The Boatman's Holiday
When the boatman ferrying souls of the dead across the river is on holiday, we linger on the far shore of hell, sweat and study the terrain. For that reason we move slow motion through the novel, a frieze of images projected by memory and desire, ghosts haunting the past activated by the imminence of the future.
Like an ancient fable the story unwinds on that far shore, who will be plunged into darkness, who will survive? As one eye glances quickly at the past, the other scanning ahead, The Boatman's Holiday focuses primarily on five transitional years in the nineteen sixties.
Here we have another side of the sixties, this probing narrative populated by an artistic, intellectual fringe, a certain limbo deliberately separate from any noisy pop cultural explosion or even the silent majority. Deliberately projected in a fusion of styles and forms, the absorbing characters we meet are artists, journalists, a yoga master, a musician, a writer, an inventor and his wife, and two twenty something students, all a little dislocated, even lost, as they examine the emotional and aesthetic perplexities in their lives.