by Taona Dumisani Chiveneko (Goodreads Author)
Zimbabwe’s last hangman retired in 2004. As the nation drifted towards abolition, no determined effort was launched to find a replacement. How…more
Zimbabwe’s last hangman retired in 2004. As the nation drifted towards abolition, no determined effort was launched to find a replacement. However, the discovery of carnivorous flame lilies at the Great Zimbabwe monument triggered a spirited search for a new executioner. Those who know why this discovery energized the recruitment effort refused to talk.
The frantic attempts to find a new hangman were impeded by the lack of suitable candidates. Well-placed sources confirmed that the fear of ‘ngozi’ was a deterrent. According to this traditional belief, the spirit of a murdered person torments the killer and his family for generations. However, this is only half the story. Several promising applicants did come forward. None met the minimum requirements for the job. The selection criteria were designed to exclude the mentally ill, the vindictive, and the sadistic. However, they did not rule out the desperate.
The Sprout of Disruption (Book 1) is told through the shifting perspectives of characters whose lives have been set alight by the plant which sparked the recruitment effort. The parallel threads of the story converge around the aspiring hangman who was obsessed with securing the job, the sympathizers who fought to protect him from his prize, and the anxious men who believed that emptying death row would end their horror before the carnivorous plants constricted around their necks.
KIRKUS REVIEW EXTRACT
"At nearly 500 pages, this intricately woven novel is a disconcerting parable exploded to epic proportions. The author renders its many characters, from the mad genius responsible for the impending botanical apocalypse, to the prostitute/undercover operative who falls in love with Abel, to the seemingly simple Abel himself, with frightening subtlety and detail.... A thought-provoking, singularly strange and absorbing novel."
Link to full review: http://bit.ly/12ibxdU
INDIEREADER REVIEW EXTRACTS
“This is a work of completely bizarre genius. The author has an almost Wodehousian gift with words, decorating his pages with phrases that can make the reader laugh out loud, question long-held assumptions about reality, or send a chill up the spine with just a few deft descriptive touches. Some of the characters, and the situations they find themselves in, can be completely off-the-wall, but the author’s writing ability carefully makes them almost plausible, even natural."
“This is a delightful book for those who enjoy having their perspectives stretched, who take delight in the weird and idiosyncratic, and who love watching a master author do breathtaking juggling acts with the English language."
Link to full review: http://bit.ly/11Jdbd5
SELF-PUBLISHING REVIEW EXTRACTS
“Yet more than once as I laughed my way through this novel, I was reminded of a quotation by Nikolai Gogol that I came across recently: “The longer and more carefully we look at a funny story, the sadder it becomes.” The humor in The Hangman’s Replacement makes us laugh perhaps to keep us from crying. Again like Saramago, Chiveneko uses bizarre situations and sometimes subtle humor to deliver very deep and often disturbing social and political commentary. I think I would have appreciated the book more if I knew more about Zimbabwe’s history, but even lacking specific knowledge that might have turned story into allegory, I couldn’t help but feel the occasional chill as tragically universal themes emerged.”
“Chiveneko is a talented writer. Beautiful metaphors and delightful descriptions, while sometimes a little overdone, are some of the best parts of the book.”
“The Hangman’s Replacement is a long, complex, and challenging novel. But it rewards the reader’s efforts with delightful characters and plenty of laughter, even in the midst of some very disturbing themes.”
Link to full review: http://bit.ly/1bWQcwQ
by Joshua Henkin (Goodreads Author)
"A wonderful novel... I just love it"--Anne Lamott, Miami Herald
"Insightful... poignant... elegant"--The New York Times Book Review
"Tenderness spills from these pages--Entertainment Weekly
"A densely detailed and touching portrait"--People
"Gorgeously Written"--The Boston Globe
"Witty, poignant, and heartfelt"--Gary Shteyngart
"An immeasurably moving masterpiece"--Heidi Julavits
"A less chilly variation on Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections.... Intelligently written."--Publishers Weekly (starred/boxed review)
“Few American novelists, living or dead, have ever been as good as Henkin at drawing people.”—Commentary Magazine
Joshua Henkin (http://www.joshuahenkin.com) is the author of the novels Matrimony, a New York Times Notable Book, and Swimming Across the Hudson, a Los Angeles Times Notable Book. His new novel, The World Without You, will be out in paperback from Vintage Books on April 9. It has been named an Editors' Choice Book by The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune and is the winner of the 2012 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish American Fiction and a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Award. His short stories have been published widely, cited for distinction in Best American Short Stories, and broadcast on NPR's "Selected Shorts." He lives in Brooklyn, NY, and directs the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.
by Joseph J. Gabriele (Goodreads Author)
Though the island of Manhattan presents no shortage of suspects—many of them capable of killing to satisfy their appetites—Eliot, a young economic historian and writer, soon becomes the prime suspect. As he draws closer to the truth behind the theft and murder, he also becomes the killer’s next target.
Irreverent, provocative, and utterly unpredictable, Dangerous Illusions is a weeklong polyrhythmic journey into contemporary New York that will keep readers guessing right up to its thrilling conclusion.
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