Robin Llywelyn
Created by Robert Lewis

"... in the land of the lawless, as guarded and dishonest as it is, there is a lot more nakedness in your relationships with those around you...Sometimes, I guess, you can feel some wisdom in your disillusionment, some truth in your corruption, that others who do not suffer the same way are missing. You can tell yourself that society can only be seen properly from underneath."
--from Swansea Station

It's a hard life wherever you go, and this series, which transports Chandler's bleary, hard-boiled worldview to South West England and on to Wales is prime proof of that. Private eye ROBIN LLYWELYN is middle-aged and alcoholic, alone and lonely, trying to scrape by.

His struggles aren't aided by his prodigious alcoholic intake: this guy makes Marlowe look like a teetotaler. We're entering serious Crumley territory here, with a shot of Bruen on the side.

When we first hook up with him in The Last Llanelli Train (2005), Llewellyn is a slightly dodgy P.I., living in Bristol in south West England, specializing in entrapment and other dirty tricks, generally half in the bag, moaning over his present and mourning his past, yet trying to hang onto what little sense of identity he has left.

Depressing, right? But evidently the joke's on us -- the book was nominated for the 2006 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.

And the yuks just keep on coming in the 2008 sequel, Swansea Terminal, where Robin no longer has a job -- or a home. Eking out (barely) a shabby existense in the gutters and alleys of Swansea, Wales, essentially a bum, he gets roped into a smuggling scam, and discovers he has lung cancer.

Another round, boys!

Robert Lewis was born in Wales and spent his twenties "getting sacked, drinking in dodgy pubs, and caring about the wrong things. He has been a silver service waiter, painter, barman, secretary, bookkeeper, salesman, banker, shop assistant, web editor, yardcat, helpdesk staffer, storesman,
high-voltage cabler, data-entry clerk, housing officer, mailboy, audit junior, welders assistant, betting shop counterman, and unemployed. He still thinks literature can save him.



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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