More Aberystwyth nonsense

5 05 2012

Last Tango in Aberystwyth by Malcolm Pryce

According to the Guardian “Combines Monty Python absurdity with tenderness for the twisted world of noir… Priceless.”

To the girls who came to make it big in the town’s ‘What the Butler Saw’ movie industry, Aberystwyth was the town of broken dreams. To Dean Morgan who taught at the Faculty of Undertaking, it was just a place to get course materials. But both worlds collide when the Dean checks into the notorious bed and breakfast ghetto and mistakenly receives a suitcase intended for a ruthless druid assassin. Soon he is running for his life, lost in a dark labyrinth of druid speakeasies and toffee apple dens, where every spinning wheel tells the story of a broken heart, and where the Dean’s own heart is hopelessly in thrall to a porn star known as Judy Juice.

Quite entertaining, lots of gags and some really good comic moments. Good fun and all with a distinctive Welsh angle.


Aberystwyth mysteries

12 05 2011

Aberystwyth Mon Amour by Malcolm Pryce

From the blurb:

Schoolboys are disappearing all over Aberystwyth and nobody knows why. Louie Knight, the town’s private investigator, soon realises that it is going to take more than a double ripple from Sospan, the philosopher cum ice-cream seller, to help find out what is happening to these boys and whether or not Lovespoon, the Welsh teacher, Grand Wizard of the Druids and controller of the town, is more than just a sinister bully. And just who was Gwenno Guevara?


LET’S BE CLEAR about it then: Aberystwyth in the Eighties was no Babylon. Even when the flood came there was nothing Biblical about the matter, despite what some fools are saying now. I spent the years before the deluge operating out of an office on Canticle Street, above the Orthopaedic Boot shop. And you know what that means: take two lefts outside the door and you were on the Old Prom. That was where it all happened: the bars, the dives, the gambling dens, the 24-hour Whelk Stall, and Sospan’s ice-cream kiosk. That’s where the tea-cosy shops were, the ones that never sold tea cosies; and the toffee apple dens, the ones that never sold toffee. And that was where those latter day Canutes, the ladies from the Sweet Jesus League, had their stall. I saw a lot of things along that part of the Prom, but I don’t remember seeing any hanging gardens. Just those round concrete tubs of Hydrangeas the Council put out so the drunks would have something to throw up in. I also spent a lot of my time at the Druid-run Moulin Club in Patriarch Street and I’m well aware of what the girls got up to there. Sure, you can call it harlotry if it makes you feel better, but I was there the night Bianca died and I’m just as happy with the word prostitution. And as for idolatry, well, if you ask me, the only thing men worshipped on a regular basis before the flood was money. That, and the singer down at the Moulin, Myfanwy Montez. And I know that for certain, because although I never had any money in my office in those days, I did once have Myfanwy Montez . . .

It’s all jolly amusing and pretty good fun – a real seaside criminal romp. Raymond Chandler comes to Wales in a Jasper Fforde kind of way. Some of the over the top cod Welshness does get a little bit wearing at times but, overall, it’s worth it.

%d bloggers like this: