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Reappraisal: The Suicide Kit By David L Hayles Essay, Research Paper

Cockroach motel The Suicide Kit by David L Hayles192pp, SeckerIn & # 8220 ; The Incredible Doctor Octor & # 8221 ; , one of the short narratives in David L Hayles & # 8217 ; s introduction anthology, the worst physician on Harley Street instructs a female patient to deprive and make a handstand in forepart of a full-length mirror. & # 8220 ; Well Doctor? & # 8221 ; she asks, no uncertainty inquiring how a bare scrutiny will assist with her concern. & # 8220 ; The male childs at the squash nine were right, & # 8221 ; the physician answers, stroking the pubic hair where he rests his mentum, & # 8220 ; I would look stupid with a face fungus. Now, what did you say the job was? & # 8221 ; & # 8220 ; House of Buggin & # 8217 ; & # 8221 ; has a downtown New Yorker seeking to kip after a dual displacement in a dead-end occupation. He lies in bed, listening to the sound of bottles interrupting in the street outside, the plumbing from the level above, and his married woman speaking in her slumber, naming out another adult male & # 8217 ; s name. The room is so hot, you could boil an egg. And there are cockroaches: & # 8220 ; You could ne’er catch & # 8216 ; em, but you could hear them. They were all over the topographic point. It was illegal to allow them turn that large. He & # 8217 ; d read about it. Anything over a pes long was illegal. & # 8221 ; Suddenly, the bed begins to shiver. Is that his married woman, kicking her legs? Is the house falling down? Or is his married woman & # 8217 ; s lover concealing under there, trusting to creep across the floor and flight? The adult male aftermaths

his wife and tells her to switch on the light, as he flips the mattress on to the floor. It isn’t his wife’s lover at all, but a cockroach, a metre-and-a-half long with a hard shiny shell and “twitching antennae as thick as coat hangers”. The two shortest stories, both entitled “The Suicide Kit”, consist of nothing but advertising blurb. “The Suicide Kit provides a clean fast suicide that will let you go out not only with dignity, but without adding to what you’re already suffering,” reads one. The customer is promised discounts for senior citizens and “no bloody mess”. So what does the kit contain? How does it work? We are not told, which makes it all rather creepy. This book has no heart, no soul. Although each story is primarily a comedy, many of them don’t even make you laugh. But why should they? What have you ever done for them? There are a few false notes: “A Cruel Occurrence at Victoria Coach Station” is a tarted-up urban myth; “The Singer” spends several brilliant pages working up to a very weak joke (a cabaret performer is reprimanded for singing the theme from the Titanic movie on a cruise ship). But there are some beautifully drawn characters – the cabaret performer certainly doesn’t need her punchline – and Hayles writes with such cold-blooded precision that these minor grievances are quickly forgotten. Daren King is the author of Boxy and Star

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