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2017, 2nd Edition for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003AOAZLC

 

 

The following review of Blackout was given to me last week. I am hereby posting it due to the very intelligent interpretation expressed within.

30th July 2017. Review for Blackout by Boyd Clack, Cardiff. 

I read Blackout in two sittings.  It tells the story of a young Valleys woman who meets the son of the amoral owner of the factory in which she and all the other women in the town work.  She is unaware of who the son is.  He has come to stay in a mountainside cottage which his father bought to live in when setting the factory up many years before.  The son is a somewhat deluded would be rock star and the cottage is filled with recording equipment on which he intends to create the album that will break him in the business.  He thinks the girl’s attitude and singing voice are perfect for his vision and she, excited at the idea, goes along with it.  The story itself is interesting and well told but in my reading of it the story became ephemeral to what I saw as the core subject matter.  The girl’s life, her relationships with her friends, fellow drinkers in the local pub, and her mother from whom she is alienated, indeed her entire perception of reality is filtered through the brain of an alcoholic.  I have some experience of such all consuming dependency and know that it creates another world, a parallel reality that slowly takes over the old reality to become the new true reality.  What Blackout does so well is to illustrate this quasi reality in a mundane setting.  I once frequented a pub that I thought to be a wonderful sparkling place full of glittering lights and fascinating people for several months then went there sober one evening to see it  for what it was, a seedy depressing dump peopled by fellow losers.  Blackout shows the facade of such a ‘glittering’ world with the dream of a new life and love and fame but I was aware that none of it was real, that it was the delusion of a stage of drug addiction.  It is this that gives the novel its power.  It is this that raises it above proletarian reportage.  It is this that gripped me.  Boyd Clack.  (Playboy of the Rhondda Valley; Poet Laureate of Despair.) X    

…every candle had burned out… And Bronwen was trapped inside a very strange dream…
They were searching the mountain… for Tessa… And the mountains were so beautiful that they held out their hands to thank the sky because it didn’t matter… if Tessa was not there…
Then John started ringing the bell for last orders and everyone shouted that it wasn’t time yet, John! It was not the right time!
Quick, quick, Rupert was saying, hurry up, please, there’s no more time.  All of us are waiting… Everyone:  except Tessa. God knows where Tessa had gone…
…she better say sorry, ‘cos I’m not fuckin’ sorry… She’ll have a shock now when she hears… Bronwen grinned from ear to ear…
Because one of these days Tessa would have to learn that a mother is a mother and, surely, Tessa must know deep down inside that whatever a mother does is never really wrong?

-THE END-

South Wales, U.K., 2010

Blackout – The Dark Side of the Valleys.
Excerpts from Chapter 40.
97 Second Sample
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“I wish the machines could be off forever, I wish the power never had to come back on… I hate reality. I hate all the light and the noise, I hate being able to see… And I hate myself.”
The fire crackled one last time then died…
“What about kissing?” he said.
“What about kissing?”
“Do you hate kissing?”
He took her hand.
“Don’t you think that kissing is the single most beautiful thing two people can ever do to each other?”
“Yes,” she said, “yes, I do… yes.”

They kissed. They kissed for a long time. They kissed as if they had been waiting to kiss their whole, entire lives…

She watched him close his eyes. She saw the dream inside his head.
“Sam…”
“Yes, Tessa…”
“If I kiss your lipstick off, will you take me to bed?”

Blackout. Week 15.
Excerpt from chapter 37. 101 second sample:
https://soundcloud.com/tracywilliams/kiss-your-lipstick-off-blackout-week-15-serialization

 

 

 

Haunting sounds from invisible night creatures called across the black mountains as Tessa climbed ghostlike, directionless…
There was no moon, no stars, no guiding light. Just a mass of ebony this way and that, a thick black blanket covering all form. A monster threatening the air, growing, grumbling, perhaps it was mumbling turn away Tessa, turn, turn away. Down there he’s texting, surfing, watching without listening. The machines are on – he is not. Turn away Tessa. The machines are on – but not for long…
Thunder. A flash. A momentary clash.
And Tessa thought tonight is the night. Technology versus Mother Nature… Ready for a fight.

Blackout. Week 14. Chapters 31-34. https://tracywilliams.me/serialisation/

90 Second Sample

A man in a Valentino suit – easy to spot up the Angel.
Who did he think he was, dressed up like that? Looking a right twat!
There is no ‘Welcome in the Hillside’ as the popular myth would have you believe. The people of the valleys do not want you, stranger. You’re not one of us, so fuck off back where you came from…
“I tell you what,” Bronwen said, “gimme a lift home and you and me can talk in my ‘ouse.”
The factory girls watched in disbelief… John… poured another brandy. Bronwen, the biggest slag in the valley, was walking out of the Angel with the best looking stranger they had seen for years. Lucky bitch.

Blackout, The Dark Side of the Valleys. Week 13. Chapters 28-30.
73 second sample: https://soundcloud.com/tracywilliams/lucky-bitch-in-blackout-week-13-serialization

Pregnant. Mother. Mother. Pregnant. The future stood waiting. The past stamped and pissed all over it… she imagined Bronwen, down in the belly of The Angel… relentlessly destroying a nameless child for all eternity… screaming on and on until… Tessa knew… nothing was going to change anything… only one way to avoid this truth: Drugs.
—- Blackout, 94 second sample:  https://soundcloud.com/tracywilliams/tessas-pregnant-mother-in-blackout-week-12-serialization

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