Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"Leonard Cohen, who are you?
"Are you (1934-2016)?
"Are you a monk with dirty mind or a Casanova in an Armani suit?
"Is it true that women can achieve orgasm just by touching one of your record sleeves?
"Can you give me a fraction of your wisdom?
"Leonard Norman Cohen is born on September 21, 1934, in Montreal as foreseen by Nostradamus.
"1943. Cohen's father, Nathan dies leaving a wife and 2 kids, Leonard and Esther.
"Cohen buries a copy of "Action Comics" #1 in the yard.
"No one knows why."
Haha, oh Jason, you're such a wag...
I guess if you've read much of Jason's previous material (ALMOST SILENT / I KILLED ADOLF HITLER / IF YOU STEAL / LEFT BANK GANG / LOST CAT / LOW MOON / WHAT I DID) it is probably no surprise to find he's a fan of the musical High Priest of Pathos himself. In fact, thinking about it, it would be probably be utterly astonishing were he not!
Here Jason provides a loving, typically dry humoured tribute to Cohen that might well mix a little outright fabrication or two in amongst the many equally implausible truths. Thus, those unfamiliar with the life and times of the great man might well be surprised to find some of the events they would guess to be nonsense are in fact completely factually accurate! And indeed vice versa!
I'm pretty sure he never stepped in to replace Bono as the lead singer of U2 though...
Once again Jason provides an eclectic clutch of material for this latest hardback collection. In addition to the titular story which delightfully conflates Josephine Baker as the main squeeze of the Emperor Napoleon in a calamitous rom-com, there is as also a brilliantly and deliberately confusing crime-caper called The Diamonds which cuts rapidly from scene-to-scene leaving the reader to put the pieces together for themselves as to precisely how all the characters are connected. I had no idea where it was going and who it was going to end badly for right up until the last moment
But first the collection opens with some perambulating autobiographical material, following on from the excellent ON THE CAMINO. This time Jason is meandering around Ireland, specifically walking the 81-mile Wicklow Way that runs from southern Dublin through the hilly terrain of County Wicklow before concluding in the village of Clonegal in County Carlow.
I can't honestly say that this particular trip is as entertaining as his Spanish voyage. I mean, the man orders the exact same thing, a chicken salad sandwich and a Guinness for lunch, every single day. The height of excitement is probably upon finishing his walk when he discovers there isn't a bus to get back to Dublin until the following morning. But, somehow, in trademark fashion, he still manages to make his anfractuous adventure an enjoyable read.