"Evil is only a concept to those who've never experienced it. To those who've met it, the term 'concept' dropped from their vocabulary."
- Ken Bruen
Sometimes you got a love the guy, I mean Ken Bruen, nihilist extradonaire has pumped out more delicious black comedy crime fiction than a meat god on wheels. We've seen a gang of sociopaths, pyschos, priests, misfits, and other unlikely suspects tumble across the subterranean landscape of a parallel Ireland, England, and America ever since Bruen released his strange bird of prey Rilke on Black. And, I must admit, the first book I took a hankering too was The White Trilogy - encompassing A White Arrest, Taming the Alien, and The McDead. The guy's merciless, the type of writer you either find ready to stuff on a pole with tar-and-feathers wrapped in black oil, or bring along as an accomplice to your own darker journeys into the hinterlands of imaginative nihil.
With Bruen's well-known series featuring that fun loving case history for all borderline psychos, Sgt. Brant, we discover an unlikely officer who measures life as a daily bout between Ed McBain novels, a life in which being human doesn't mean that one must mean or even understand the meaning of being human, all one needs is to keep a foot on the sane side of that alternative hallway of the abyss - whatever that might entail, or even mean - and believe that (yes, my dear, there truly is a dark lining to the universe of reason - and it doesn't include yours truly, but only those strange creatures just beyond the periphery of your broken mind) reality or the real is a nightmare for others rather than a script being enacted from the desperate chronicles of one's own black desires.
And, in Bruen's other well-known series we find that misfit of misfits, Jack Taylor, a down and out alcoholic, neither recovering nor fully shaped to its wet immersion, just an atypical bender of the Dark lady's punch-and-jude excess - or, as Lacan might have said it: jouissance. We've seen Jack Taylor wander through Galway like a forlorn troubadour of shadows through eight novels, he's followed crime down to the frothy sea and back again; yet, at the sea's edge he's only ever found death, not the twin of sleep, but the black slime of a nihilistic trace of the nothingness that is. An ex-garda, are should we say, dumped from the Garda Siochana ("the Guards") for a superfelonious infraction Taylor now wanders the back streets of his old haunt, Galway, like a spectre in a parade of zombies; neither alive nor dead, he seems to follow the dark side into caper after caper of inevitable doom like a comic poet of our despair. They even have a new tele-series out based on his unique blend of noir based on Bruen's characters: Jack Taylor Films.
It looks like Jack Taylor will continue to wander those dark zones of Galway for some time now, since in his latest installment (the eighth?) Bruen has Taylor almost leaving Ireland for good, moving to America; yet, at the last moment, the Divil - yes, my dear, you heard it right: the Devil intervenes and poor Jack is stuck in his prison house of a city, Galway, forever - just a suburb of Hell anyway. But not to spoil the fun, hop on over and pick up your own copy of this new book at the local pub, I mean... bookstore and have some fun twittering to the band.