Jim Lewis, The King is Dead
novel, Jim Lewis
Saturday, January 01, 2005 00:34 GMT
Just finished reading Jim Lewis' The King is Dead. What fantastic writing. It's really a great novel. It has a few flaws, but that's because he's tried bold experiments, which so few people do. And he's found a language for things that few are able to think.
A sample chapter, when we spend some time with a young woman losing her mind:
They said to Kimmie, they said to her, they warned her: not to tell anyone, not to let on. They asked her if she knew what that meant: Don't let on. Don't lie down. They told her she could be an angel, one of the special few, if she listened and she did what she was told. Kimmie, they said. Kimmie. Kimberly. Everyone around her was dead and just pretending. They needed her thoughts. They were feeding on her thoughts, because they didn't have any of their own. They wanted to replace her with a dead person, bit by bit, they were going to use the number 5, because 5 was the shape of her body, and they were going to use words like salt, and snow, and shoe, because an s is like the number 5. They made animals out of little machines and put them in with the other anumals, the rat with his sharp white teeth, the snake with his long forked tongue, the dog with his terrible claws. They wanted to frighten her so she would secrete a special smell, which would tell them what she was thinking. That's why she stank, that's how she knew. It came and went, the stink; someimes it would be overpowering that she could barely breathe, and she was embarrassed to stand near anyone; then it would go away just as quickly and completely, and everything would be O.K.