THE TRAIN RIDE by Peter Loughran


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What was I dreaming about? A tart, a whore, a dustbin for the potato water of every sex-starved bastard from every sex-starved dirty rotten bumboat from every filthy slummy country in the whole poxed-up rotten stinking world."" These thoughts, or others roughly like them, equally roughly paraphrased, obsess the nameless narrator's sick mind--actually a compression chamber of regressive dreams and aggressive hatreds. He's a seaman, still browned off by a street fracas the night before with a woman who claws his face and rips his suit, running away, moving towards an act of greater violence. His internal monologue proceeds with the dulling monotony of the train ride; technically this is quite and achievement even where it invites tedium. Equating filth with sex, hypocrisy with the Church, prurience with decency, indicting ""all the dirty books and pictures, filthy Sunday papers, lousy, rotten talk at work...."" -- he's one of Colin Wilson's psychopaths or Wertham's innocents, impelled toward a last horrific act. The finale does have power along with the rasping brutality of all that has preceded it. The publishers are launching this with special attention as something of a Collector's item; but even where it overwhelms the reader, it does not accommodate sympathy.

Pub Date: Feb. 3rd, 1966
Publisher: Doubleday