Page 45 Review by Stephen
"You want to ask me something. Go ahead."
"No. I can't. It's not your fight."
"Oh really? Honey... do I look particularly white to you?"
I love how the covers of this two-parter look together on our shelves.
It's like your annual eye test.
On which does the writing look clearest to you?
Seeing clearly is precisely what this is about. Not everyone is as alert as they should be when their country starts sliding into fascism.
Britain's well on the way, with Theresa Dis-May's personally instigated Hostile Environment; her "Go Home Or Face Arrest" vans (I still cannot f***ing believe them) and the Windrush Scandal which has seen the wrongful deportation of so many perfectly legal UK residents who've worked ridiculously hard for decades for the likes of the NHS after this country begged them to help out after WWII by upping-sticks and leaving behind their family homes and beautiful, bountiful, warm and sunny countries of original for this sad, small, cold, rainy country which met them with racism and resentment.
We're back to bookshops being raided by masked men, such is the renewed rise of the far right, fanned by the hate-flames of the Daily Fail and the most extreme and self-serving of the isolationist Brexiteers. We're back to assaults on buses and trams of people of colour and an increase in domestic violence. All hate crime is on the rise while those now joining, advising and leading Ukip are uglier politically than Nigel bloody Farage. Not a sentence I ever anticipated typing.
We're even facing the very real possibility of an overt racist leading the Tories - as opposed to the barely covert one we have now - as our Prime Minister in the form of Boris Johnson. He's already been Foreign Secretary. A racist Foreign Secretary! For Britain!
As for America, this is where it's headed and is almost there, far further ahead down the slippery slope to inhumanity, fascism and indeed feudalism than even we are.
My review of DAYS OF HATE VOL 1 was so much more on-topic than this - lavishing praise on the dark, stark, rugged art which at the same time managed to glow - that most things I could write now would be repetitive, redundant and potentially full of spoilers. However:
One moment, almost unimaginably awful, has torn two lovers apart.
One of them has joined a small resistance cell, investigating homophobic bombings - which now elicit no response from the government or public alike - then turning the tables, meting out their revenge, but not without considerable risk to themselves. The other woman has fallen into the hands of - then thrown herself into bed with - the manipulative monster in charge of capturing her ex-lover who has teamed up with a man equally disaffected by this grave new world, and who can no longer visit his family, for the law isn't above using your loved ones.
And the law, it dutifully visits all their loved ones, one by one...
Let's leave it with that chilling ellipsis, shall we?
What's extraordinary about this second half, in addition to its emotional charge, is that Ales Kot is not renowned for this reticence in writing. He is a furnace fired up with ideas. Yet he has left Zezelj and Bellaire so much room for their penumbral art to haunt you in silence.
It hovers like a shroud throughout, over everything and everyone.
For more, please see DAYS OF HATE VOL 1.