Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


The Count of Monte Cristo just got a young man stoned on hashish. Apparently, said Count uses it, habitually. That was never in any of the movies. Nor was this long story about bandits kidnapping girls, passing them around to be used and then killing them. If it wasn't for the archaic language and the fact I know this book was written in 1844, I'd have thought it was done a hundred years later.

There's a chilling passage about a public execution that starts off a Mardi Gras style festival, where two men are condemned -- one to be guillotined, the other to be beaten to death -- where the former is pardoned at the last minute, sending the latter into a rage that is only quelled when his head is bashed in and his throat crushed...and he's stomped on till he spews blood. As the crowd roars, happily.

Jesus...I have to admit, I was startled by it. I'm used to more genteel manners of death and destruction in the classic books I've read. I'm reminded of the death of Andrei's kid brother, Nikolai, at the Battle of Borodino in War & Peace. It's horrifying but it's told at a slight remove that's made the more painful by the excitement Nikolai has on the eve of the battle. No blood and guts.

Well...there's one surprise at reading the book.

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