FREE READ Ö The Star Ushak

The Star Ushak

FREE READ The Star Ushak

The 'Star' Ushak is a sewn hardcover book of 190 pages with endpapers and a full colour frontispiece Edition limited to 150 copiesWas Ellis Carstairs imagining things or had the exsanguinated body of Professor Cuthbert somehow nourished the blood red field of the carpet on which it was found.


D It was Styles after all whose opinion the Yard chiefly valued; and when he discovered the presence of an hallucinogenic dye in the carpet’s wool he seemed to have struck on the cause of the madness that had possessed its former owners and that was beginning to creep on Carstairs himselfB. Refined Tastes seemed to have Transforming Students struck on the cause of the madness that had possessed its former owners and that was beginning to creep on Carstairs himselfB.

Louis Marvick ✓ 1 FREE READ

Fragments of manuscript and an obscure bill of sale suggested that the 'Star' Ushak might be woven with strands from an ancient carpet on which Timúr the Lame had dispatched whole hecatombs unless Anthony Styles Carstairs’ ingenious associate was right and the whole thing was just a blin. How to Fly with Broken Wings sale Swimming to the Moon suggested that the 'Star' Ushak might be woven with Stir It Up strands from an ancient carpet on which Timúr the Lame had dispatched whole hecatombs unless Anthony Styles Carstairs’ ingenious associate was right and the whole thing was just a blin.

3 thoughts on “The Star Ushak

  1. says:

    Synopsis in fin de siècle England a strange murder occurs and an investigator is strangely fooledan ingenious book I'm so pleased that the combination of Ben and Benjamin's reviews along with my enjoyment of the author's The Friendly Examiner led me to search out and splurge on this hard to acuire gem as with most treasures the difficulty of finding it was certainly a part of its appeal but such a small part this is one of those books that despite the gorgeousness of its small press production and the strangeness of its story really shouldn't be such a niche item Marvick's writing is as humorous and charming as it is stylized and ambiguous his characters perplex and amuse and fascinate his dark themes and his narrative playfulness are the sorts of themes and narratives that have been explored in a range of infinitely popular and critically lauded books from Night Film to The Raw Shark Texts to Hawksmoor to the stories of Borges and the films of Raoul Ruiz and yet the book is niche to its credit there is something so private about its mordant humor it's a secretive friend who half smilingly tells you a complicated story that he expects you'll only half understand but he's having such a fun time recounting it that it doesn't really matter to him if you fully get the humor or the point of his story but he hopes that you'll at least enjoy its tellingand I did I also understood the story at least I think I did or did I? well that's sort of what the novel is all about the power and potential of storytelling the instability of narratives personas put on and taken off and shifted and transformed characters doubling and becoming different versions of themselves signified and signifier shallow depths and deep surfaces the plot is a trick but the author plays fairly clues are strewn everywhere from the first page to the last is the story really about the strange carpet called The Star 'Ushak' one that drinks the blood of its victims while slowly turning into a portal to somewhere terrible and bloody a vehicle for Tamburlaine the Great's bloody return? is it really about a protagonist slowly hypnotized and undone by magicians some playful and others monstrous all concerned with transforming the world into their own ideal story? who can say Marvick is playing his own game and while he wants you to enjoy that game your understanding of the game's rules is not necessarily necessary

  2. says:

    I think I am going to be digesting STAR USHAK for a long while much in the same way that I am still digesting Schultz's STREETS OF CROCODILES In many mystery stories the lead detectives are led astray by a red herring and once the detective is able to see past the red herring the mystery is unraveledIn this mystery both the lead detectives and the reader are led astray by a whole school of red herrings Firstly Marvick's prose style is charmingly anachronistic fully lulling the reader into the mindset apropos for the mood and setting of a fin de siecle murder mystery As we get past the first layer of unreality at least for the reader we learn that this novella is only masuerading as a homage to the fin de siecle Holmesian murder mystery Sure perhaps at first blushes the reader may recognize the scientific reasoning of Holmes in Anthony Styles one of the private consultants and perhaps a slightly sycophantic adoration of Styles by Ellis Carstairs the other consultant and friend of Styles One may even recognize a little bit of Inspector Aberline's blundering in Inspector Ainsley very nice play one words here fully suggesting Ainsley's approach to detective work Moreover the story is told from the first person perspective of Carstairs similarly in the vein of Watson recounting his observations of Holmes' deductive craftAll of this though seemed to represent a gentle mocking of the reader by the author perhaps even whispering something to the effect Ok now dear reader I'll start you off with something superficially familiar and let you get comfortable with your assumptions before I really let the wheels come off this 'murder mystery'At its core this story was not at all a homage or tribute to this kind of detective story indeed there was a murder and some detectives that went about trying to solve this murder but beyond this superficial layer lay an exploration of the thin veil that separates one world of unreality from the truth beneath At some point as we tumbled down Marvick's rabit hole I begun to see via Carstairs the various loose threads of untruth that layered our first unreality of a murder mystery waiting to be picked so that the entire sweater could be unraveled Finding these loose threads was akin to walking into your house that you have lived in for years and realizing that something subtle is off with the entire setting perhaps the white walls are now cream colored or one of the bookshelves is against the wrong wall It leaves you incredibly disoriented and unmoored to the present realityAs Carstairs picked at these threads we are able to see him pierce the veil and uncover a very disuieting truth about the mystery that he was investigating or better to say the mystery that he was participating in I believe it was the passage that describes Carstairs and Bruno Dachstein's dialogue in the Bim Bam Bum room Chapter 10 that really began to tear away the murder mystery layer of this story and lead us into the overt musings by Marvick on truth versus fiction Dachstein's reflections about overhearing a false conversation between Styles and Margot Lavender was a nicely subtle hint to Carstairs and to the reader that something was terribly amiss Dachstein further wonders if the conversation was just for show and ultimately wondered what lay beneath this layer of unreality This dialogue was really elouently presented in that it compels the reader to come to a similar conclusion about the very story that he is reading Carstair's realization that perhaps he was simply playing a role in someone else's story was a bit jarringIn retrospect those threads were littered throught the earlier chapters and probably could have been easily picked had the reader not been getting his information from an unreliable source That's right Marvick puts the unreliable narator plot device to very good use in this storyI also really appreciated Marvick's gentle mockery of the Holmesian tradion of scientific reasoning What use is scientific induction to Styles Ainsley and Carstairs when there is no actual material motive to the crime no chain of events to tie together and lead back to the main culprit In this case they are investigating a crime committed purely for the sake of aesthetic In fact we get the full inversion of the Holmesian approach when Styles finally concludes that the only sensible solution to the mystery of the Ushak carpet is a supernatural oneI really enjoyed both how the story was told and the very interesting themes explored by Marvick such as art imitating life or vice versa the true artist versus the dilletante reality versus unreality etc One other really interesting layer of unreality that Marvick pursues is the parallel story of Marlowe's Tambourlaine and how it is woven into Carstair's investigation it reminded me a bit of Perez Reverte treatment of Dumas and weaving his literature into his own tale in CLUB DUMAS There were and still remains many layers of symbols imagery and illusion to be pealed away to really distill some of the truths Marvick presents in this novellaThis one is a real trip and the epilogue may leave you feeling even twisted This was a wonderful piece of literature produced by Ex Occidente Press Highly recommended

  3. says:

    Anybody who has read Louis Marvick's fabulous novellas ' The Madman of Tosterglope' or ‘Of Interactive Surveillance and the Circular Firing Suad' will know how much he likes to build up a story before pulling the rug out from under the reader’s feet capsizing the narrative and annihilating our ontological assumptions ‘The Star Ushak’ starts off as homage to 19th century detective novels and Fin de siècle literature but uickly spirals intowell typical Marvick territory This novel may well totally baffle readers who were expecting a Sherlock Holmes esue page turner It does get really bizarre as it progresses Personally I thought it was a master piece

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