Book review: Detritus in Love – Mercedes M. Yardley & John Boden


I am fan of both of these writers works. They both have a unique take on fiction, reveling in that kind of dreamy prose that allows for a great reading experience. The two writers that are quite similar, yet also quite different, join forces for this short novella ‘Detritus in Love’.

When authors co-write stories, I often approach with caution. The results can be either spectacular or as if the two authors didn’t have any correspondence whatsoever. Thankfully, ‘Detritus in Love’ reads like it was written by a single person, though the scattered references to 80s rock bands gave away the chapters written by Mr Boden.

The story tells of poor Detritus; A lonely, lost young boy in love with a ghost (the blank) and kept company by his only friend Shultz, a Nazi clothe wearing ghost. Det’s mother despises him, wishing him to be erased from her life and to be replaced by the Opposite (the unborn darkness from her womb), whilst his father is an evil creature, a man with an almost demon-like personality. This heartbreaking short story follows Detritus as he tries to live a life where he remains unloved and unappreciated.

‘Detritus in Love’ is a sad, sad story. Detritus is another word for discarded matter or waste, and this is how the boy’s mother looks at him. There is a desperate scene where his mother tells him she wishes he hadn’t been born and that she’d birthed something else instead, It is truly heartbreaking. It may sound like it is all grim reading but that’s not always the case. There are some heartfelt, beautiful moments shared between Det, Shultz and Blank that briefly bring a ray of light to an otherwise loveless tale.

As I read this novella I couldn’t help but think of a particular a well-known movie from the 80s. Now this may sound a little odd, but I kept thinking about The Nothing from the Never Ending Story whenever the opposite was mentioned. It is similar in the way that the opposite represents all of the dark and bad stuff in the world, much the same way as the nothing did. Maybe that’s just me, but hey! different strokes for different folks…

This highly original and thoughtful story is very well written, with some beutiful passages and it’s easily digested in a single sitting. The final third of the book elevated this story from a four to a five star read. Things really ramp up with some grim imagery as the black clouds begin to roll in.

Fans of Mercedes and John’s writing will be thrilled with this collaboration. This is a unique and original read that should be cherished.

Published by Omnium Gatherum, you can pick up a copy from here.

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