5

From here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11350445-nemonymous-night, with one typo in my name corrected:

Veteran weirdmonger is a soubriquet often used to describe D F Lewis and his extensive body of work could fall into the hardly adequate description of weird.
He has his own unique writing style which some might find obscure or baffling but it is instantly recognisable. I made D F Lewis’s acquaintance roughly 20 years ago and still have an original short story, ‘Kites and Kisses’ in my possession.
However, I regret to say that this is the first time that I have read a piece of his longer fiction and I thought that this would be a better way in which to become absorbed in Lewis’s world. I wasn’t disappointed. It was as though I was reading through a kaleidoscope as, every time I turned the page or even looked down at the next paragraph, the whole narrative would have twisted and turned into another story altogether. Characters change name, appearance, age whilst engaged in a never ending round of musical chairs and they interchange and interweave with each other seemingly on a whim.

A moving city, ceaselessly going forward seemingly controlled by a backstreet pub landlord who is not what he initially appears to be, a dingy top floor flat with a disturbing carpet, a semi derelict zoo and an unceasing quest to find two lost children by the city inhabitant’s are just some of the main plot elements. Meanwhile the Dry Dock empties and the Drill keeps on going down, down to the centre of the earth. One of the main characters, Mike, is described as a Hawler but Lewis never actually defines what this involves but instead presents several possibilities, each more intriguing than the last.

The weirdmonger himself makes an appearance in the book and is dismissed by one of his own characters as a ‘rather shadowy figure.’ The author’s imagery never falters and I particularly liked the idea of taking up a carpet to expose floorboards and then, on taking them up, discovering another carpet underneath. The creepy, almost abandoned city zoo was another disturbing element with one cage apparently tenanted by a huge white object which might be animal or might be human or a strange hybrid. A reviewer has described Lewis’s use of fantasy as Carrollian and, with the cage of tiny, flying miniature Drills complete with gossamer wings, it was certainly clear to see the influence. D F Lewis has created his own blend of fantasy, sci-fi and strangeness as did H P Lovecraft and there is a reference to Erich Zann from one of HPL’S tales. And could the yellow wallpaper in the dowager’s cabin be a nod to Charlotte Perkins Gillman?

One of the most horrifying images was that, at the centre of the earth, is a huge face which oozes blood from every pustule and pore and says ‘For once this is no dream – this is fucking real – so deal with it!’ Perhaps that was the scariest thought of all – that my world was actually merely a construct and somehow by reading this book I had stepped in D F Lewis’s world and couldn’t go back. Oh dear.

Some readers may find this book’s story elusive but it reminded me of being at primary school and being asked to take my paintbrush for a walk. Nemonymous
Night took my mind for a walk along its narrative sidestreets, the dark city and its shape-shifting inhabitants and I was glad to be along for the ride.

As an older reader I appreciated the Mr Pastry reference. An almost forgotten children’s TV show which can only be fully appreciated in black and white.

If you expect a novel to have a beginning, a middle and an end then Nemonymous Night may not be for you but if, like me, you still want these elements but not necessarily in that order as Ernie Wise might have said then this could be the novel for you. This is a book I will read again in order to enjoy my descent into its labyrinthine depths again. A very good cover as well.

Carole Tyrrell

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