europe central

In another country, long enough ago to be only someone else’s life, I remember a summer entranced in my small room apartment, a former brothel above a sex shop, in the lavish crypto-history of The Ice-Shirt, and desperately wanting to find You Bright and Risen Angels and Whores for Gloria to complete the weird tableau of Norse colonists in pre-millennial Newfoundland and transvestite street hookers in San Francisco.

I forgot about the author, William T. Vollmann – the one book I did read a magical, hallucinogenic epic and all remaining others just tantalising rumours – until a couple of weeks ago when a blogger I have also forgotten the name of returned him sharply and immediately to my conscious, like a caught scent can leave you disembodied, instantly drowning in a tenebrous obscured remnant of the past.

So I’m returning to William T. Vollmann, mostly because I can’t find Charles Stross’ Glasshouse anywhere, and I’ve read all of Iain Banks, and at several hundred pages and a cast including Comrade Stalin and Dimitri Shostakovich, Europe Central should last me a couple of days at least.