Dwy Farwolaeth Endaf Rowlands (The Two Deaths of Endaf Rowlands)

Dwy Farwolaeth Endaf Rowlands (The Two Deaths of Endaf Rowlands)

‘Take your glasses off.’
          Politely but firmly, Endaf Rowlands asks his wife to remove her glasses so that he can hit her without causing excessive injury. He doesn’t want to break the glasses either: that would be a waste. And after all, they’ve done nothing wrong. It’s his wife who’s transgressed. Tomos, their seven year-old son, hears these words from his bedroom. Then he hears the blow. The sound of hand striking bone.
          In Tony Bianchi’s latest novel, The Two Deaths of Endaf Rowlands, Tomos tells his story. It is the story of a man who has always heard too much. Even in the womb, he clamped his hand tight over his ear: the scan proved as much. As a child, he hears the dok-dok-dok-dok inside his father’s head, echoing the metallic whirrings of the machines in his launderette. In adolescence, he catches the minute grumblings of Endaf’s spine, as it begins to crumble.
          Growing up in the redeveloping Cardiff of the 1990s, Tomos dreams of becoming an architect, of building a new future. In the meantime, however, he must help his ailing father. Coldly and methodically, Endaf teaches him the  arcane procedures of dry-cleaning, the intricate art of stain removal. As the years pass, Tomos comes to realise that he will never be free while his father lives. But will one death be sufficient? Or will Endaf find a voice to haunt him still? Will Tomos’s ears torture him once again?
         Bianchi’s novel is reminiscent of John Williams’s Stoner. It is a record of failure – of dreams repeatedly dashed −  which nevertheless manages to move and surprise us. It is written with a lyrical intensity, and a dark humour directed particularly at the absurd, obsessive rituals of everyday life. It asks whether we sometimes will our own continuing bondage, when that is the only security we have ever known. It asks whether we can kill our fathers twice. And at Sunshine Cleaners, in the Cardiff suburbs, the late Eric Morecambe’s discarded camel coat witnesses these torments with wry detachment.

Adolygiadau

  • ‘Fel y mae synau’n troi’n rhan o fyd mewnol Tomos, felly hefyd mae’r nofel hon yn tywys y darllenydd i ganfod y byd o’i gwmpas o’r newydd.’

    Jerry Hunter

Tony Bianchi

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Manylion cyhoeddi:

Dwy Farwolaeth Endaf Rowlands (The Two Deaths of Endaf Rowlands)
Gomer (2015)

Hawliau cyfieithu:

Elinor Wyn Reynolds
Gwasg Gomer
Llandysul
Ceredigion SA44 4JL
Cymru/Wales, UK

elinor@gomer.co.uk
www@gomer.co.uk