Reviewed by Sheri Harper
by D F Lewis
June 2011, Paperback: 392 pages, ISBN: 978-1-907681-09-7
Nemonymous Night is fantasy at its most unreliable and thought provoking. D F Lewis uses Nemonymous Night to explore several idea landscapes – the connection of writer to character to reality and the definition of personality through the unconscious and dreaming. It flows like the dream world where people merge suddenly or become someone else, is repetitive and cyclic and emotional at times.
The story sort of follows the path of the hawler, Mike, or Hawler, the drill and both serve to take the reader on a journey into the self and unconsciousness. There are three tales that are connected in Nemonymous Night—Nemonymous Navigation, Nemonymous Night and Apocryphal Coda. In the first section, the reader is introduced to Mike and Susan, Arthur and Amy their children, Greg, the barkeeper Ogden and various others while we learn about the carpet which in many ways is our tie to the concrete world although other ties show up in the form of an red English Doubledecker Bus and a zoo.
At first the reader feels as if one is dreaming the dreams of an elderly person that has lost their grasp on time and place and memory. At other times, the reader feels invited to drift off on their own thought process about what it means to be Nemonymous, and later we are somewhat connected to the literary world by finding that we have been brought here by a well-known universal idea and it allows us to be comfortable in our discomfort.
This is not an easy story to read, but one that should be thought about at times. My best way of describing the thought-provoking nature is to show a few passages that lend the flavor to the tale i.e. “In modern scene drama there are swishes of sound to alleviate the changes of scene, large noisy tractions of vision that overwhelm the quiet reflective nature of the scene with an abruptness that life never really has on reflection: all misery is gradual, such as lives are gradual, never fast changing, even if one can destroy a marriage with one simple act…” Another example is “It was as if noise not only produced air movement or downward proclivities of twisters, but also a means to transfers thoughts inside such air movement without the use of speech, but retaining a disguise of speech”. The language can be poetic, can stop one from following the story and invites the reader to do their own assessment of the world in which they have been led.
The fantasy of the story deals with an overland balloon that takes one through the Earth of self and a giant drill that takes one to the same along a different route. Other elements like angel wine and dreaming sickness and avian FLEW disease and having feathers grow out of oneself and needing cure adds to the wonder of the trip through this story.
Even upon ending, the reader unfamiliar with DF Lewis’ work isn’t sure whether one has reached an understanding of self or the dream or made it to reality again or whether they should perhaps start over and read once more. It is a very well wrought book that many fantasy lovers will enjoy for the statement it makes by unmaking.
About the reviewer: Sheri Fresonke Harper is a poet and writer. She’s been published in many small journals and is working on her second science fiction novel. See www.sfharper.com.