ON THE OVERGROWN PATH by David Herter, intro by John Clute. Hornsea, North Yorkshire, UK; PS Publishing: 2006. 1st edition hardcover.
En route from Bratislava to Prague in the deceptive spring of the 1920s, Leos Janacek, famed opera composer, ethnographer, and amateur psychologist, is stranded in an obscure and enigmatic mountain village, lured from his train by a song of blood. Here, Janacek must become a detective far from home. Attempting to solve a bizarre murder in which he himself is suspect — and whose perpetrator might be a wild animal, a jealous lover, or Nature unhinged — he brings to bear his singular skills of observation and poetic insight, and most importantly, his belief in the truthfulness of the "little melodies" heard in everyday life: the cry of a bird, the plash of snow from the eaves, the horrendous lie voiced with a smile. What he uncovers is a many-stranded aria of ravenous Nature and mischievous Time, threatening to consume his world.
David Herter, author of the acclaimed, stylish novels Ceres Storm and Evening's Empire, has written a rich and dark fantasy growing from the very roots of Janacek's idiosyncratic soul.
Issued in a SIGNED/LIMITED hardcover edition of 300 copies. Fine in fine dj. OUT OF PRINT.