Monday, December 26, 2011

Here Comes The Nice

Real-Time Review continued from HERE.

Here Comes The Nice – Jeremy Reed

Here Comes the Nice by Jeremy Reed

Chapter 10

Paul looked out into the street again, confused by the Face’s weird crossover from style completist to gene-hacker, and the putative correlation of the two into a Mod aesthetic.”

Paths cross, tomorrow not necessarily a legacy of today, and, amid the mind- (sometimes glove-neat sex)-resonating page-text, I’ve come to this new review page to stop others googling ’Tony Blair’ or ‘Dominic Sandbrook’ – and a ’2011′ conspiracy to punish the former for war crimes. Meanwhile, SF tropes mingle with the intertwining ley-line audit-trails of Paul and John Stephen (via Max who knew JS in his hey-day of real-time and via the Face who supposedly knows JS today despite JS dying in 2004), of Paul and the Face himself head-to-head, similarly Paul and his ‘Suzie Q’. Apparently, as I infer, TB and JS had one thing in common – committing deliberate crimes to test the alertness of those who should prevent such crimes. Suzie Q, too, in her way. I feel sorry for Alex. This book is now at “full tilt”. Unmissable. (26 Dec 11)

Chapter 11

“…Pete Townshend typically burying his guitar neck in a Marshall speaker, like a Boeing thrusting its nose cone through a mirrored tower,…”

It was ‘full tilt’, in hindsight of this new chapter, just on the point when entropy began within the ‘Mod aesthetic’ and developed (Ready Steady Go!) a submission to an image-veneer. In spite of this (or accentuating such a contrast), The Who now take centre stage; you just have to listen to, as well as read, this book to believe its conjuring-up of this Hoovian anti-destructive vacuuming into tangibility and then out of it, then back to it, time and time again, a strobing that’s always had a place in life despite sometimes being imperceptible. Just try, please, even if you know nothing directly about the Mod and/or Modern worlds this book depicts. Empathise with the Face, even if your Liberation front-to-come or beach-head is not the same as his: give your own slant to the “retrovirus” of this book. When I watched ‘Ready Steady Go!’ on the TV in real monochrome time, I never realised how this ‘programme’ of gene or virus or atom particle could now be brought back into my life in 2011 so meaningfully. Nor the fact that, today, I happen, by chance, to live in Clacton, not Hastings! (27 Dec 11)

Chapter 12

“…his own preferred method of time-travel, writing.”

Paul, in our own real-time today, is in “asymmetric warfare” regarding, against or along with ”the quantum weird”: a fashion statement, a physical book to carry around with you like Catcher in The Rye, but now it’s a book called HERE COMES THE NICE. But when it’s just one of a million ebooks on an ipad, you can carry a million books around with you and assassinate a million John Lennons. Each Mata Hari “infatuation” just another of those ‘synchronised shards of random truth and fiction’ or “filleted wallets” scattered upon the Barbara Vine trackside. Blair as “viral glue“. I’ve given up logically reviewing this book, but am just enjoying being infatuated with it. The Dead and Living cancelling out each other’s context within a palimpsest of nostalgia and retro-dread. Of “confectionary” and ‘confectionery’. "Writing about the dead was like Pirate Radio..." (27 Dec 11 – three hours later)

Chapter 13

Death to him represented the absence of shopping and music.”

As the potentially ”disempowered” Face fears the loss of, inter alia, “Jacob’s cream crackers, four-finger Kit Kats,..”, his desire to optimise a fashion-eschatology for his own immortality takes on practical possibilities; meanwhile mingling with aircraft imagery, the gayrisk of the still elapsing or entropic 1960s (beyond their ‘full tilt’), and, above all, a SF-surrounded Music Hall (Jeremy Reed as Leonard Sachs?) starring brilliantly evoked and contextualised acts-of-the-day as they take on, in turn, each Face-centred chapter’s centre stage: here The Small Faces with ‘Here Comes the Nice’ parts one and two. (28 Dec 11)

Chapter 14

The Face came back downstairs adroitly, on springy feet, every movement an economic fit with the clean line of Mod ethics.”

Paul, two-timing (in more than one sense!), in our own “real-time“ of Alternate-World-Blair-baiting-and-inner-terrorism-masquerading-cinematically-as-suicide-bombers-while-the-gene-rejigged-Face-as-unsuicide-bomber-in-present-day London, now hits the crux facing him not only by the Face but also by a ‘rejigged’ John Stephen himself fresh from pre-Death. You know, this book, somehow, makes all this feel not only real-time but real. And not only seeming real, but being real. That’s its skill. ‘Magic Fiction’ as I have defined it publicly for several years, and, now, due to this book, a feat managed by a form of hawling. Yes, that’s what the Face is doing: hawling. (My expression not the book’s). The art of the “off-message weird“, too, as co-sponsor. Additionally, I feel, Peter Ackroyd lends weight to to the book’s Magic Fiction by dint of his ley-lines and London Stone, I guess. All hands to the real-wheel. Meanwhile, towards the end of this chapter, the book takes me into its underground toilet. The book‘s underground toilet, not the plot’s underground toilet into which Paul wanders… (28 Dec 11 – another 3 hours later)

Chapter 15

“…but still he knew Mods were essentially over, the corrupted strain diffused into skinhead revivalists with their raw fuckedness quotient of sham.”

1969 and a poignant description of the Stones concert in the heat of Hyde Park following the death of laconic Jones. And an almost unbearable mini-sketch of Marianne Faithful. This chapter is the Face’s ‘dying fall’ within real real-time and it is to this book’s credit that the real Reader cannot yet tell where it’s yet to go and where it’s all going to end, despite there being now only two chapters to read. Marc Bolan taking up the baton…? (28 Dec 11 – another 3 hours later)

Chapter 16

Pages 239 – 250

“…brands sold over the counter like Yacon, Yohimex and Viritab, and wanted to explore its libidinal increase further as part of his own self-regulated programme of sexual gratification.”

Paul’s own ‘dying fall’ now in less real real-time? Amid a Spitting-Image ballooning (I infer) Tony Blair as part of a an economic seedbed culture of decay, diaspora … and fractious guerilla warfare in London as Lebanon. Meanwhile, Paul speculates on his own two-timing! And sexual Zencore-ism (my expression not the book’s). Earth’s Core-ism (ditto). Max provides (tellingly in the context of this book) ”a memory of a memory” concerning John Stephen; as fictional-truth perspectives continue to both lock together and diverge… (29 Dec 11)

Pages 250 – 267

“…then you can join us in the sixties – the orange sunshine decade. You can cross the time-barrier.”

The time barrier? With this world of aircraft imagery and music, I’d say the sound-barrier, myself! — Meanwhile, this is a stunning chapter where the Face and Paul have their Shakespearean face-off (with Olivier playing one of the parts). There is one clincher fact I had not realised before in the emotions lying behind what Paul sees as the Face’s Time-stalking of him – and to reveal anything about it to anyone who has not yet read this far would be a spoiler. But rest assured you will not be disappointed by this book’s ‘dying fall’ of nostalgia and retro-dread, as I put it. Both sad and uplifting, where ‘aloofly’ has become “blankly“, yet a multi-charged two-timing sex / sf romp which creates truths rather than fictionalising them – incredibly so. Truths about the reported facts and sounds and senses of, I’ll say it again, nostalgia and retro-dread. It bears repeating, like a sonic boom or a “dirty bomb” in Canary Wharf or physically / mentally explosive Viagra / Zencore / Bombay Mix. And, here, for the first time (at least for me), ‘The Look’, central to this book’s fashion statement, is in fact an other-worldly literary term about making fiction LOOK as if it is non-fiction or, if not non-fiction, being injected straight into the underground toilets of your veins. This Book is the Look. It all comes home to roost for me. I only hope the protagonists receive their own fair share of credit amid the ‘dying falls’ – not only the author and publisher, although they deserve credit, too. There is more value in being a “deluded Mod impersonator” (the jury is out on that, anyway) than being an ex Prime Minister on the lucrative head-Talks circuit or a real-time reviewer like me (“I’m always one step ahead of my upcoming thought“) or a mere Reader like you with your life’s “weirdly counterintuitive events“. (29 Dec 11 – another 4 hours later)

Chapter 17

” – nobody, he realised, listened to the language of madness.”

A ‘dying fall’ is one thing, a Coda another.This is the perfect Coda. One where you can even hope with some conviction that Looks never blur into each other. Books, neither. Despite a retro-dread that they did, still do and will do. But, for me, the end fire and/or crystal ice in the drugs are provided by the real stiff-to-and-from-soft book in your hands: supplied to the Face, Paul, Alex, Semra, Suzie, John Stephen, Terry, all the Groups from the Ham Yard Scene, then towards BowieBolanRoxymusic and beyond… feeding off the words provided by the Book’s Look at them and, through Magic Fiction rather than Magic Reality, allowing them to exist for real rather than via the fictional drugs they think they put in their veins (dirty bombs and/or clean shafts of orange sunshine). … I recommend this truly stunning book unhesitatingly and I recommend it unconditionally, even if you’ve never heard of Mods in Sixties Britain. Or especially so. (Meanwhile, hoping with some studied aloofness to counter any suspicion of exaggerated enthusiasm.) (29 Dec 11 – another 90 minutes later) END

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