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Book Title: The Angel of Death in the Adonis Lounge|
The author of the book: Marc Almond
Edition: The Gay Mens Press
Date of issue: 1988
ISBN 13: 9780854490790
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.36 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.2
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Marc Almond, The Angel of Death in the Adonis Lounge (Gay Men's Press, 1988)
Those from the generations below mine who are aware of Marc Almond at all know him as the singer for Soft Cell, considered a one-hit wonder in America (and “Tainted Love” experiences a resurgence of interest every few years). Those who were around during the day know that there is much, much more to Almond, who post-Soft Cell launched a solo career that saw him become one of the poster children for today's dark cabaret movement (think Dresden Dolls, Jill Tracy, etc.) and a profound influence on everyone from Boyd Rice to Panic! at the Disco. He's also written a handful of books over the years. The Angel of Death in the Adonis Lounge was the first of these, and is exceedingly hard to find these days. If you're a fan of Almond (or Soft Cell), it's well worth your time.
One of the most important traits a poet can have is an innate sense of rhythm, and it always confuses me somewhat when musicians who turn to poetry exhibit no rhythm whatsoever (the most famous recent example of this, obviously, is Jewel). I don't know whether new wave music, which was so chained to four-on-the-floor dance material, helps Almond with his rhythm or not, but it's undeniable here from first page to last. It's helped along by a savage, if often dry and self-deprecating, wit, as well as a fondness for oblique pop culture allusions you have to be paying attention to fully catch. In the face of all this, I'm often willing to forgive even Almond's more egregious technical errors (he has, especially, a fondness for mixing free and formal verse in the same poem in an unstructured manner, something that drives me absolutely up the wall most times).
Splashing violently upon
The sighing pavestones,
Cleansing all the filth
And pent-up fury.
Air eddies, like some undulating current
Wanting and wanting to pull me down
Pulsing full of memories that
Loiter round to meet me....”
(“Grey Veil of September”)
Shuffle those line breaks around a bit and you've almost got blank-verse lyrics. That's a common method of construction in these poems; there are some, in fact, that seem almost like they're straight lyrics. (His second book, Beautiful Twisted Night, does contain a number of lyrics along with poems, so you have to figure the idea was probably in his head all the way back here as well.) If so, I've got to find the albums they're recorded on, because some of them are just downright fantastic.
I'd expect the rarity of this book will only increase, thanks to the closing of Gay Men's Press in 2006; if anyone's picked up their backlist for reprinting, I haven't heard about it (and note that when companies do, sometimes the real gems don't find their way back into print, viz. Joyce Carol Oates' Cybele, originally published by the now-defunct Black Sparrow and not reprinted by Ecco after they bought the backlist). If you're interested, and you should be, the sooner you get your hands on a copy, the less damage it'll likely do to your wallet. *** ½
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