The Rhymer, an Heredyssey defies classification in any one literary genre. A satire on contemporary society, particularly the art world, it is also a comic-poetic meditation on the nature of life, death and morality. Nadith, a wanderer who appears to be an amnesiac or possibly brain-damaged tramp, is on a journey through the satellite towns and suburbs of a city called Urbis. With spiteful intentions, he is seeking his brother Zenir, a successful artist, who is always two steps ahead of him. But as his brother’s fortunes wane, his own seem to be on the increase. When Nadith finally catches up with Zenir, what will they make of each other? Told entirely in the first person in a rhythmic stream of lyricism, Nadith’s story reads like Shakespeare on acid, leaving the reader to guess at the truth that lies behind his madness. Is Nadith a mental health patient or a conman? ... Or, as he himself comes to believe, the reincarnation of the thirteenth century Scottish seer True Thomas The Rhymer, a man who never lied nor died but disappeared one day to return to the realm of the faeries who had first given him his clairvoyant gifts?
Rachel Kendall, writer and editor of Sein und Werden, said of The Rhymer, “Obviously Thompson is a risk-taker, a dare-devil member of the literati, to propose such a feat as this. Should the measurements be out of sync, the angles a bit skewed or the trajectory off course, this could have been disastrous. But Thompson’s risks are calculated. He is a master craftsman, pulling out all the stops with exceptional timing (comic and otherwise).”
The Rhymer, an Heredyssey will be published this summer by Elsewhen Press in both digital and print editions.
About Douglas Thompson
Douglas Thompson’s short stories have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, most recently Albedo One, Ambit, Postscripts, and New Writing Scotland. He won the Grolsch/Herald Question of Style Award in 1989 and second prize in the Neil Gunn Writing Competition in 2007. His first book, Ultrameta, was published by Eibonvale Press in August 2009, nominated for the Edge Hill Prize, and shortlisted for the BFS Best Newcomer Award, and since then he has published four subsequent novels, Sylvow (Eibonvale, 2010), Apoidea (The Exaggerated Press, 2011), Mechagnosis (Dog Horn, 2012), Entanglement (Elsewhen Press, 2012) and has two forthcoming in 2014, Freadsal and Volwys, from Acair Publishing and Dog Horn respectively. The Rhymer is his eighth novel.
Elsewhen Press contact: Al Murray
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