The Meifod Claw – SciFi, Drugs, Rock and Roll and More than a Spot of Tea

The author is a very capable writer! His descriptions of the various seasons throughout the book are almost magical. The story and the characters are unforgettable and the little corner of Wales in which they inhabit is brought to life. Most of the story takes place at a remote farmhouse with the regular forays to the local pub. As the plot unfolds, the globe enters the stage as do extraterrestrials, spirit beings and something right out of the X-Files. Alcohol and all manner of illicit pharmaceuticals lubricate the story. This was an unexpected delight and well worth adding to your reading Queue.
 (4 / 5)
 Published on 

The Meifod Claw- I just couldn’t connect with this SF(?)/Fantasy(?)/Weird Science(?) Comedy

I’m going to keep the synopsis-y part of this vague because the blurbs for this book are pretty vague, and to a great extent, so is the book. This takes place in Wales, it involves a former sailor now confined to a wheelchair and a mostly abandoned farm-house (it fills up after a chapter or so), his niece, his nephew (who pretty much owns the house and funds everything in the book) and his nephew’s friend — who dropped out of a master’s level physics program to take part in the hi-jinks that occur. Oh, at some point a dog is introduced — he doesn’t seem to add much to anything, only serves to derail the progress of the plot for a bit, but he seems like a cool dog, and I’m a sucker for cool dogs.

The guys have assembled at this abandoned farm to work on a project and the niece/sister drops in every now and then to “tsk” at them and examine the books. When they’re not working on the project — and frequently as an aid to working on the project — the uncle, nephew and friend get high, drunk, stoned, and wasted, at the same time. There are probably a few other nearly synonymous terms I could throw in there, too.

I’m honestly not sure if the project is supernatural in nature (there’s a salt circle involved, but it doesn’t seem to do anything, and I’m not sure anyone believes it ought to), based in some sort of physics/”fringe” science (there’s a lot of talk that indicated that), or some sort of combination thereof. Frankly, I’m not convinced that the novel is all that certain of the nature of the project. I know a whole lot more of the drinking and drug habits of the characters than of the reason they’re together. The nephew is the Visionary, the friend is the brains behind things (although there’s very little time that I can tell you that he’s doing anything), and the uncle is the guy who lives in the house.

I do know that one of the side effects of this project is that it is some sort of miracle-grow product for plants — which means that the marijuana they use and sell to finance this project is larger, higher quality, etc. than one should expect. There is some contact with supernatural/spiritual entities, some with alien life (or they’re all three), a government agency and someone who’d done the same kind of work as these three earlier (and hints that they’re not alone).

I got frustrated with this novel quickly, but stuck with it hoping it’d change my mind (or that I’d at least figure it out), but the way that the story was told got in my way. Every time someone makes a decision, or gets a new piece of information, relaying that information/acting on the decision is put off for a day and a half (at least) for alcohol and recreation pharmaceutical use. During that day and a half any number of things can be said/happen that delays the relaying/acting. It is so infuriating. Maybe it’d have been better if the results of the binge-drinking, acid use, cocaine snorting, etc. were amusing or interesting, but I doubt it.

There was every reason in the world for me to get into this book, and I just couldn’t. Maybe it was my mood (I don’t think so, I wanted a book just like this at the time), maybe it was something else outside the book, so that I should recommend this to you all. But I’m pretty sure it was the book this time — if you’ve read this and disagree with me? I’d love to hear why. I wouldn’t mind changing my mind.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the author
 (2 / 5)

 Published on and

The Meifod Claw – An interesting attempt to combine form with function.

This novel is an interesting attempt to combine form with function. The writing style is intended to create in the reader’s mind the same experience the characters are going through. Since in this case the experience involves drugs, the results are interesting.
The effects of drugs on the behaviour of characters can be hilarious, and in the story sometimes they are. However, such a comic device can be overused. When the characters are stoned so often that it has absolutely no effect on the way they act, then the reader says, “Why are you bothering to tell us this?”
The other technique Bowe uses that parallels the stoned experience is random shifting points of view. This may seem appropriate in the context, but doing so halfway through a paragraph is rather disorienting.
In a few spots the style can be rather irritating; twice the author is about to tell us something important, and then he just doesn’t. He finishes halfway through the explanation of the meaning of the title with “Ah, it doesn’t matter.” There is a difference between creating mysteries that the reader wants to solve and playing “I know but I won’t tell you.” I have a hint to all you authors out there; readers aren’t impressed.
The saving grace of it all is the constant comic style that runs throughout. This author takes the drug-induced tendency towards close observation of the mundane and combines it with poetic flights of fancy and spot-on descriptive technique until at times I was laughing out loud.
There is an old theatre adage that says you don’t portray boredom on stage by boring the audience. Portraying the experience of being stoned by making the reading experience obscure, fragmented and vague is a risky technique. The results can be evocative, funny, frustrating, or boring. This book pretty well runs the gamut.
Recommended for stoners and fans of quirky humour.
 (4 / 5)
February 4, 2018 Published on Airborn Press and 

The Meifod Claw – A comedy with very likeable characters

I read this book out of curiosity, being a genre I don’t often read. I enjoyed it a lot. I warmed to the main characters quickly, and this for me was the essence of the book. The light comedy of the book left me in a state of amusement throughout, and I actually laughed out loud in a couple of places. I found it to be a consistent read, with no lulls, and found it difficult to put it down, especially towards the end. Would highly recommend it.
  (5 / 5)
By Susan
November 27, 2017 – published on

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