Going to Ost
by Robert Meadley
Size: 220mm x 148mm
Publication: 29th May 2015
Art & Writing
Life for the wagering protagonist of Meadley's novel is inherently hazardous.A certain nonchalance and a hunter's instinct guides old soldier and campaigner Bukh Tabrolf Terongh, Warden of Kethoolmar and Master of Ost as he makes his way from the remote outpost of Empire where he has made his fortune to his birthplace in Ost, and a surreal homecoming.
In a journey across a seldom-bright landscape of shadows and rain, vast lakes, crumbling towers, vertiginous mountain passes, towns once fashionable but now blighted by the fickle builders of Empire, the reader encounters a rare mix of characters who give account of themselves.
Their stories are combined with reflections on the narrator's eventful past. In their telling theyare sometimes a joke on both reader and protagonist alike as Meadley weaves us a fine course replete with masterly humour and narrative control through his picaresque.
That is the charm of this book.
Going to Ost is also an erudite idiosyncratic distillation of author Robert Meadley's sources and obsessions: Herman Hesse, music hall, histories of myth and war, the Norse Goddess Hel, Chinese landscapes, board games, scholars and clergymen, Odysseus, obscure autobiographical narratives, depictions of nature, hunting game.
"Meadley has an unusual, erudite and devious intelligence… Going to Ost has a narrative which grips you from the moment it starts."
Michael Moorcock, from his 'Introduction'.
"A dance of imperfect information."
Bulgar von Carthage
"Meadley comes on like an intoxicated Iain Sinclair; a situationist WG Sebald."
Colin Greenland, The Independent (reviewing Meadley's book of essays, A Tea Dance at Savoy)