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Dr. Mephisto is in the form of a long sequence of poems. It traces Mephistopheles as he ranges freely through time and space, at times a laconic observer, at others a thuggish participant, but always a presence wherever there is conflict and suffering and whenever there is work to be done. Far from being oppressive, this is an exciting and highly original work, whose exhilarating pace is set by Emery’s innovative use of language and form, and whose acerbic political edge keeps the vision sharp and fresh. Compelling, hard-hitting, and grimly funny, Dr Mephisto will be remembered long after being read, and a significant new poetic voice will have been recognised.
‘This is a remarkable debut collection by Chris Emery. He possesses an attack vocabulary and has the ambition to think the unthinkable. Cross yourself before reading Dr. Mephisto.’ —John Hartley Williams
‘More Marlowe than Goethe, things really catch light when the lines go lyrical. Ghosts of punk offer up trills of the damned, but a secular scepticism is on keyboards. Think of Orson Welles and Marlene Dietrich in A Touch of Evil and dream of new dawns.’ —Drew Milne
‘Chris Emery’s Dr. Mephisto lets the Devil have a little fun and reminds me that eternal damnation can be a Godsend.’ —Simon Barraclough
‘These poems reimagine excruciatingly the ‘double life’ of the body itself, the life of nervous self-domination and subjection.’ —Keston Sutherland
‘Recreating a goldmine, an apt circle of Hell, he’s also creating a trope for the destructive greed and wealth of the consumer West.’ —Herbert Lomas
‘A good first collection.’ —Tony Frazer
‘Vivid, pungent stanzas.’ —M.C. Caseley
‘Certainly you will not have read any other poetry book like this, and Goethe and Christopher Marlowe must surely have been looking approvingly over Chris Emery’s shoulder when he was writing, gasping at his command of language.’ —Anne Born
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