Dennis Wheatley: The Satanist

Dennis Wheatley’s supernatural thriller The Satanist is so ugly and offensive that I often found it unintentionally hilarious. It revolves primarily around the attempts of a special branch of British intelligence to unravel the schemes of a cult of communist Satanists (some of whom are also, no joke, ex-Nazis). The novel was first published inContinue reading “Dennis Wheatley: The Satanist”

Colson Whitehead: Apex Hides the Hurt

Apex Hides the Hurt is a slippery little book. On its surface, it’s the story of a nomenclature consultant — tellingly, he himself goes un-named — who is summoned to a small town to break the unlikely deadlock of its triumvirate City Council: the young (white) technology tycoon in the Gates/Bezos mold wants to rechristenContinue reading “Colson Whitehead: Apex Hides the Hurt”

Louise Wener: Goodnight Steve McQueen

If Wener’s name seems familiar other than as a novelist, it’s probably because she led the 90’s britpop outfit Sleeper. I’m generally skeptical of songwriter-to-prose-slinger transitions — the skillsets involved have little overlap, it seems to me. But Wener’s songs often had such a strong narrative sense that they were almost short-story like, and myContinue reading “Louise Wener: Goodnight Steve McQueen”

Leslie What:Olympic Games

It was Leslie What’s contributions to Small Beer Press’s pretty-much-mostly slipstream zine, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet that made me really take note of her name. Her stories for that magazine fit what I think of as the general mode of slipstream (or interstitial, or new-wave fabulist, or whatever you want to call it) fiction. MyContinue reading “Leslie What:Olympic Games”