Verruca Music

Rated 3.50/5 based on 2 reviews
Absurdist comedy of the very blackest kind, informed by a love of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Peter Cook & The Goon Show. Featuring the Fibonacci sequence, floors that open up without warning, a powerful laxative, and a duvet that periodically changes colour, Verruca Music charts the narrator’s emergence from a state of fearful near-immobility assisted only by entertainments of his own devising More
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Review by: Gary Varga on Oct. 4, 2011 :
The title of this book is not only literal with regards to the subject matter of the book but I feel that in the sense that it also refers to the reading experience. For me, the words hold a deliberate rhythm without feeling neither contrived nor forced. One could also imagine it was the same for the author in creating this wonderful novel.

This tale, and I feel that it is just that, does not let on too much with regards to the narrator’s scenario. We are told just enough to set the scene and expand it ever so slightly but you can imagine that it could be applicable to a number of situations. Part of the charm is this being kept in the dark with regards to superfluous information which would weigh down such a light hearted read. By light hearted I mean exactly that. This is easy to read but has a dark malevolence always in the shadows. For me the scenario eludes to a far darker situation than the one admitted to.

If you can laugh at something that is clearly wrong on at least one level (but probably more) then perhaps this is the read for you. All in all the read is extremely pleasant which is in contrary to the contents. Bleak but funny.
(reviewed 51 days after purchase)
Review by: Gwen Sund on July 3, 2011 :
I'm not really sure how to deal with this book. There's definitely something to it that I liked. It has a life to it that is entertaining. But I also feel like I've been left out of some inside joke. Staurt Estell's Verruca Music makes very little sense to me, and the lack of punctuation doesn't help.

On the one hand the interaction of the two characters in this story is fun. They have some interesting dialogue. I also see some of the allusions in the work, and those are fun too. The major thing that keeps me from really enjoying this work is the lack of punctuation. There are some apostrophes for contractions, but that's it. The paragraph structure is all over the place too. When I got done reading this I thought two things. The first is that I was left out of some complicated inside joke. The other is that this reads a lot of like an art school film. That's not a bad thing if that's what you're looking for, but this is so high brow that it is nearly unapproachable for me. I can clearly see the ties to authors like Joyce and Beckett in this work. I just wish that there was a little bit more structure to this story. At the very least some periods to bring in a pause or two.

If you are looking for a piece of experimental literature this book will be good. If you are looking for something with a more standard story structure this story will leave you confused.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
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