This is not an easy read, even if one worth reading. There is humour but ever so dark. There is sadness and regret. There is a dance with mental health. There is courage and awareness in spades.
The first story concerns a night time walk around Cardiff by Mick. The city is real - Roath, Whitchurch, the museum, the castle. The people - commuters, taxi driver, dog walker, cyclist, bus queue - are the ones we pass in every city. There are pubs, flats and hospitals. The weather is icy cold. It is Cardiff. But everything else is clouds seen through Mick’s eyes. Doubt, unreality, suspicion, fear and certainty swirl as waters across the city that Mick walks and that Mick sees. The author, sometimes in a helicopter with clarity of vision, sometimes close to the ground and almost involved charts the islands, eddies and swamps of thought that follows Mick around as he crosses the urban delta.
It is a night without sleep, rest or peace as a relationship of Mick’s with Rita is picked at by him throughout the story. It is an obsession. There is also transcendence, whether earthly, heavenly or a mix of both. There are actors on bigger stages, (Ian Brown, Russell Slade).
The subsequent stories after ‘Mick on a mission’ offer a lighter touch. The Christmas Segway and a third coming could be allegories, or maybe a promise of summer. There is a circle for Mick as in his ‘mission’, but there is a feeling of it being broken.
There are some poems hinted in this work to be written or just thought – the castles of Wales and the naming of Gods spring to mind.
I look forward to Jacob Lander’s next work.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)