Book Reviews

Your Dark Meaning, Mouse by Stephen Moles

What Da Cover Says: Your Dark Meaning, Mouse is the ultimate field guide to the most bewildering and elusive topic in all literature: Dark Meaning, a subject that hitherto has only been accessible after deep study and courageous initiation to the most resourceful and sagacious of scholars, withdrawn, lab-coated persons who occasionally may be found stumbling about in forests, taking cryptic notes in their squared-paper moleskins from closely attended birdsong and astronomical observations. Now this indispensable collection of essays, stories, poems and scripts blasts the subject into public consciousness and beyond.

What I Says: What is a Buckarastano? This book starts of with this question, I had no idea what it was, and according to Microsoft’s red squiggly line they don’t know either. Luckily I have now read this field guide and I understand what it is and the dangers it represents….unfortunately that’s where all understanding ends for me with regards this absurd book.

What have I read here? Moles mixes poetry, theatre, essays, diagrams and stories to mess with the reader’s consciousness; when I read collections of short stories I love to look for the links between each story, in this book I was left scratching my head, “is that a link?” “Hang on! It’s those blooming Ravens again” were thoughts I kept having. Somehow Moles has taken the “normal” tenuous links in short story collections and created a vortex that it is quite impossible to escape from, I kept seeing the same thing again and again and yet maybe I hadn’t see anything at all. It really does mess with your mind, you shouldn’t read this book if you are not prepared to give it your full attention.

As I was reading this I assumed it was all made up so I decided to google a few of the statements…turns out the total of the numbers on a roulette wheel and the message on Shakespeare’s grave were 100% accurate, I can only assume then that everything in this book is true. The sense of humour is very wicked, all the Beatles experiments/theories had me laughing big time and trying to explain it my family. There are also some very good lines, I especially liked the altered version of The Beatles song “When I’m Sixty Four”. The writing at times felt a bit like Hunter S. Thompson, with the author putting himself into the story and there is even a short story called “Hell’s Academics”, which is another fine moment.

This is a very good book, I’ve enjoyed the experience of it’s madness, I’ve most definitely not understood all that has gone down but I think that’s the point, it’s all part of the experience. One question I am left with is, “like Spider-Man this book messes with the Multiverse, therefore should it get it’s very own Marvel franchise?”

Many thanks to Sagging Meniscus for sending me this copy to review. You can get your A****n free version from HERE:


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