jenn and i like going on big summer road trips. one of my fave memories of our many trips is not of a place or activity but a weird feeling i experienced one year when i read robert nye’s faust while on vacation. it’s a great book and really affected me — i felt happy and good about summer and all the fun things we were doing, like exploring forests and small towns and lakes and various sights, but there was also a feeling of dread, of fear, interlaced with all those good times and pleasant vibes because of faust. it really added a strange and fascinating dimension to the trip for me. it was like the specter of the devil and all intangible evil cast a shadow over all the wholesomeness of our summer fun.
and i loved it.
it was because of this experience that i recently ventured into russell books with benjamin (sorry if that tidbit gets you divorced, benny). i was in search of well-written dark books to enjoy on upcoming road trips. not stephen king “and then the vampire swooped down and said lunch time as he bit her lovely milk-white neck” stuff. i wanted stuff that was more multidimensional and less goofy and stupid — more stuff like faust. so i described my impossibly specific tastes to an enthusiastic russell books employee who did a fantastic job of recommending and finding copies of all kinds of suitable things i’m excited to read. ben also did a quick search on his phone for ‘best satanic books’ and came up with some more good suggestions. i walked out of there with five novels, sure to ruin my summer perfectly.
and now i can’t wait for the next road trip. offsetting all the fun with a bit of spiritual desolation makes the overall experience much more emotionally and psychologically stimulating. it means i can have lots of fun with my wife, exploring natural wonders and swimming and hiking and whatnot, but also feel a little terrified for the safety of my soul or spirit. it’s a wonderful balance.
maybe if jenn was down to listen to akercocke and voices on the trip, i wouldn’t need to read these books to get my dose of satanism and misanthropy. that will never happen though so i’m glad i’ve got this plan B sorted out well ahead of time. there is no way i’m leaving evil at home on this road trip.