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The Devil's Home on Leave (Factory 2) Paperback – October 4, 2011
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Praise for Derek Raymond's Factory Series
"Unrelenting existentialist noir—as if the most brutal of crime fictions had been recast by Sartre, Camus, or Ionesco while retaining something of the intimate wise-guy tone of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett."
—Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books
"It’s one of the darkest and most surrealistically hard-boiled things I’ve ever read. The detective is at least as scary as the murderers he’s chasing."
—William Gibson, bestselling author of Neuromancer
"No one claiming interest in literature truly written from the edge of human experience, no one wondering at the limits of the crime novel and of literature itself, can overlook these extraordinary books."
—James Sallis, author of Drive
"The Factory novels are certainly the most viscerally imagined of their kind that I've ever read, or reread multiple times. Derek Raymond wrote in a supposedly escapist genre in a manner that precluded any hope of escape."
—Scott Phillips, bestselling author of The Ice Harvest
"There remains no finer writing – crime or otherwise – about the state of Britain."
—David Peace, author of "The Red Riding Quartet."
"Carve Derek Raymond’s name into the literary pantheon. He is one of the rare authors who seek to understand evil, ferret out the darkness in human nature, and blast Noir fiction out of the genre ghetto and into Literature. His nameless detective's quest through the bleak streets gets under your skin. Amazing, painful and brilliant."
—Cara Black, bestselling author of Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
"I Was Dora Suarez blew me away - beyond hard boiled."
"More Chandleresque than Chandler... [Raymond] could write beautifully...and, more importantly, what he is writing about in this novel are nothing less than the important subjects any writer can deal with: mortality and death."
"A bizarre mixture of Chandleresque elegance... and naked brutality"
—The Daily Telegraph
"I cannot think of another writer so obsessed with the skull beneath the skin."
—The Times (London)
“A crackerjack of a crime novel, unafraid to face the reality of man’s and woman’s evil.”
"The beautiful, ruthless simplicity of the Factory novels is that Raymond rewrites the basic ethos of the classic detective novel."
—Charles Taylor, The Nation
"Hellishly bleak and moving."
"These are dark, horrible and lovely."
—Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers
About the Author
Derek Raymond was the pseudonym of British writer Robert Cook, who was born in London in 1931. The son of a textile magnate, he dropped out of Eton and rejected a life of privilege for a life of adventure. He traveled the world, living in Paris at the Beat Hotel and on New York’s seedy Lower East Side, smuggled artworks into Amsterdam, and spent time in a Spanish prison for publicly making fun of Franco. Finally, he landed back in London, working in the lower echelons of the Kray Brothers’ crime syndicate laundering money, organizing illegal gambling, and setting up insurance scams. He eventually took to writing—first as a pornographer, but then as an increasingly serious novelist, writing about the desperate characters and experiences he’d known in London’s underground. His work culminated in the Factory novels, landmarks that have led many to consider him the founding father of British noir. He died in London in 1993.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a common theme in the Factory novels, a victim who is ignored by the system but who is brought to life by either a diary, recorded thoughts or the memories of close friends. The sergeant is never named but his depth of feeling for the victim is almost painful to read. The novels are never really whodunnits, more the gradual gathering of evidence and uncovering of the chain of events. These books gripped me, they have a savage beauty. Their tone is depressing but there are some lighter moments when the sergeant takes time to deconstruct the masks that many of his witnesses wear or give his thoughts on the nature of policework. Buy it.
I liked them both, but they are very different works. I almost got the feeling that after producing a darkly beautiful piece of art in Eyes, Raymond saw the opportunity for a franchise character and took Devil in a more commercial direction.
This book, much more so than the first in the series, gives a lot of background about our nameless narrator, the Sergeant, beginning with why he works in the Department of Unexplained Deaths, beginning with a woman found sprawled on the side of the highway, barely grasping onto the last gasps of life. This woman had been home when her house was robbed and then dragged through the mud and thrown from a car. In the end, no one else seemed to give a damn about saving her or finding her killers. She didn’t make the headlines and wasn’t important enough. The case went to A14, where they work only on cases “where the victims have been written off upstairs as unimportant , not pressworthy, not well connected and not big crime.”
Here, we also get a glimpse of the Sergeant’s personal history, including the guilt he feels over not coming to terms with his wife’s madness and the fact that she killed their daughter and is now in a psychiatric hospital. He muses that he married the wrong woman and that the one he should have married went off with another man, who beat her up. And, he admits he always knew there was something wrong with Edie. Now, all he has left are his dreams about his daughter where he sees her like a bird, flying free and happy in the face of his trouble.
All these serves as background for a quite heinous crime with a person murdered, their body hacked apart, each piece separately boiled and then stapled into five garbage bags.
To me, this novel is all about the Sergeant as he drifts back in his memory and explains why he works in Unexplained Deaths, why he has no patience with anyone else on the force who is just doing what they can to get by, and his surly attitude. “Where I go,” he explains, “the ghosts go. I go where the evil is.”
And, although, he explains, there used to be dignity in life, people no longer care about each other the way they used to.
There is nothing quite like this Factory series and there can scarcely be another hero like this Sergeant. When you read this book, prepare for a deep, rich novel that is so chockfull of stuff that it may take you a while to read it. It is, simply put, not an easy read. This one is a lot more introspective than the first in the series and has perhaps less outright action, but it is a masterpiece, nonetheless.
Bottom line: a very good hardboiled British police drama. Recommended, but certainly not for the faint of heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No reader in his/her sane mind can "love" any of these novels.Read more