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The Suburbs of Hell (Text Classics) av…

The Suburbs of Hell (Text Classics) (utgåvan 2016)

av Randolph Stow (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
341721,026 (4.33)2
Far more than a murder mystery,The Suburbs of Hellis a profoundly disturbing psychological drama with a devastating conclusion. Inspired by the Nedlands Monster, a serial killer who terrorised Perth in the 1960s,The Suburbs of Hellis an atmospheric thriller from one of Australia's most significant writers.… (mer)
Titel:The Suburbs of Hell (Text Classics)
Författare:Randolph Stow (Författare)
Info:Text Classics (2016), Edition: Reprint, 224 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


The Suburbs of Hell av Randolph Stow


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» Se även 2 omnämnanden

The jury is still out on who the killer was. But I know that this was written by a talented author who used his words like poetry, and created characters lovable: Harry and Ena, and treacherous: Frank.
I still haven't figured out whodunnit. But I wonder if that's even as important as what happened because everybody's suspecting everybody else; It works like a contagious illness.
It takes place in a small town in England. It's by the ocean and there's a lot of fishermen.

Paul is a teacher in this town. He has a brother, Greg, who has just finished his PhD, but has yet to start at a job. Paul was married to Diana; they had bought a house and were fixing it up, when Diana absconded with a lover.
Paul was murdered by the unknown killer. After the funeral, Greg comes to stay in his house, and he never answers the phone that is ringing in Paul's closed bedroom. He also answers none of the mail that is delivered through the mail slot in the front door.
One day Paul's estranged wife Diana comes to his door. He can barely wait for her to leave:
"over meals she was sometimes playful, in a maternal way. 'Oh, greg,' she said, after some new proof of his impracticality, 'you are a pillock.' He guessed that the word was borrowed from her lover's vocabulary, but found it apt. He visualized a pillock as a sort of phallus made of marshmallow. He felt like a pilllock.
Their meals together he found very long. When they were met over a table he discovered Great faults in her. He knew that he would have found others, perhaps worse, in anybody else; but then, no other human creature had so sought him out, thrust its company upon him. At times he felt driven to tell her about her shortcomings, but knew that if once he began to speak he would never stop, that it would be the beginning of something violent and irrevocable.
I have a lot in common with Greg; I know exactly how he feels. When you're in the middle of a flare-up of a major depressive disorder, you can't bear to talk to anybody over the phone, and you think of great wrongs that people you have helped have done you. You can't see them, because you know you will slip up and start talking about it. So you just isolate.

"He had a habit of shutting himself up early in his room, but that night he could not sleep. The excitement of having wandered so far, and his fright on the lonely shore, had built up a tension which turned, when he was lying in the dark, to anger. That was not all together new, but the violence of it was new. It shook his heart: that he distinctly felt, as his memory fetched back, seemed to bombard him with, instances of injustices, slights, affronts offered to him as far back in his life as he could remember. The things he had endured with such meekness made him choke now with rage, and words burst out of him, all the bitter words that ought to have been said earlier to a world which could treat him so undutifully.
'oh sleep,' he groaned, hugging himself. 'Oh sleep, poor boy.' "

Frank deVeres is a nasty little character that Randolph Stow created. He's married to Linda, but they no longer get along. It seems she's found out what he's really like. Must be 75% of men show themselves as imposters, to the women that they want to trap in a marriage, when it's too late that they'll find out what they're really like. It seems like so much work to just prove what a real a****** you are. I always wonder, in my own case, does this really make them happy?
Frank makes me even more pissed off because he's mad that his wife Linda reads: " 'I don't waste money,' Linda said, in a dreaming voice, soothed by the snow. 'I read; you don't.'
'Oh yes, you read,' he agreed. 'I can't deny that, you're good at reading.'
As She did not answer, he tried again. 'Stuffing your head around the clock with crap that's as far as possible from real life - that you do well.'
'It's not crap,' she said listlessly. 'But what would you know about it?'
'you're like a patient in a hospital,' he said, 'with tubes going everywhere. Coronation Street up one arm, The Archers up the other. Barbara Cartland up your nose.'
Roused at last, she turned her pale face on him. 'I've never read Barbara Cartland.'
'Just a brand name,' he said. 'If I say Hoover, I don't mean it's not an Electrolux.'
Her shortsighted eyes were large and vague. 'I don't know,' she said, 'why it took me so long - longer than 3 minutes - to see what a deeply dislikable man you are. Last night I quite took myself by surprise. I caught myself telling Donna that I'd like to leave you.'
He asked, with a superior smile; 'to go where?'
'where you aren't,' she said.
'I can't see it,' he said, patronizing. 'what, out in the wide world, you? You'd be like a pet hamster turned loose in an African game park.'
Then she withdrew from him again, and went back to watching the snow, examining that judgment on herself."
Would that she had taken herself up on her instinct, and left Frank. Because he does a truly horrendous thing to her.

Frank has a little business going selling drugs, and he ropes slow-minded Dave to help him. Dave doesn't have a place to stay, and harry, being such a good heart, offers him a place to stay for a week or so. Well it turns into months. One day, Harry is looking for a tool in his toolbox that's been under the bed that Dave's using. His tools fall off the bed and break open a package. Inside, Harry finds how Dave's been making extra money over and beyond his welfare check. Now Harry and sis that he takes a job that came open where he works, rebuilding a seawall.
The next part would be a spoiler so I'm not going to go into it but it's heartbreaking.
"Frank was meditating another question, but hesitating over it. He brought it out with caution. 'Did he know?'
'what?' Dave's face was again turned down to the dog.
'Did Harry know what you did to him?'
Instantly Dave was on his feet, and had Frank by the lapels of his coat, dragging him upright in the chair in which he lounged. 'I dint do nofing to him,' he said in a hoarse voice. 'The rope worked loose, or he leaned on the ladder and brought it down on his foot. That was my fault, I know that, but thass the worst of it. So you watch your mouf, just watch your fuckin mouf, Frank deVere.'
'dave,' said frank, 'let go of my collar, dave.' His dark face was slightly darker, but his manner was calm. Suddenly he raised his right arm to deliver a karate chop, and the young man, with a hiss of pain, stepped back clutching his wrist.
'That's better,' Frank said, 'now, let's get a few things straight. I realize that today's little tragedy off Birkness was a shock to you, and I sympathize. I know you wish it hadn't happened. But don't try to bullshit your old partner, don't tell me it didn't happen. I know better. I know what caused it: a half-hearted, gutless little booby-trap, that's what. And there I could recognize your handiwork: because I've never been able to hide from myself that underneath the macho disguise you are a pretty halfhearted, gutless little individual, dave, old friend.' "

I like this book for the way it tells the truth about the chaos that lives in humans' hearts.
You know those experiments they have of mice, where they put them in a confined space, and let them populate. And then they started attacking each other, and killing each other. Because it's too crowded. That's humans.

( )
1 rösta burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
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Far more than a murder mystery,The Suburbs of Hellis a profoundly disturbing psychological drama with a devastating conclusion. Inspired by the Nedlands Monster, a serial killer who terrorised Perth in the 1960s,The Suburbs of Hellis an atmospheric thriller from one of Australia's most significant writers.

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