Sunday, February 26, 2017
Mad Still, by Andrew Davie
If you took a Bob Dylan song full of surreal imagery, say "Desolation Row" or "Just Like Tom Thumb Blues," and turned it into a crime story the result might be a bit like "Mad Still."
The anonymous narrator is a retired boxer (mostly a sparring partner). He is newly arrived in New Orleans and he is meeting with the Clown.
The Clown is the leader of a group of street performers and they are having a problem with a human statue, the one nicknamed Mad Still because he can stand unmoving all day, hogging one of the best places to attract crowds. "He doesn't even take tips." The Clown and his associates want him moved by any means necessary.
But it turns out there is a rival group of performers that want Mad Still to stay where he is. They are the ACTors, movie star look-alikes who earn their daily bread posing for photos with tourists. There leader is Clint Eastwood, more or less. Both groups want our boxer hero to enforce their will.
Violence happens. Someone is kidnapped. Golems are invoked. Then things turn weird.
What I am saying is, if you want a straight road to a logical conclusion you shouldn't be on Highway 61 in the first place.
I enjoyed this story a lot.