London culture and all its by-products that I love so dearly.  Future historians will look back on Stewart Home's novels as set pieces of their time.  A cultural historian who writes fiction; that's Stewart Home in a nutshell.
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