Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review of Coping With Madness by Philip Fletcher

review, Review of Coping With Madness (self published, 2009,, single-spaced, 84 pages) by Philip Fletcher of unknown location

by Barbara Bialick

Coping With Madness is a blog-like set of streams of consciousness from the 1990s when the author was lonely and sex-starved and in his 50s. I think there’s lots of people who could relate to that, but don’t look for high art or poetry. Even saying that, I’ll throw in some quotes that have an interesting twang such as: (from Seemingly Nothing, Bloke on the Dole aged 48)—“Another night’s soulless sleep and one more barren day to come. I live in a social vacuum…I sit on my favourite park bench in the early morning light, watching my dog relieve himself…an overweight middle-aged woman comes shuffling towards me, led by a squat Scottie dog…the hopeless case stares straight ahead, telling someone off who only she can see. Even the birds are in a bad mood, scrapping in the trees…I might as well go home and back to bed for a few hours.” There are many other lonely, moody, sardonic entries but they are often too obscene to recount here…

Many of his fellow writers could, however, relate to “Dear BLOODAXE BOOKS”:
“I’m nearly 51 years old, I’ve been visually handicapped all my life and now I have Arthritis…I don’t know what I’ll do if you turn me down, I’ve set my heart on being published by you, I like your name and you’re not as far away as London…I’ll probably get clinically depressed again. Yours, etc. (How could they have refused me after a letter like that? I ask you?)”

An enty at the end from 2007, sums up his book, “Aged 60, I’m now concentrating on my personal paradise. My version of the afterlife might differ greatly from yours. It’ll be me, aged 23, and a whole harem of beautiful women Living miles apart in an idyllic green and lush setting, letting me Play Lord and Master whenever I deigned to pay them a visit…And that’s it, please let that be it; if I ever get the urge to write again you can shoot me and speed me on my way to my happy ever after, where the sounds of sex and laughter are all I’ll hear.”

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