Thursday, 22 January 2009

Reno: "A Brain-teasing Query"

Some reviews for I Shot a Man in Reno are still drifting leisurely in, hands thurst coolly in pockets, puffing their cigars, idly kicking stones as they go. Toronto’s Eye Weekly is the latest, and very complimentary it is too, awarding Reno 4 stars out of 5. Here's a brief extract:

“More than just cornucopia of the splendidly grim and myriad ways we speak of death in rhyming couplets backed with a catchy beat, it’s a brain-teasing query into the strange, abstract place death occupies in our culture.” Nicely put, I think.

By the way. If – as the Eye reviewer seems to be – you too are interested in the Calabrian mafia songs I mention in the book, your first port of call should be here. It will at least lead you to the music, and a legitimate means of buying it. Below is a flavour of what it sounds like. I make no moral judgement. Someday I'll try to get around to posting an interview I did a few years back with some of the men who play this music in southern Italy. Serious guys.


Anonymous said...

The moral issue of mafia songs is no different from countless rap songs, of course. But unless you speak Italian, I'm guessing this kind of loses any bite it might otherwise have.

It has a nice choon, though

Graeme Thomson said...

Dunno. I don't speak Italian, but I can hear a certain proud malevolence in some of these songs. I'm sure I can.