Cosas Que Leo #146: SOMEBODY’S HUSBAND, SOMEBODY’S SON, Gordon Burn

“BOYLE: I think you went for another purpose. Do you understand what I’m saying? I think you are in serious trouble.

SUTCLIFFE: I think you have been leading to it.

BOYLE: Leading up to what?

SUTCLIFFE. The Yorkshire Ripper.

BOYLE: What about the Yorkshire Ripper?

SUTCLIFFE: Well, it’s me.”

Somebody’s husband, somebody’s son; The story of the Yorkshire Ripper


Faber & Faber, 2019 (publicado originalmente en 1984)

354 págs.

Cosas Que Leo #49: MY DARK PLACES, James Ellroy

“I hijacked popular culture and furnished my inner world with the clutter. I spoke my own specialized language and viewed the outside world with x-ray eyeglasses. I saw crime everywhere.

CRIME linked my worlds -inside and outside. Crime was clandestine sex and the random desecration of women. Crime was as banal and rarefied as a Young boy’s brain perk-perk-perking.

I was a committed anti-Communist and somewhat more tenuous racist. Jews and Negroes were pawns in the world-wide Commie Conspiracy. I lived by the logic of sequestered truth and hidden agendas. My inner world was obsessively realized and as curative as it was debilitating. It rendered the outside world prosaic and made my daily transit in that world passably bearable.

The old man ruled my outside world. He ruled permissively and kept me in line with occasional outbursts of scorn. He thought I was weak, lazy, slothful, duplicitous, fanciful and painfully neurotic. He was unhip to the fact that I was his mirror image.

I had his number. He had mine. I started shutting him out. It was the same extrication process I utilized with my mother.

Some neighborhood kids got my number and let me into their clique. They were outcasts with Good social skills. Their names were Lloyd, Fritz and Daryl.

Lloyd was a fat boy from a broken home. His mother was a Christian wacko. He was as foulmouthed as I was and loved books and music just as much. Fritz lived in Hancock Park. He dug movie soundtracks and Ayn Rand novels. Daryl was an ass-kicker, athlete and borderline Nazi of half-Jewish parentage.

They let me into their clique. I became their subaltern, court jester and stooge. They thought I was a big-time laugh riot. My raunchy home life shocked and delighted them.

We rode our bikes to movies in Hollywood. I always lagged a hundred yards behind -my Schwinn Corvette was just that heavy and hard to propel. We listened to music and spritzed on sex, politics, books and our preposterous ideas.

I couldn’t hold my own intellectually. My sense of discourse was internally directed and channelled into narrative. My Friends thought I wasn’t as smart as they were. They teased me and ragged me and made me the butt of their jokes.

I took their shit and kept coming back for more. Lloyd, Fritz and Daryl had a keen instinct for weakness and were skilled at male one-upmanship. Their cruelty hurt -but not enough to make me drop their friendship.

I was resilient. Small slights would make me cry and undergo intense grief for ten minutes maximum. Emotional thrashings left my wounds cauterized and ready to be reopened.

I was a case study in teenage intransigence. I held and iron-clad, Steel-buffed, pathologically derived and empirically valid hole card: the ability to withdraw and inhabit a world of my own mental making.

Friendship meant minor indignities. Raucous laughs with the guys meant assuming a subservient role. The cost felt negligible. I knew how to reap profit from estrangement.

I didn’t know that costs accrue. I didn’t know that you always pay for what you suppress.”

My dark places


Windmill Books, 2010 (publicado originalmente en 1996)

407 págs.

Presentación de HELTER SKELTER el 22 de mayo

Pedazo de flyer autoexplicativo. Tal elenco de frrrreaks no se veía desde La revancha de los novatos II. Una charla a tres manos entre tres grandes guiquis de la cultura pop, con la colaboración de editor y traductor. Solo falta Charlie (no habrá sesión de espiritismo, no teman).

Me apetece mucho esto, porque además de ser ultrafan del libro y de la historia, voy a compartir mesa con dos caballeros que me chiflan, en lo humano y cultural.

Es, ya lo ven ahí arriba, el miércoles 22 de mayo a las 19h, en La Central de la calle Mallorca. Les invito a venir. Sí, a todos ustedes.