Stas's Reviews > How the Dead Live

How the Dead Live by Derek Raymond
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May 27, 2011

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Read from May 12 to 27, 2011

I picked this up, read a few chapters, was completely hooked, and realized that I should read the first two in the series. I have now, and I am already sad that after this one, there is only one more left in the series.
It's weird that the intro is by Will Self, who also wrote a book called How the Dead Live.
A lot of people feel that Raymond has a tendency to slip into melodrama. I know what they mean, but don't actually mind it. Crime is melodrama.

Writing a few days later now. Just finished it. This time, narrator's slips into reminiscences, his hifalutions about emptiness of existence annoyed me. But the overall set up of the book was so powerful that, for the second time now a novel by Derek Raymond inflected my dreams. (Perhaps, it helped that in the book the narrator and the main murder suspect frequently tell us their dreams). Below is the record of my dream, not a quote from the book.

I dreamed that i went to sleep on a sofa at a friends' house and awoke 30 or 40 years later. My host aged not at all, lost his paunch, in fact looked like someone else entirely. His child, who was the first to greet me upon my waking, could not tell me what year it was. With difficulty I located a news site on a computer. Apparently, "news" is something that only very few old-fashioned people care about in the future.
In my dream, my host married a woman I love. Presumably, it was her child that greeted me. Unfortunately, the offspring's gender was not sufficiently clear for me to understand that this was my new bride.
Meanwhile, the mother was nowhere present in the dream. You know how dreams are: a series of substitutions.
This dream also had an unusual pet: something between a dog and a baby seal (a water rat?).

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TheYetiWakes There is actually two more after this one. The last (Dead Man Upright) wasn't released worldwide at the time but should be released in April to fit in with the rest of the Melville House reprints:

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