ONE LOST SUMMER AND IDENTITY by Richard Godwin

One Lost Summer is in many ways a novel about identity and lies. It is about the lies people tell themselves to survive and the extent to which they may remain unknown in a person’s character and by those closest to them. It is about desire and obsession and it is about summer and the secrets your neighbour carefully hides from you while he or she keeps up a facade.

This is brief synopsis of the novel:

One Lost Summer ARCRex Allen loves star quality in women. He moves into a new house in a heat wave with few possessions apart from two photographs of his dead daughter. His next door neighbour, beautiful Evangeline Glass invites him over to one of her many summer parties, where he meets her friends and possessive husband Harry. Rex feels he knows Evangeline intimately. He starts to spy on her and becomes convinced she is someone other than who she pretends to be. When he discovers she has a lover, he blackmails her into playing a game of identity that ends in disaster.

 

One Lost Summer is attracting some great reviews. Reviewers are commenting on its tight suspense and haunted feeling, as well as the intense drama that plays itself out between Rex and Evangeline and the breathtaking ending. The narrative contains many surprises, not least those that come from Rex’s past. But there are also the surprising revelations that occur in his meetings with Evangeline, who he lures to his house once a week for two hours to act out the part of Coral, a woman who remains a mystery until the end. She may be nothing more than a figment of Rex’s imagination or she may be Evangeline’s alter ego.

The central characters are altered by the sequence of events one torrid summer. One of the things I wanted to explore when I wrote One Lost Summer was the extent to which the irrational governs peoples’ lives. And obsession is a key theme in the novel. It is there in Rex, the first person narrator of the novel, as this passage shows:

Obsession is not a modern disease. Its roots lie deep inside humanity and may be the reason we’re here. You don’t know you’re obsessed until you can’t move, until all you see is   the one thing. By then the tendrils have wrapped themselves around your unsuspecting heart. They’re delicate at first in their unfolding, touching you in the dark, like the soft caress of a lover at dawn. Then you know they’re squeezing the blood out of you. And you realise you will have to hack them away, and with them some living beating part of yourself to be free.

I held the camera and captured her image again and again that intoxicated summer when music filled the gardens of Broadlands Avenue, and Evangeline was high forever.

 Stars have a rare quality, an ability to take away the smallness most men feel. They’re more corrupt than us, but the corruption is better hidden, and their appeal is a lie, the biggest drug you will ever know.

 Evangeline was a complete balance of all the qualities famous stars have. She knew she was a rare flame.

All that summer I watched her. I caught her laughing, smiling, looking away from Harry, alone, contemplating her day. I took her with shopping bags on the empty drive next door, and I filmed her sunbathing by the pool, her body tanned and glowing in the unnatural sun that seemed to set that time apart. For she seemed to exist outside time. And I captured her and made her mine.

I spent my evenings with a glass of Montrachet chilling my tongue as I sipped her image from the Plasma screen in my living room. I fed on her. The X bridged the space between us. I zoomed in on her, caressing her skin with the lens. I entered her world like a hummingbird penetrating a flower, my heart beating like rapid wings. She existed in my watchfulness and awoke my desire. When I wasn’t filming her, time was static. There were no clocks in The Telescope. I felt erased when I wasn’t watching her image. My house had no past and no future.

I tidied away unpacked boxes, placing them in cupboards. I never used most of the rooms, existing in solitude, with only the films I took. And I felt more and more that I was part of a plot, and my only defence against it was the camera, as if Evangeline and Harry knew things that they were keeping from me and the X would find them out. I felt chilled, as if some lost piece of knowledge was frozen inside me. Sometimes at night as the Glenfarclas wore off I could hear icebergs breaking in the distance, and then the notes of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” would stab at my brain like shards of glass against a nerve.

 

One Lost Summer is available at all good retailers and online at

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/One-Lost-Summer-Richard-Godwin/dp/0956711340/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369835549&sr=1-1&keywords=one+lost+summer+by+richard+godwin

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Lost-Summer-Richard-Godwin/dp/0956711340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369835613&sr=8-1&keywords=One+Lost+Summer

The Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/One-Lost-Summer-Richard-Godwin/9780956711342

Foyles http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/one-lost-summer,richard-godwin-9780956711342

About the Author:  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARichard Godwin is the author of critically acclaimed novels Apostle Rising and Mr. Glamour.  One Lost Summer is his third novel. It is a Noir story of fractured identity and ruined nostalgia and available at all good retailers and online here.

He is also a published poet and a produced playwright. His stories have been published in over 29 anthologies, among them his anthology of stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard ManApostle Rising is a dark work of fiction exploring the blurred line between law and lawlessness and the motivations that lead men to kill.

Mr. Glamour is about a world of wealthy, beautiful people who can buy anything, except safety from the killer in their midst.

Richard Godwin was born in London and obtained a BA and MA in English and American Literature from King’s College London, where he also lectured.

You can find out more about him at his website www.richardgodwin.net , where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.

Follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/stanzazone

 

 

ART AND THE INTOXICATION OF REALITY by Richard Godwin

There have been many debates about art and where it comes from and what rules   govern it and at the end of the day maybe no one knows.

Friedrich Nietzsche posited the theory that it stems from a basis tension between the old Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus, Apollo representing law and Dionysus chaos.

In his first seminal work ‘The Birth of Tragedy’ he wrote:

‘…we have considered the Apollonian and its opposite, the Dionysian, as artistic energies which burst forth from nature herself …first in the world of dreams, whose completeness  is not dependent upon the intellectual attitude or the artistic culture of any single being; and then as intoxicated reality…’.

This idea of intoxicated reality runs like an undercurrent through all the theories of creativity.

There is a central issue of control. If you paint with watercolour you have to let go of control. The colours run. That is why Turner is probably the greatest watercolourist and a great oil painter, he knew his media. He also cleverly created many paintings of the sea, which is fluid.

It’s like tipping the monster out of the pot.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s in the US a number of works were performed which transgressed the traditional boundaries of Western genre in the arts.

Jim Morrison urged his fans to ‘ride the snake’. Morrison also spoke of his reading in ‘The Birth of Tragedy’ of the primal Dionysian art as the spirit of music.

Morrison moved his performances towards shamanistic theatre.

Interestingly Mircea Eliade, author of Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy writes of shamans:

‘they express on the one hand the diametrical opposition of two divine figures sprung from one and the same principle and destined, in many versions, to be reconciled at some illud tempus of eschatology, and on the other, the coincidentia oppositorum in the very nature of the divinity, which shows itself, by turns or even simultaneously, benevolent and terrible, creative and destructive, solar and serpentine.’

Morrison’s ‘The Lizard’ took nearly half an hour to perform in concert and is an act of descent.

We’re into the underworld and back to the same divide.

Aristotle based much of his philosophy around a basic opposition and Alfred Korzybski, the Polish semanticist argues in ‘Science and Sanity ’ that mental pathology within Western cultures stems from a basic confusion of signifier with signified, in other words thinking that a table is identified with the verbal label we attribute to it.

Like John Cage, Morrison was drawn to the Lord of Misrule’s carnival.

David Bowie said ‘I know one day a big artist is going to get killed on stage.’

Alice Cooper enacted much of the Dionysian on stage, throwing live chickens into the audience, axing dolls to death.

The acid trip, under the influence of Timothy Leary became a religious experience a sign for the Trips Festival read: ANYBODY WHO KNOWS HE IS A GOD GO UP ON STAGE.

There is a strong sexual element to this, as Euripides’s play ‘The Bacchae’ illustrates, Bacchus being the Roman version of the Greek God.

When Dionysus sheds Eros his energy turns negative.

He becomes the Devil, as Norman O. Brown shows in ‘Life Against Death’ as the form of excrement, waste and ‘filthy lucre’.

Then something happened at Altamont.

After Santana opened a freaked out kid tried to get on stage. The Rolling Stones had hired Hell’s Angels as body guards, they dived into the crowd with five-foot pool cues.

While the Rolling Stones waited for darkness the Hell’s Angels taunted the crowd with contempt. Then they parodied the rituals of religious cults. Sol Stern, a former Ramparts magazine editor, wrote: ‘One of them, wearing a wolf’s head, took the microphone and played the flute for us – a screeching, terrible performance; no one dared to protest or shut off the microphone.’

Why?

Why didn’t they protest?

Because they were caught up in group psychology.

The Mediterranean wolf cuts and the flute music of Dionysus, the wild music of the joujouka – the vestigial music of the God which had entranced Brian Jones, Bryan Gysin, William Burroughs, Paul Bowles and Ornette Coleman – had come to this, a preparation for a star.

Into the darkness of Altamont, through the protective circle of the Angels on the blood-spattered stage, came the Stones, led by Mick Jagger in a black and orange cape and tall hat.

They played well but their music spoke out the interface between savagery and erotics, between the controls of art and the controls of magic, between Apollo and Dionysus. Jagger began ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ – ‘They call me Lucifer and I’m in need of some restraint’. The earlier Angels’ attacks now climaxed. In the spotlights, when Jagger went on singing this number, they stabbed to death a black youth from Berkeley named Meredith Hunter. Panic-stricken Jagger tried to cool the screaming people, but the death ritual operated as part of his own performance.

The antithesis maybe at the root of art and sexuality.

Cultures create their own paradigms.

I examine these themes in my novels Apostle Rising, in which a killer targets politicians and in Mr. Glamour , in which  a group of people are owned by designer goods and under constant surveillance by a predator in their midst.

You can find out more about me here www.richardgodwin.net

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Richard Godwin writes dark crime fiction, among other genres. He is the author of critically acclaimed bestselling novels Apostle Rising, and Mr. Glamour.  He writes horror fiction as well as poetry and is a produced playwright. His stories have been published in over 28 anthologies, among them The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Big Book Of Bizarro.

Apostle Rising, published by Black Jackal Books, is a dark work of fiction exploring the blurred line between law and lawlessness and the motivations that lead men to kill. It digs into the scarred soul of a cop in the hunt for a killer who has stepped straight from a nightmare into the waking world.

The sequel is due out soon in mass market paperback.