I'm a fan of Simon John Cox, and this little trick-or-treat of a book surprised and delighted me. He delivers the same quality of poetic symbolism, meI'm a fan of Simon John Cox, and this little trick-or-treat of a book surprised and delighted me. He delivers the same quality of poetic symbolism, metaphor, and description as usual, but this time he does so in genres which are not typically known for their artistry. Including aspects of suspense, horror, and fantasy, I can see why this book was released so close to Halloween.
With the first story (my favorite), "Channel Six," Cox delves into the psychological roots of anxiety and the philosophical questions about life's purpose. And he does so in a style that reminded me of Orwell's 1984 and the thriller movie The Ring. I liked it so much, in fact, that I was sad it was only a story. I think it would make an excellent first chapter to a novel. The second story, "Z," is written in a different style, like straightforward, storytelling free verse. My interpretation is that it's from the perspective of a vampire, but it could be any demon that feeds on humans. The final story, "The Great Meliakoff," is about the rise and fall of a magician. With all the hocus pocus, it felt lighter than the previous two, but its conclusion was a punch line that rounded out this dark and truly macabre trio of short stories. Loved it....more
The way the author weaves fantasy, humor, science fiction, and mystery is, for lack of a better word, brilliant. I read the entire thing with admiratiThe way the author weaves fantasy, humor, science fiction, and mystery is, for lack of a better word, brilliant. I read the entire thing with admiration/envy, taking notes and thinking 'THIS is how you write a novel.' The religious themes and sexual undertones combine to make an intellectually stimulating joyride. It reminded me of Lorrie Moore (sarcastic, clever) meets Dan Brown (can't put it down, fast paced), but much more poetic. There were layers upon layers of symbols and ideas, but even if you only skimmed the surface, it was a highly entertaining read.
I particularly enjoyed the one-line poems/pop culture nods throughout the chapter titles, ranging from the Pixies, to Harry Potter, to the Hindenburg disaster. I also loved how realistically the characters were portrayed; the dialogue felt like I was hanging out with my friends, goofy, relaxed, and straight forward (My friends are smart and hilarious; YMMV). The best parts of TBD were the touches of modern life scattered throughout the story. Remember when Scream blew the horror world away by actually using technology in a realistic way? Well here's blogging and online forums and long distance cyber friendships, honestly depicting the way we live in the 21st century.
There's some heavy Biblical symbolism, but it never felt overtly Christian. There's also a lot of parallels to science fiction, but I wouldn't call it sci-fi, either. I'm an atheist, but I was a little touched by the subtle way in which the author plants these seeds of faith and doubt simultaneously. Science and Magic and Jesus, together? Absurd! But perfect, if you think about it.
My biggest criticism is that I don't think the cover does it justice (but does any cover, ever, really?). TBD is a modern, intelligent, thrilling masterpiece. I can't wait to see what else Tash does. ...more
Alex Grey (no relation) is absolutely my favorite modern artist. I, too, enjoyed Transfigurations slightly more, but only slightly. Sacred Mirrors isAlex Grey (no relation) is absolutely my favorite modern artist. I, too, enjoyed Transfigurations slightly more, but only slightly. Sacred Mirrors is the perfect name though. His paintings are Eucharistic for me, and prismatic reflections of all of us. Truly spectacular....more
This book was fantastic. I heard about it from one of Ebert's articles and decided to check it out. It was not a 'can't put it down' kind of book, butThis book was fantastic. I heard about it from one of Ebert's articles and decided to check it out. It was not a 'can't put it down' kind of book, but I could not put it down. When I did, I was quickly drawn back to it for more. I couldn't wait for each sentence, each thought, each action. Would recommend highly....more