Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Devil's Paintbrush

Last week, Jake Arnott's brand spanking new novel The Devil's Paintbrush arrived in the mail. I just could not resist, neglected Toño and rushed through it from cover to cover in barely a day.

A book with a title that is derived from the Maxim machine gun1 can expected to be a bit like a Roman holiday.

Briefly summarized: Major-General Sir Hector Macdonald, a paragon of Victorian military virtue, is about to be court-martialed for pederastic activities. In Paris in March 1903, he encounters the occultist Aleister Crowley, who calls himself the Beast. Together, they embark into a memorable nightly ride through the sinful city, which ends with Macdonald doing the honourable thing.

As always with Jake Arnott, his ability to drag you into the authentic atmosphere of a time is astonishing. And yes, it is a bit sordid.

1 The Maxim machine gun has a rate of fire of 666 rounds per minute, which makes it splosh red everywhere - hence the pet name.


MartininBroda said...

Ich kannte bisher weder Autor noch den "Helden" und bin den Links gefolgt, wirklich interessant, vielen Dank für den Hinweis.

gomad.ch said...

Martin, der Autor hat sich bis jetzt auch noch nicht weiter zurück als bis zu den 60ern gewagt.