Blood Meridian (or The Evening Redness in the West) is a sort of literary slasher set in a mythical version of the Old West. If you can get past the grisly ultraviolence and cast of socio/psychopathic characters, there is a powerful story and some stunning writing. The blurbs on the back compare Blood Meridian to Hieronymus Bosch, Milton, Dante and Edgar Allen Poe among others; of these Bosch seems particularly apposite, although the violence is interspersed with meandering descriptive passages painting a picture of the harsh, almost biblical desert landscape in which the action occurs.
Waugh is in darkly comic form with this disturbing and amusing short novel about a poet that works in a down-at-heel pet burial service and his experience of burying an ex-screenwriter friend in a kitsch Californian cemetery. He examines the strange worlds of the English in Hollywood and the artificiality of consumer-orientated burial at the unforgettable Whispering Glades Memorial Park where a funeral is more like a package holiday. Fun but dark.
A recommendation from a consultant we spoke to at New Internationalist. Lovell’s central idea that, in a digital economy, you can use free stuff as a way to find what he calls
superfansis rather cogent and chimes with my experience of the web. First you need a big audience, in that audience some people will love what you do enough to give you some money for it, if only you give them a way. Its all a bit techno-utopian, like skimming through the pages of Wired magazine but sensible enough advice for people trying to make a livelihood from the web.