Friday, 9 March 2018

'Goat Songs'

“The Uncertainty of All Earthly Things” by Mark Valentine (numbered edition)

Mark Valentine is probably a record collector. I offer this opinion because he pretty much nails the atmosphere of second-hand record shops in 'Goat Songs'. His narrator stumbles across - or is lured by? - an obscure album by one of those Sixties groups who were into mysticism, folklore, and mind-bending antics.

Like the previous story, 'Goat Songs' is about the enchantments that music can weave. The title refers to the album title, the group being Satyr. The climax of the story is, of course, the playing of the record. But before this we have learned that the 'hero' is a lost soul, living in a van with his record collection, often going without food so he can buy more. So when the final track on the album does not start the reader half-knows what is coming - the absolute release from the bleakly mundane that music so often promises, but so rarely delivers.

I'm making good progress with this collection and will provide more review fragments soon.

No comments: