Grimm's fairytale tells of the brave (but boastful) little tailor who was so proud of his triumph in swatting seven tiny insects that he had a belt embossed with the legend 'Seven With One Blow'. And here I go, vaingloriously following in his footsteps!
'The Angel Suicides' is a story of redemption and the importance of family; but it is also about angels - who in this case are the indentured souls of those who have taken their lives - and yes, of suicides. Those who have taken their lives, and those who are actively preparing to do so.
It is told in seven different narratives, each centered around a different character. None of them has the 'whole story' as it were, and their perceptions are shaped by their own personalities, and by what they themselves see and hear. The narratives are deliberately intended to be read in the order of a reader's choosing, so that every reader will approach the central mysteries of the book from a different angle, as it were, although still getting the complete story. In all, there are 5,041 different ways of reading the book, depending on the order of the narratives you choose.
The seven stories are not only different in content, but in tone. Some have broadly comic characters and situations, some are more literary... and yes, there is both violence, and sex. And thank God for that!
Will 'The Angel Suicides' find an audience? Who's to say. In the end, we write for ourselves, and to pursue the elusive feeling of doing good work. The judge of whether or not a peice of writing meets that benchmark is, as ever, someone else: but if even a handful of people read and enjoy them, then that will be compensation enough.
Wish them Godspeed on their journey :-)
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!