Books - The Virulent ChapBooks of Kneel Downe


Our resident Pisky Romeo Kennedy steps into the VirulentBlurb universe of Kneel Downe and reads the Virulent ChapBooks...

I'm not sure if I have read this somewhere before in regards to Kneel's work of the virulent.

So apologies if I have hijacked this quote,

You don't read a Kneel Downe book. It reads you.

"But Romeo," I hear, "Aren't you being just a tad dramatic and, well, over the top? Surely you mean it in jest?"

No, I really do mean it, but what is it exactly that I mean?

Previously published works of Mr Downe's have been made into chapbooks so that you may take bitesize chunks off Kneel's poetry and psychedelic prose. But it is more than just simple psychedelically charged words that make Downe's work what it is.

His use of words, his handling of detail where it is needed but also leaving space and questions that may or may not be questions but reach that level of subjectiveness leaving it to be taken and interpreted over and over, but all the while you will still ask yourselves what it is you have read.

Take, Out of Phaze, for example.

This cyberpunk story is not a relation of Neuromancer, Synners etc. And whilst those stories are fantastic, Out of Phaze is the machine that we, the reader, have uploaded our minds into. This is first person cyberpunk. We are powering the machine.

Okay so you may be reading this and thinking, what the hell is Romeo smoking? But I can assure you my mind is as clear as a unicorn riding a motorcycle and smoking a pipe.

A while ago I was talking books with a friend of mine, and suggested some of Kneel's work.

"What genre is it?" and that gave me pause.

Although Kneel's work is based in speculative fiction, it could also be deemed New Weird but labels being what they are i don't think that truly encapsulates what Kneel's work is. If Virulent Fiction (or Vir-Fic) has not been coined, it should be.

Is Kneel's work for everybody? No, not at all. Just as any author's work isn't. There will be those who truly connect to the material and there will be others who don't.

This is the second time I have reviewed Downe's work [read Romeo's review of Sporadic Too: Infections] and, in the spirit of honesty, long before I had actually sat down with a Kneel Downe book, I had seen some of his stuff online and found it jarring, almost as if someone went around a modern art gallery turning all the exhibitions upside down and scrawling random words like "cabbage" but backwards.

Having said that I did continue to read Kneel's Twitfic and found it fascinating, compelling and wonderfully written which has eventually lead us to this review.

So what is it I mean when I say that a Kneel Downe book reads you?

Its the words, the passages of prose, an inception of poetry. Certain passages will play on your mind. You'll question what you have read and in turn it will question you.

And once you have read these rather lovely chapbooks, you will discover what I mean.

Follow Kneel Downe on Twitter @kneeldowne
Follow Romeo on Twitter @RomeoRites

Image - VirulentBlurb



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