The City Dionysia, a prequel to Eye of the Parrot, once again accompanies Tom McCabe, a hard-loving, hard-drinking young columnist about the hills and hollows of San Francisco, the Cool Grey City of Love. His subversive columns are an appetizing Cioppino of politics, debauchery and passion of which he often finds himself ensnared. He lives in a Gold Rush cabin on the twilight side of Telegraph Hill. His playground is just down the hill in venerable Chinatown and the old Barbary Coast of black-stocking bars and bohemian cafes. McCabe hustles about town churning out his daily columns, consorting with the ghost of Mark Twain, the conspiratorial whispers of Jack London’s turn-of-the-century oyster pirates, and the groans of Ambrose Bierce’s shanghaied sailors.
All the while, a curious dimensionality is quietly enveloping the customarily astute McCabe. Something is aslant in his beloved City by the Bay. Space and time are churning. Pagan gods are returning. And the earth is angry. The piper must be paid.
McCabe takes an underground psilocybin journey culminating in a Vesuvian eruption. Was it just the schrooms?
Illustrated by John Mattos and Susan Beardon