The final volume of Nicholas’ A Journal For Damned Lovers trilogy brings the fledging footsteps of a writer to a close, ready to take his next step; releasing his first novel, X and I.
I have always praised the structure of Nicholas’ collections but Volume 3 is certainly the best – demonstrating a practiced ease post release of the previous two volumes. Each piece flowed into the next and references to the speaker’s father or the loss of Bethany no longer felt like truths with jagged edges forced into the fantasy. This volume felt fluid and far more honest than any other.
Everything was heightened – the nostalgia, the violent images, the sex, the love and the loneliness – a symbol of the ‘fledging writer’ maturing into a writer comfortable in his style; in his ability to merge fantasy with reality to create something sublime.
Throughout, I thought I had stumbled upon Bandini’s journal (John Fante’s lone writer who takes baths swirling with magazine clippings of women) and I fell in love with this.
Nicholas’ voice is special because it manifests gloriously, violently and crudely. He takes the Earth and everything as we know it and crushes it all between his hands, into stardust.