Scale by Keith Buckley (2015)


L: 8.5/10

M: 8/10


Analysis from a lit black cat, ready to explode:

It only takes a few lines to discover the level in which the author’s side of Every Time I Die frontman Keith Buckley vibrates at. At times it feels as if Scale is written in a different language. Long, winding beautiful sentences wrap the pages of this story, requiring me to re-read passages, but not out of confusion. Passages of this book feel as if they could be ripped right of the linear notes of past ETID albums, but still fit right in place in the narration, such as: “A fire only spreads away from it’s source, it never returns,” and “Loss upon loss upon loss until only I remained.” In the early beats of the book, the killing and eating of his professors face are told so elegantly that it’s difficult not to picture it happening in a bold font right in front of your eyes.

The story unfolds in dueling timelines, connecting to the near future when said losses finally leave the narrator alone. Raymond drifts through life, the wind directing his sails to nowhere at a strolling pace. Only at a friends urging does he take up the mantle of Ray Goldman and find his momentary purpose. As his head rises and sinks below the surface of a true purpose, he reaches out for meaning in various ways, but nothing truly guides him in the direction of happiness. Devastation strikes in a variety of combinations and leaves him with no options except acceptance of emptiness. It’s a bleak tale of a man not finding what he was looking for, and maybe having it all along.

This was another book that sat on my shelf for way too long before finally cracking it open. I look forward to future books from Keith Buckley. I wonder if a story living a little further from the life he knows so well could be equally entertaining.

Analysis from an asylum escapee:

This man’s writing is unbelievable!! It takes only the first page to realize you’re in for something special with this book. I breathe constant praises for it to every literary fan I pass. The descriptive passages truly transport you to each time and place he chooses. I love the simple eloquence with which he writes. There is nothing pretentious about his style, yet you know for sure he is a gift.

I love how the timeline goes back and forth, and you are given little snippets of his life to tie together yourself. There was no time in the book that I ever thought I could figure out the ending. There is no mystery, really, but the promise of a pay off at the end. I appreciate the lack of predictability in his writing though I never tire of each road he takes me down.

I want more of Ray’s story. It’s tragic and dark, and I’m not finished seeing his journey. I want a book entirely on Evan’s life. I want to never have this story end, and at the same time, I am completely content in the closure Buckley provided. I look forward to many more works enjoyed by this man. I’m off to re-read each lyric he’s penned because I’m just not over him yet.


keith buckley
Keith Buckley

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