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Julian Meynell's Books

I like Books.

Selby's Song of the Silent Snow

Song of the Silent Snow - Hubert Selby Jr.

This is a collection of short stories.  As with all collections of short stories it varies in quality.  It does not have the same intensity as the very best of Selby's writings, but some of it is really very good.  He is at his best when he is exploring the intimate horrors of the lowest dregs of society in the tales.  I find Selby to be always right on the money when he does.  This he is the most accurate person on the life in the gutter of America.  His writing has its brilliance and subtlety but it is not as full of rage as his best work.  My book compared him to Dante which is a very intelligent comparison.

As always he is a deeply Christian and ethical writer.  He has a remarkable compassion and empathy which I think goes far beyond almost any writer and it is the most striking thing about his work.  A great but uneven collection, which confirms my opinion that Selby is one of the most unjustly neglected writers in history.

Beautiful, horrific and true.