When you’re all alone in the world, it’s only natural to begin talking to yourself, which very easily spirals into incomprehensible ramblings about your deepest fears and darkest secrets. Such is the atmosphere one feels when reading Tim Lane’s The Lonesome Go, an anthology that on first reading feels overly long and more like a personal scrapbook than a work of fiction.
The Lonesome Go collects a large handful of stories that share overarching themes of isolation, depression, and of course, loneliness. Several stories are presented through several instalments, and its such death-ridden and crime-filled adventures as Belligerent Piano, In Another Life and Notes of a Second Class Citizen that are the strongest in this collection. Some of the shorter stories here are, however, almost too brief and abstract to allow the reader to make sense of them, but there’s still plenty for The Lonesome Go to succeed on.
Its presentation is fairly unique, mixing brutally noir-ish black-and-white artwork with occasional sidesteps into pull-out panels, text stories and photographs, alongside the fairly dominant and more regular panel styles. This variation in how the novel looks adds to the sheer idiosyncrasy of the book, making it a difficult but overall absorbing read.
Not so much an anthology, more like an utterly surreal contortion of raw human emotion, The Lonesome Go is not for the faint-hearted. Whether its good or whether its bad is something highly debatable, but The Lonesome Go really is a one of a kind read. Its stories mix the underbelly acts of humanity (crime, death, perversion, violence) with bizarre monologues that read as if the reader is being thrown into the deepest recesses of the human psyche. A tough read, but a rewarding one as well.