I have just finished 'Maledictus' a novel by Phil Burdett. Transient interchangeable timescapes running with a maritime river undercurrent . The novel hangs with strongly glued together poetry and a cyclical narrative moving geographically from Essex through to London and Amsterdam and back to Essex. The central character, Newtown Baby-Troubadour, is simultaneously at odds with and in tandem with himself throughout the course of the book meeting an array of mercurial characters on his journey to his Self. The enigmatic Captain operates in the nether regions of the novel almost as a type of spirit guide for Newtown Baby-Troubadour. He seems to represent a paternal strength of some sort; an anchor for the drifting hero.
The hip priest , a drinking poetic guru fires out emotionally charged jewels of advice and direction throughout the course of the book. A loose 'religious' cannon he sits in and out of focus as a psychological and emotional fodder for Newtown Baby-Troubadour.
Phil Burdett's musical background is apparent throughout with cryptic clues and puns scattered in the narrative. Punk to dub reggae;Kosmische to pop. Americana to Jazz. Music flows out of the poetry. If you hold the book up close enough to your ear you can hear it singing from the pages.
The female characters Boo and Madame Ursula Major appear as almost unobtainable goddesses shining as healing beacons in the ether of the novel. Jung's anima archetype hovers over their heads; their presence seeming to give Newtown Baby-Troubadour a guiding light and direction in his wanderings.
If you want a challenge, if you want visual poetry, if you want underbelly,
if you want human endeavour in its light and dark,
if you want sensory overload
if you want a feat get