My new dark poetry collection WHITECHAPEL RHAPSODY Reviewed by Stephanie Ellis:
"Whitechapel Rhapsody is a collection of dark poems by one of my favourite dark poets, Alessandro Manzetti. This particular collection sets itself in the crimes of Jack the Ripper and the atmospheric ‘personality’ of London’s East End.
As I read these poems, I thought about my own ancestors, from great-grandparents and back, who lived in this area. Whitechapel, Bethnal Green, Spitalfields, they lived in the most poverty-stricken streets of this time and would have experienced much described in these poems. The atmosphere of the East End leaching from Manzetti’s verse is a perfect marriage with the known history.
The East End was grim, a morass of the forgotten, of migrant communities, of people who lived in the “rhapsody of shadows, rats and refugee”. Manzetti turns Whitechapel into a predator personified in ‘I’m the Lair’. It is the trap into which all fall, “the prophet of misery”, the “nest of dust, shillings and sweat”. Reptilian, it is everything that beats at the dark heart of the East End.
Through his repeated refrain of “Deep Red, Deep East End,” (‘Bloody Rhapsody’, ‘Sick Rhapsody’, ‘Entangled Rhapsody’, ‘Madhouse Rhapsody’ and ‘Whitechapel Rhapsody’), he colours the shades of misery in the language of blood – the “Deep Red, Deep East End/the ghost with the razor, Death”.
‘Sick Rhapsody’ is the song for the syphilitic, the sufferers of tuberculosis and fever and their medicine “the liquour of melancholy”. In ‘Entangled Rhapsody’, with its mass of intertwined lives on intertwined streets, Manzetti gives Whitechapel a body, a place no one can escape. He delves into its dark mind in ‘Madhouse Rhapsody’ with “stories of asylums, green ghosts and white brains attached”. He wraps it all up in the embrace of Whitechapel Rhapsody, the song of the people, “‘who meet by chance, to live or die”.
These rhapsodies fix you in time and place as Manzetti leads you into the story of Jack the Ripper and his victims. Weaving in historical fact, he sings the songs of Annie Chapman, Mary Ann Nichols, Mary Jane Kelly, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes. He also reminds us of Alice Mackenzie, murdered by a possible copycat. Their stories are broken by other tales of the street such as The Butcher’s Shop and the infamous Ten Bells, of the world going on around these deaths. A nice touch are the almost Dickensian names given to everyday people such as Dr. Openshow, Mr. Neardead, Mrs. Askmore, Mrs Lovelone and Mr. Hackfate, which adds even more to the sense of time.
Manzetti finishes with ‘The Dark King’, the bringer of all that is horror, “the mud that takes a thousand forms and which can become, at will” so much: chainsaw, gasoline, obscenity and requiem.
With its truly lyrical quality, this felt like a dark love song to the East End of London. I think it’s my favourite collection yet from Alessandro Manzetti. I loved it. 5/5 Stars."
Buy the book at Amazon
Ellen Datlow's The Best Horror of the Year Volume 12: Honorable Mention to 'The Place of Broken Things'
My dark poetry collection THE PLACE OF BROKEN THINGS, written in collaboration wih Linda D. Addison, has won the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards.
My poetry collection WAR (Crystal Lake Publishing), written in collaboration with Marge Simon, has won the 2019 SFPA Elgin Award.
Ultime Uscite (ITA)
Disponibile sullo Store Independent Legions la graphic novel L'ORRORE A RED HOOK, da me sceneggiata, e illustrata da Stefano Cardoselli
Disponibile sullo Store Independent Legions la nuova edizione ampliata (Extended Edition) del breve romanzo KIKI THE BEGINNING,
Disponibile in libreria e su Amazon, per Cut Up Pubishing, il nuovo romanzo dark thriller IL CUSTODE DI CHERNOBYL
Disponibile sullo Store dell'editore e su Amazon (in digitale) la Graphic Novel CALCUTTA HORROR, tratta da un racconto di Poppy Z. Brite, scritta e sceneggiata da me, illustrata da Stefano Cardoselli.
Latest Releases (ENG)
For sale at Amazon my new short story collection in English THE RADIOACTIVE BRIDE (Necro Publications)
Buy your copy at Amazon
Released by Omnium Gatherum my new dark thriller/Sci-Fi novella in English THE KEEPER OF CHERNOBYL. The book is for sale at Amazon
Released by Crystal Lake Publishing my new dark poetry collection THE PLACE OF BROKEN THINGS, written in collaborations with Linda D. Addison. Available at Amazon
Opere in uscita preordinabili (ITA)
Preordinabile sullo Store Independent Legions la graphic novel KIKI: SONAGACHI PULP, da me ideata e sceneggiata, in uscita a Ottobre 2020.
Preordinabile sullo Store Independent Legions la mia nuova raccolta di poesie dark/horror RAPSODIA WHITECHAPEL, in uscita a Ottobre 2020
Preordinabile a prezzo speciale, sullo Store Independent Legions, il mio nuovo saggio HORROR GURU - Guida Essenziale alla Letteratura Moderna e Contemporanea (Novembre 2020)
Preordinabile sullo Store Independent Legions la graphic novel KIND OF RED, in uscita a Novembre 2020
Preordinabile sullo Store Independent Legions la mia novella VESSEL - TERRA SANTA PULP, in uscita a Dicembre 2020.
Preordinabile sullo Store Independent Legions la Graphic Novel L'ABITATORE DEL LAGO, in uscita a Dicembre 2020
Preordinabile sullo Store Independent Legions il romanzo NARAKA 2, sequel diretto di Naraka, in uscita nel 2021
Preordinabile sullo Store Independent Legions la raccolta di racconti SEXUS (In the Mirror) illustrata da Barbara Monacelli
Latest Reviews (in English)
NARAKA Bizzarre Video Review by B.L.U.R.B.
Ultime Recensioni (Italiano)
David Cowen interviewed Linda D. Addison and me, on Horror Writers Association Website, about our collab poetry collection The Place of Broken Things.
Pubblicazioni come Editor