Thursday 16 May 2019

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

Finally, the book reviewers can speak, for the world-wide launch of the 6th novel by Thomas Harris was hosted by Goldsboro books, in London on Tuesday 14th of May, a few days ahead of the UK and Irish release today Thursday 16th of May 2019, by William Heinemann. It is released a few days later on 21st of May in US and Canada from Grand Central Publishing. 

I was joined by Ayo Onatade and Barry Forshaw [among many others] to celebrate the release of this long-awaited book. The event was managed by Charlotte Bush with Jason Arthur of that iconic PenguinRandomHouse imprint.

Part of the launch included details of a nationwide Treasure Hunt, for Gold Bullion, mirroring the narrative of Cari Mora – the prize being a unique ‘Gold’ Edition of the Thomas Harris novel – details from The Bookseller HERE

So we were welcomed by wine and nibbles as Publisher Jason Arthur took to the microphone, which we recorded HERE and embedded below in a six-minute clip filmed in angular gonzo-vision –

And after writing peripheral information, such as this HERE, the few literary critics who were sent the book for an opinion are now able to publish their thoughts, as the embargo was lifted, today the 16th of May 2019.

So, what were my thoughts?

And presented with no spoilers -

Despite this eagerly anticipated novel being unusually concise, as it would take no more than an afternoon curled up on a sofa to consume - it cannot be labelled with that axiom “one-sitting-read”. Like a bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella (that has been aged at least ten years), it needs to be sipped slowly, as the arrangement of words to tell a story (to paint pictures in the reader’s mind) is extraordinary. However, the horrors revealed as this narrative unfurls are troubling. The story cuts jaggedly into the mind like the obsidian-edged scalpel wielded by Hans-Peter Schneider; leaving a scar, one that reverberates inside the mind like an echo, one that doesn’t decay like the ones we screamed into those caves we explored as children. The cries and horrors from this book will remain contained within the caverns of our mind, troubling us from time to time, whenever we recall being exposed to this narrative.

Read the full review from Shots Magazine HERE

I found myself shocked at many of the events that unfold, and repelled at some actions of the antagonists but it is written so well, so adroitly edited that as a reading experience it is as exceptional, as it is hypnotic.

Though dark, and very scary it has moments of great insight, but at its core it is a thriller, one that made my pulse pound and I would urge readers to look out for it, because it is so damned fine.

Though, at times I was scared as it is so very dark.

During the reading, at moments I wondered why some of us are attracted to read of such terrible things, of humans pushed into the darkest of situations. I thought of the magnetic attraction of the car crash. Sometimes we view the hidden terrors contained in existence to be thankful; other times it’s because we wish to be at the epicentre of vicarious thrills, viewed safely, existentially, from the mind.

A line from Thomas Harris’ 1999 thriller, HANNIBAL is apt.

“The exposition of Atrocious Torture Instruments could not fail to appeal to a connoisseur of the worst in mankind. But the essence of the worst, the true asafoetida of the human spirit, is not found in the Iron Maiden or the whetted edge; Elemental Ugliness is found in the faces of the crowd.”

As Dr Hannibal Lecter when visiting the exhibition in his Dr Fell disguise gained his pleasure not from viewing the exhibits, but derived it from the faces in the crowd.

I have admiration for Thomas Harris, for what he wrote in the last paragraph of his acknowledgements, his thanks to others, for when you read Cari Mora, you will understand 

“Most of all, my thanks to this place – Miami – savory and beautiful, an intensely American City built and maintained by people who came from somewhere else, often on foot.”

We present a few photographs from the launch, and would pass our thanks to David Headley and his team at Goldsboro Books for hosting the launch party, as well as Charlotte Bush for allowing us an early read, and her colleagues for fronting the launch party.

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