The Last Llanelli Train

Overview

Shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Writing

“It’s Bukowski’s Pulp gone West Country.”—Uncut

“Takes the classic elements of noir . . . and pushes the genre to its limits.”—Welsh Literature Abroad

Meet Robert Llewellyn, the most apathetic, hopeless private eye ever created. He’s one step away from the gutter when ...

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Overview

Shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Writing

“It’s Bukowski’s Pulp gone West Country.”—Uncut

“Takes the classic elements of noir . . . and pushes the genre to its limits.”—Welsh Literature Abroad

Meet Robert Llewellyn, the most apathetic, hopeless private eye ever created. He’s one step away from the gutter when he gets one last case—and that case smells of money.

Mixing purest noir with some jet-black comedy, The Last Llanelli Train offers an unforgettable portrait of a man whose life is falling apart.

Robert Lewis is from the Black Mountains in Wales. He now lives in Swansea.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Welsh author Lewis holds nothing back in this unflinching noir, his second novel to feature PI Robin Llywelyn to be made available in the U.S. (after 2008's Swansea Terminal). A former debt collector who once had hopes of joining the police, Llywelyn now spends his days drinking and lurching from one moment to the next. In debt to a loan shark, Llywelyn hopes for a significant payday from a new client, Mrs. Dixon, who suspects her husband of marital infidelity. Mrs. Dixon's demand that the evidence of same be captured on videotape dramatically increases his expenses. In keeping with his preference to deal with immediate problems without weighing future consequences, Llywelyn goes further into debt by borrowing thousands of pounds from a shylock. While the plot line is serviceable, the book's power lies in Lewis's evocative prose coupled with the warts-and-all portrayal of Llywelyn, who knows that he's on a self-destructive path, but is unable to turn aside. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852428907
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Lewis was born in Wales. He spent his twenties getting sacked, drinking in bars, and caring about the wrong things. He still thinks literature can save him, and he's almost thirty now. (He hasn't seen it save anyone else.) The Last Llanelli Train, was shortlisted for the PG Wodehouse Prize for Comic Writing.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sobering and gritty

    In Bristol, England as he becomes middle aged, private investigator Robin Llewellyn drinks at the nearby pub whose regulars are losers like him. Alcohol allows him to sit in the present and not muse sadly how far he has fallen not from his dreams but with the firm he inherited and hide from his lack of a future. He once planned to be a cop, but settled on debt collecting and now earns money mostly exposing errant spouses as professional expertise at divorces has become his specialty when he gets work that is.--------------

    Currently he owes an arm and a leg and a few thousand pounds to a vicious loan shark, who will soon demand remittance. Robin has a wealthy new client, Mrs. Dixon, who he plans to bilk for more than he is worth. She wants him to prove her businessman husband is cheating on her. Mrs. Dixon demands Robin do what he must to video her spouse with his latest floozy. He knows what he must do as he arranges a tryst between the husband and a hooker that he will film. The problem is to arrange and tape takes planning that denotes future; something Robin cannot do. Even he is aware that he is imploding, but cannot change anything even his clothing.--------------

    Llewellyn is an unlikable sordid soul who is so sleazy that he fails to gain any empathy from enthralled readers even with one foot on a banana peel and the other already in the cesspool. The story line is fast-paced but almost irrelevant as in some ways THE LAST LLANELLI TRAIN is a character study of someone on the brink of self destruction. Told by Robin who is fully aware of what he is doing to himself but unable to think ahead of the cosnequences of his behavior. Sobering and gritty yet filled with a dark humor, readers will appreciate Robert Lewis' discerning look at a man slowly subconiously killing himself.--------------

    Harriet Klausner

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