Paul Di Filippo (pgdf) wrote in theinferior4,
Paul Di Filippo

Sixties Novels, Part 11

TWILIGHT CANDELABRA, William Craddock, Doubleday, 1972

I have to apologize for the truncated cover image, which I found on a book-dealer's site. It still appeared preferable to the one I would have produced from my copy, with flash glare!

Well, folks, this book looks, upon cursory examination, to be THE REAL DEAL. A neglected minor masterpiece and cult object of veneration. If you followed the link to Rudy Rucker's blog in a prior post of mine and read Rudy's meditation on Craddock's first and more famous novel, BE NOT CONTENT, you'll have a good idea of the nature of this "sequel." It looks to be THE TIDES OF LUST as written by Philip Jose Farmer in his IMAGE OF THE BEAST mode, with maybe Richard Brautigan holding Craddock's elbow. The book comes complete with a quiz and lists after the conclusion, including:

Twenty-one Drugs Used or Mentioned in TWILIGHT CANDELABRA

Sixteen Sexual Acts Performed or Mentioned in TWILIGHT CANDELABRA

Nine Causes of Death to Be Found in TWILIGHT CANDELABRA

To expand upon the cover blurb, we find this prefatory passage inside:

"A horror story and tight pornographic allegory concerned with a dark and disrespectful grope through circular Eternity in search of a paradoxical parapatterner of simplistic truth guarded by legions of 'dogs, and sorcerors, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.'"

As Homer Simpson once said, trying to explain classic rock music to Bart: "It's BTO--they're Canada's answer to ELP. Their big hit was TCB. [notices Bart staring at him, questioningly] That's how we talked in the 70's. We didn't have a moment to spare!"

Well, Craddock's passage above is how we talked in the Sixties--we didn't have an extra brain cell to spare! Our functioning neurons were all to busy with drug uptake or questioning reality.

Craddock's widow is currently trying to get these books--and further unpublished manuscripts--back into print:

It seems like a perfect project for Wildside or Small Beer or Night Shade, or a similar press of good taste. Get on it, folks!

But until there's a new edition, the scarcity of the first printings has driven their prices sky-high. I nearly jumped when I visited my favorite source for old books, ABE:

There, I discovered that the trade paperback with the $2.95 cover price I had been chucking carelessly about from table to chair was worth from $80-100!

Snatch up the next copy you see!
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