A MAZE FOR THE MINOTAUR by Reggie Oliver
“Like many Old Etonians he gave the impression of having received an education more extensive than his capacity to do anything useful with it. Politics he had considered, but then, perhaps sensibly, had given up in favour of complete idleness.”
This is the Reggie at its best. Unclassifiable. Absurd or niftily dark, it somehow reflects social history. A wild but elegantly couched cavorting with events in 1897 around St John’s Wood. Nothing I say will do justice to this work and anything I say about its plot may deter some of you reading it at all for fear of harming your cherished sensibilities. I, for one, feel myself boked and divilled to my bottom boner.
But is it a mask for something even worse? Or better! A possessed crystallisation of some hidden truth, by-passing the author’s intentions? Whatever the case, do be assured there are here just desserts in this work, desserts not wrought upon but by the ‘distaff’ over the eventually flaccid ‘spear’. Jam tarts et al.
And there are the welcome nostalgic sounds of an ancient rag and bone man.
Just one disarming hint by means of a quote from this amazing work:
“Mabel knew she was giving a performance but like a good actress she also to some extent felt what she was acting. It was a paradox which she had encountered before but not in such an extreme form. This time she gave herself wholeheartedly to the expression of a pretended passion, though she always kept in sight its purpose.”
NB: A tiny Martlesham link with another Reggie classic (Lady With A Rose): HERE
The context of the above — my ongoing full review of the book that contains this story: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2021/06/30/a-maze-for-the-minotaur-reggie-oliver/
(Above image is the logo by #GarryNurrish in 2003 for #Weirdmonger.)