Review of Seduction of the Golden Pheasant by Damian Murphy

I suspect the author has spent some time abroad. Such were my impressions while reading this novella, steeped as it is in the aura of its locales.

Seduction of the Golden Pheasant provides us a brief glimpse at Damian Murphy’s implementation of oodles of subtext. Several of his stories function on the level of a Guillermo Del Toro flick, introducing a subversion of the setting, providing a narrative cosmos beneath a simple premise. The comparison is only partial of course, as this author’s tales lack gore, and rely on purely psychological insinuation and intimate portraiture. I was drawn in by the playful games of the characters, which are revealed to contain mystic significance.

There is a falling into lush surroundings, an entrancing focus upon inanimate patterns, the arrangement of furniture, serving for the establishment of place. Subtle shades of intertwined Occidental and Oriental motifs. A true seduction in every sense of the word. I felt a mental suction from the text, enwrapping my imagination. The author has a penchant for curious protagonists, propelled by abstract lusts into a contemplation and then a revelation of the divine properties of that sensual imperative, which is almost a disintegration of their persona into aesthetic appreciation. I believe he is trying to achieve a marriage of the sublime and the epicurean.

Concealed charms, sacred texts, and architectural splendor, atmosphere slanted toward decadence, conversations amid a haze of foamy cigarillo smoke, spooky liqueurs, and the dawning of the uncanny abyss behind the thin veil of our senses. This is the supreme and utterly irresistible essence I feel while reading this author’s work.

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