The Old Writer is losing the plot. Struggling to complete the long-overdue thirteenth and final volume of his cult ‘Leepus’ series of bizarre detective novels, he is exhaustingly distracted by the anarchic reality of his family life. Rude Jude, Jilted John, Vile Viola, ASBO Angie, Cracked Jack and Obscene Irene are the characters of his life story – relatives and children whose dysfunctional lives conspire to undermine his efforts to find them resolution and redemption. He’s written their lives so far, he claims, without invoking disaster; but now he’s worried he’s crossed the line between reality and imagination, sucking them all into the fragile and perilous territory of his subconscious. The only questioning remaining is: can get his derailed opus back on track before he reaches The End? Ranging between episodes of hilarity and pathos, touching tenderness and raw violence, Book Thirteen deftly embraces both the slapstick and the poignant, being simultaneously both cynical and life-affirming. While those familiar with Delano’s comics work will recognise the narrative voice, they may also discover a new dimension and subtext in this accomplished addition to his canon.
Page Count: 284