Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rain - Conrad Williams

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Moar? Yes! Moar! I have to slow down with the Williams eating, as there's only a couple more books of his I know of. Found this one at Borderlands in SF. Delight! Joy!

I probably should restrict myself to one a year, actually. This is only a slim little novella, but still left me glad as all fuck the sun was out and I had absolutely nothing in common with the events, location, characters or environment in the story.

To rip off the blurb (it isn't a long blurb);
Ben and his family move to France.
There is an accident.
There is death.
There is rain.
Much rain.

I had a moment of "...again?" upon discovering this story was similar in vein to 'The Scalding Rooms' and 'One' in that the emphasis lay on the father-son relationship, and the shattering affect becoming a parent has, and how devastating the love for your child is, equal parts a strength and weakness. The wives/mothers/girlfriends are mostly distant, verging on the point of being the antagonists, either in the threat they pose to the father/son bond or in plainer and more overt terms. Should Williams ever write a story in which there is a healthy happy couple not on the verge of going each other with blunt objects...well, actually, I'd be pretty suspicious and assume I'd accidentally picked up some other Conrad Williams who did not write deliciously fucked up shit.

Particularly enjoyed the environment in this. The rain, the untamed garden and sullen estate they find themselves in, all these aspects speak with precision. Very little happens which doesn't hide the fact that an awful lot happens in a very short time.

Verdict: It's Conrad Williams, it's awesomely brutal.

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