Before you go any further you have to do two things in order to properly enjoy this review:
Go do aGuilt, anger, happiness - Feelings invoked "Gripped"
Before you go any further you have to do two things in order to properly enjoy this review:
Go do a search YouTube for "dexys midnight runners come on eileen" specifically hosted on "wilder eduardo rojas lucana·" channel and listen to it while you are reading in it's completion(or click here http://youtu.be/oc-P8oDuS0Q). If the video ends before you finish reading this review, start it again, the song is a must. This song will change your life for the better, and will make this review even more impactful on your life. Trust me, I know what I am talking about! Nod ... did you nod? By nodding, you agree to not share where you heard about the Program from! Just... well, you did not hear it from me!! (Never thought you would read that on my site, huh?)
I have a love-hate relationship with Gripped. It's one of those books that makes you feel guilty. The kind of guilt sits at the bottom of your gut in a pool of acid just festering into another bleeding ulcer to match the one from stress which was brought on by trying to stay on top of the "Joneses" or the latest best and greatest brand... you know what I mean? That stress you put on yourself, making sure that you got the right brand to go with hair shampoo to go with your hair product to make sure that it blends in with the glimmer of eye shadow that you bought to go with the new lip balm because that's what Cosmo said would be the best …to go with your new look you know the one that you found when you were flipping to the magazines at the massage parlor that also gets chemical peels on the side … which you read on Yelp was safe and took ten years off your face *taking in a deep breath* and where you also go get your eyebrows threaded because Susan from your Twitter feed saw the local Weather Girl… Yep it was, those feelings. The one you get when you know no matter what you do you will never be able to keep up but if you do not try … *face smashing into desk… repeat*
Gripped is a satire, a candid dark comedy with Donnelly throwing the reality in our faces and shoving it down our throats at what has been happening over the last two decades of viral marketing, crowdsourcing, branding product placement and the internet has caused it to be something we all have to have it or face the consequences. Gripped presents this is a literal and bleak metaphoric sense but at the same time, it really is not world of advertising is always been something that drives everything forward it's a way to get people to purchase things even when they don't have anything during the depression after the stock market crash the only way consumers were going to byword to basically be tricked into thinking that their lives work mother lives were miserable and this product was going to make their lives better. Our main protagonist is like tens of thousands of other cubicle monkeys face to paste a smile on and buy the corporate line. Day in and day out. Something had to break soon and as we learned from the first line, on this, the first day of the rest of his life, he was going to be in for one hell of a wakeup call, if he believed in omens
“I came on my cat today, again”
Pick your jaws off the floor, I choked on what I was drinking and couldn’t stop laughing the rest I read. This guy was a mess as he constantly masturbatated his way through life. I kind of got annoyed but I realized, again, it was another one of the authors messed up metaphors. Seriously bugged the crap out of me till I slept on it a couple weeks each time I would think about the book and some of the scenes I would laugh more, be less irate and more awe inspired at his insight and clearness. Clever bastard!
Though this was a story of Marky..Mark, and learn how his life changes, as long as he follows the corporate line from outside his cubical… it really was a general statement and message to all of us. It hit really hard and home for me. I felt guilty, I felt mad and then the biggest winter storm I have ever dealt with in 10 years of living in Alaska hit and we lost power. I actually finished it up while we were sheltering in the basement one night. Looking up at Geoff I said “Oh honey, it was so horrible” and I had tears running down my face and he said why and I told him the premise and he said is it really horrible or is it because you feel horrible sometimes because you market all day long convincing people your authors are the best, their books are the best and they should buy something they may want but that they didn't necessarily need.
He was spot on. My grandfather talked about this all the time and he was a man of high integrity but he ran one of the biggest advertising companies on the West Coast I grew up the father is a boy or a mother as a special-ed teacher and a volunteer and parents were activist said who drove to support the arts in the Indies and a grandfather who wasn't in the advertising business and also who taught me to never stop learning how to do something which is why I know I do always with thanks but I'm going off of mine at any rate my grandfather always said that to be a mad man you really have to be a bastard in this industry.
I think this is one of those books which should be read this just for the wakeup call of the horrifying possibilities of where this world is headed. Told in a dark comedic fashion it could almost be a horror story and definitely fits the genre bending and challenge the synopsis promises.
Oh… PLEASE don't tell them don't tell them who told you about it because you know what happens to people tell you about the secrets behind the Program? Just, keep it to yourself *pointing* STOP looking so intently, just smile and laugh and say out loud “Oh that was a funny meme” they have eyes everywhere.. and remember… Well you didn't hear from me on to say *whispering*
At some point in time, everyone growing up wants to be a superhero, or a detective (I wanted to be Nancy Drew), and most of us wanted to fight the baAt some point in time, everyone growing up wants to be a superhero, or a detective (I wanted to be Nancy Drew), and most of us wanted to fight the bad guys and win the day.
When I saw this book roll through from Novel Publicity and realized not only was it from a publisher who has given me lovely goodness in the past but it had three of the most interesting genre's rolled up into one. I bounced just a wee bit! Science Fiction, Noir thrown into a dystopic world, in the last city on earth Melbourne and blended together with the new genre on the block, Super Heroes! Well not really new, but new to print instead of comics. This story intrigued me so much.
It did take a bit of time to get into the nitty gritty but once I got into it and started reading I discovered *pausing for dramatic effect* this dark gritty hard-b0iled world slapped together with some science fiction and virtual reality kind of thing. *raising hands up and shaking them to the sky* Oh holy shrimp toast, how can I even explain it. It is 11PM on Friday night and I just literally finished reading it and still sitting here half giggling, a little of me going "oooooooooooh" and the rest a bit of a toss between, "Woah!" "More" and also clicking buy on the rest of Andrew's books.
I love noir, I love comics; especially the originals. Growing up I fell in love with hard-boiled novels by Dashiell Hammett trying to figure out the mystery before Sam Spade... made me feel suave. The beauty and metaphoric aspect of the orchids (as I have mentioned before) from Raymond Chandlers Big Sleep still haunts me to this day. I love the look of the art in the original covers, the feel of shadows both metaphorically. Heropa had all of it, plus it was chuck full of a bunch of MARVELous other things (ya I went there, whatcha gonna do about it *fluffing my cape).
Now apparently this city is originally introduced to us via a book of his called Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, or at least this current version of Melbourne..(the last city on Earth) and the protagonist is a video game player, sort of. I mean.. a goat, wait.. ummm superheroes, noir-style detecting, the murdering thereof.. and well... wait.. I am stuck on the goat, I need to get him onto the blog & out of my system and then I can continue!
There.. that is SO much better, where was I ? *pushing my goggles onto forehead*
On any given Saturday morning you could find me in a cape gallivanting around the living room. Heck today you will find me occasionally sporting a cape, wearing my steampunk goggles and playing Alaskan Superhero! (Yes occasionally I am want to go out with goggles and bare feet just to say "I RULE THE WORLD! BRING ON THE BAD GUYS") .. OK maybe I got into this book a bit too much. Oh ummm but I do go and do that occasionally, and of course take pictures! Oh and slaughter the creatures of the forest...
How can you make this experience better? And yes, this was another book I would call an experience! You throw in as many pop-culture references in the bowl as possible, pour an overflowing cup of wit and humor, measure a good bit of some hominy homage to the classic comics, a thick slathering of slippery massive multi-player online virtual reality with a mixed up kid who will become a real hero, not just one in the game and .. and... Reset!!
You didn't really think I was going to tell you anything did you? HAH! I am KRISS.... CABIN GODDESS! I never give you SPOILERS!! (insert maniacal laughter). Seriously I am bouncy, I have been rewarding myself each night after work by reading this book. I am so very glad it was given to me to read *pausing to slide back on my goggles and cape*
Let's talk a bit about the nitty-gritty of this. Well first it was not perfect, I had a bit of a rough time getting into it but soon it picked up pace and I had a hard time keeping up with it. The characters were wonderful, their relationships were paramount and like any good superhero story very much caricature of what their Superhero person represents. There were times I really had to let some of my nitpicky behavior go and though it only bothered me a tiny bit it did take me a bit out of the story, but only a couple of times. His blending of these genres was more than blending it was true genre bending. You cannot possibly throw that all in a pot, no matter how good of a mixing arm you have and expect it to flow as well as it did. but it did, so...
Thanks Andrew! You really rocked my world, and though my husband currently thinks I have lost my mind, wait till he sees his new cape! Honestly makes me mourn for one of our favorite MMPRPG's, City of Heroes... Hmmmm indeed... indeed. I kind of see myself as a cross between Tank Girl and some kind of femme fatal who has been converted to the good guys... sort of. Heck as long as I can wear my goggles, I am in like Super Fly! ...more
Someone said to me, "Kriss you will love it, it's a zombie, well scientific umm errr... pandemic?? well .. sort of ... just read the book.." Yes, that
Someone said to me, "Kriss you will love it, it's a zombie, well scientific umm errr... pandemic?? well .. sort of ... just read the book.." Yes, that is about how the conversation went. Well, I heard zombies and thought AWESOME! When I read the synopsis I thought huh? I love procedural crime novels. I love when someone gets really technical and scientific and fiddles around with genomes. I had also read a response on the Amazon page:
Sounds great right? I adore the X-files (all but Season 9, the non David Dechovny). And from the description of it being a story being investigated by a yellow journalist. OK, I thought, this was well vetted! Well I was wrong. Here is the official product description from Amazon, keep this in mind as I discuss this book. Also keep in mind put everything together and overall I was going to give this novel a solid 3 but I decided with everything taken into mind (some aspects higher and some a tad lower overall 3 1/3 Star's:
Journalist Hendrix 'Aitch' Harrison links bodies stolen from a renowned forensic-research
lab to an influential drug company.
Aided by Sarah Wallace, a determined and beguiling entomologist, he delves into a
grisly world of clinical trials and a viral treatment beyond imagining.
But Aitch must battle more than his fear of technology to expose the macabre
fate of the drugged victims donated to scientific research.
Instead of giving you a traditional review sounding a bit like "First this happened, and then you have these two characters, there was passion, and there was a bad guy and .. etc.." I feel there is more of a critique needed. For this review/critique I am the Gene Shallot of Indie Book Publishing... well minus the mustache, the 'fro and the double chin.. OH and those awful glasses! (But not the bow tie.. bow ties are cool!)
I feel the need (adjusting my bow tie) to delve into a few things that caused my struggle to read this novel. This read should have taken me 3-days tops. I read fast, but I am highly picky about specific technical issues. I get really hung up on little things that ruin a story for me. So please remember as you read through this post and go "Kriss get over yourself, that is nothing juts let it go", hear me say this "No, I won't let it go. Just give what I say a chance!"
I am in the habit of reading analytically, I cannot help it, it is what I do. If I have no problems I can say "Woohhoo I LOVED this book, it was SO fun..." and gush everywhere, which you all have seen me do. Because of this I tend to take all forms of ingested media apart if something bothers me..gets stuck in my teeth like many little things in this book did. But because this book was obviously written by someone with a creative AND technical mind I ended up analyzing, trying to find the hidden meaning which in turn ruined the adventure of the read for me. Every artist mixes something special into the pigment of their piece. With so many well constructed metaphors and images within GENERATION, to have someone so carelessly use these two recognizable and popular works sets the readers up with expectations. I had more than a few.. Zombie like? X-File like? The powerful duo of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo? (cracking knuckles). Let's get down to a few.
Yes, I can see this definitely. A journalist not accepted as a true journalist because of the publication he works for, a paranormal paper.. Mulder! Absolutely nothing wrong with this. He is a freelancer, and this publication happens to be the place that sends him the most work. He seems to be happy to getting the work considering how he left the service. (The reasons why he left are EXTREMELY important and are dumbed and played down and this is another problem for me..This was hinted at but never completely explained unless you really are paying attention and taking notes [umm ya I did LOL] ) The scientist, the person of reason, obviously our entomologist Dr. Sarah Wallace is our Scully. OK I buy it so far.
Girl with a Dragon Tattoo comparison:
No clue other than you have a journalist who has been blacklisted due to being sued by a person of influence and power who targeted him on purpose after he got to close to the truth. YES that is about where it stops. (thinking a bit more... umm hmmm) yes this is where it stops. OK you got me there.. right (throwing pen down). But no this is not all!
Let's talk about the main character for a bit. Hendrix Harrison, what a great name right? It is a GREAT character. Though I think that some of the character building needed to be a bit more precise. Most folks label him, including in the Amazon details, as a technophobe. This is very misleading, he is not TECHNICALLY a technophobe.
(Sociology) someone who fears the effects of technological development on society and the environment. (NOPE not this one)
someone who is afraid of using technological devices, such as computers
(uhhh nope! So ahh hmmm but I believe this interpretation and definition would be the one the reviewers and who ever wrote the blurb was referring to)
OK so the second definition sort of fits. However, TECHNICALLY he is a man suffering from PTSD. He was discharged from the military because of an incident that involved him leaving his men behind and what happened to cause him the psychological disaster of his military career.
I cannot really go into why calling Harrison a technophobe is truly wrong without it becoming a spoiler, but as I read all the references about the incident during his military tour in Afghanistan it is actually a PTSD causality. Suffice it to say, he has a good reason NOT wanting to be hip with a new smart phone and be forced to tweet or text. He does when he HAS too but he does not even want to face his phone or have anything to do with it, again, unless he forced into a corner, as when he has to text the doctor to get her attention.
If he was a technophobe Harrison would not be using his bloody laptop constantly. In fact he is described at one point to being in his element as he types furiously away at it. He prefers printed photos not because he is afraid to use a digital camera, but because he is old school. I went to journalism school also, and many journalist are the same way. They like working with the media and have a hard time moving on and away from print media. Would the normal reader know this? No but the author is a technician, he knows his technology and so he knows these arguments, and in this I applaud him! It is a wonderful part of Harrison's character development
for all character development needs to be noted. They are well constructed. The sinister corporate man, the powerful media mogul our focused scientist.. even the poor geriatric widow are well rounded and three dimensional.
Another amazing aspect of writing that makes this author shine, and makes me really not like giving it just a GOOD rating is his incredible chapters from the viewpoint of the victims of the genetic modification treatment, labeled as "case" numbers. It speaks not only directly to the dangers of messing with "creation" but also for me I could see how Harrison is another victim. He is not infused with this horrific GM therapy, but his soul is in a constant state of regrowth just as fast as the flesh of it is decomposing because of what happened to him while serving overseas. These are threads woven by the authors voice for me. As horrific as it is to read about these poor victims, it has a dark beauty that speaks to the under tones of the book.
s for the psychological horror painted for me, for the not so subtle message of the dangers of gene modification as well as a VERY subtle hint of politics. Especially the ending. It was perfectly wrought!
After reading 85% of the book with some sexual tension, much like Mulder and Scully, between our journalist and our doctor (see I can give props to a reviewer of such caliber *rolling eyes*) I still was unprepared for what happens. Maybe a kiss but they were in the middle of a clandestine search for the truth and to regain their reputations that were being squashed by Big Brother Pharmaceuticals, much like Lisbeth and Mickael. (see again with the props in relation to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).
But unlike these two couples... wait perhaps partners would be better, partners thrust together in circumstance by someone or some company in a position of great power. However I think the reason that it was compared to these two partners as a popular culture reference is of perhaps some misguided advice that "sex sells". Sure it does, but this does not mean that you have to have a rough and (what reads IMNSHOto me uncomfortable scene written in after the authors final draft at some misguided persons insistence suggestion. I bet there is a version of this novel having a kiss, or perhaps a bit of gentle touching which was due to the nature of moment because each Harrison and Wallace are at the proverbial crossroad of their careers and lives.
1 star -
for this poorly constructed and awkward hack erotica/sloppy porno scene.
I think this book would be a good study at the dangers of small publishing houses and your work. I believe this author has been poorly advised. I can see the threads of the story and I feel the novel had huge potential! I can also see someone else's voice being half hazardously threaded in many different parts of the book. Oh I am sure that Knight wrote all of it. But I can tell it was probably suggested by an editor/marketing "professional" to write things in, such as the sex scene. It was uncomfortable, and unnecessary. All it did is make me throw my hands up and exclaim "WTF" more than a few times and cause my poor cat to yet again hide underneath the bed till Geoff got home.
OK so let's wrap this up:
Characters 4 /5 stars + Psychological Horror 5 stars's + Miserably failed sex scene 1 star + 10 ÷ 3 = 3 1/3 Stars
I need to add one thing (this is post publication of this piece) The ending? It was BRILLIANT non-traditional and unexpected! FANTASTIC... absolutely disagree that this is a cliff hanger. This is what made me rethink a few things and made me question the other voice I kept hearing. This book, worth the read JUST to get to the ending and read all the INCREDIBLE psychological and visual horror scenes of each case file.. THIS part of the canvas gets 6 STARS!
This book review was part of a tour and the author was so pissed he held my blog hostage for a few days and insisted my review get removed from the tour. WOW, huh? BUT I was fair!! Oh well! I also waited over a year to post this! ...more
L is forLucifer, the Lord of Lies & Lightbringer Perfect Edge Trifecta's second Cabin Goddess Stop
You would think this would be another review
L is for Lucifer, the Lord of Lies & Lightbringer
Perfect Edge Trifecta's second Cabin Goddess Stop
You would think this would be another review about an obvious villain, I mean he is Lucifer after all, right? So you are going to say, oh ya, Kriss is on a roll, she is going to tell you about another dark and f-up tale of creepy as all get out but I hate to disappoint you, nope! This is, however, one hell of a book. It is hell-arious! (*snicker* no apologies) plus it works with my #atozchallenge L word.. man, this challenge is kicking for me this year!
I totally dismissed this book figuring it was going to be the dud of the group but since I am a completionist I wanted to do all three of the Trifecta because I am jiggy like that. I mean check the cover out as I saw it, at this size. Its looks like a cheesy Indie comic book. The title font is blah, amateur hour font and I was like "what the hell could this be about?" I did not even check out the synopsis, seriously! I figured, Emlyn Chand says, "Hey Kriss, you are gonna love these books!", so I say "OK, sign me up." I had already read about the other two. Being the cover whore I am, this one, no way. HAH joke's on me. NOW if I had just looked a wee bit closer.
These two are fabulous. Lucifer & Eve! Within the first four pages. the writing had me. I love good humor and Michael's writing is freaking hilarious. The construct of Hell actually sounds kind of fun. If you think about it, it makes more than a little bit of sense. An Angel FALLS, and names the place he is now in charge of maintaining, or being the landlord of, Angel Falls.. ha hahahaha. *shaking head* it just get's better. I love feel good books like this. Necropolis by Tom Waggoner has the same feeling and is paranormal.
Michael takes the basic fight of Heaven and Hell, old gods and goddesses literary references and blended them into a lecherous and delightful story which centers around ages biggest crime, love. YEP! This is all about a word that starts with #atozchallenge's letter's L word and one of the biggest words:
What don't believe me? How can a book that is about Satan be about love Seriously? You think getting all shemxy & slithery on Eve was just about getting her to eat an apple and what came after it? Haven't you ever thought watching someone eat is hot and sexy? You don't think he just wanted to watch her eat that apple? Come on people!
Oh wait, I may have given some of the story away *zipping lips* Just ponder a moment, could something so simple have gotten him the boot? Let's think outside of the box with this one, because I know Michael did! He had a lot of fun and this witch certainly had a blast! OohOohOoh and Hecate? (who BTW is like, OMG one of my favorite Goddesses! *flipping my witchy hair over my shoulder*) Meet me at the Cross roads, baby because I want to pop some of that Iowa corn I talked about earlier in the week and watch the scene which unfolded with the Ghost Queen.. Confusing you yet? Oh Gods and Goddesses!! This book is another bottle of Awesomesauce and it needs a big old stack of Manna cakes for me to pour all over!
Oh ya, the chick in the close up of the cover? That is Eve with Satan aka Lightbringer aka Morningstar, isn't she fabulous? And yes, the grey hair is his fault! That or the fact she has slung hash and stacks of Manna Cakes for lost souls and her the fallen angel which caused her to be separated from her husband and dealing with the ultimate and first dysfunctional family in earth's history. (re:Cain and Abel). But first *picking up a menu* .... Manna Cakes... ohhh Manna Cakes......... *wiping drool* ... about those Manna cakes
Manna Cakes Hoecakes (recipe from) Paula Deen
Total Time: 20 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: About 17 Manna Cakes
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup self-rising cornmeal, or from a mix
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
Oil, butter, or clarified margarine, for frying
Mix well all ingredients, except for the frying oil. Heat the frying oil or butter in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter, by full tablespoons, into the hot skillet. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake. Fry each hoecake until brown and crisp; turn each hoecake with a spatula, and then brown the other side. With a slotted spoon, remove each hoecake to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Leftover batter will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Oh and there is another kind of love that comes into play, puppy love! Cerberus! Only Satan can get all gooey over the most feared dog in mythological history!
It doesn't stop, no seriously it does not stop. It can't because Satan has to stop the the Paris Hilton of Hell from causing Armageddon. The vapid twit has been tricked by Cain and Abel into becoming a Vessel .. ya, let's face it, who else would be empty enough to be a vessel but a vapid trust fund kid who is more concerned about if her dog matches her shoes ... just jaw dropping vapidness. Now she ends up full of ick enough to bring on the possible end of the world so hold onto your seats!
Here are a few main characters
*Lightbringer, Morningstar, Satan aka the hero *Goliath *Eve *Monkey aka the author (seriously my theory)
DA BAD GUYS *Cain and Abel Aspen aka Vapid Armageddon Empty Vessel Girl Various demons who really are just following the dysfunctional brothers
Goliath, as in the giant ready to protect Eve the only true human in a sea of damned souls, dead and forgotten gods, demons etc.. at the drop of a hat (and with Baron Samedi that could happen at any time once they get to the Under/Under) an angel called Lenny (well at least part of one) and Monkey (whom I believe is the author in disguise) in his Evel Knievel suit - yes Evel did not make it to the pearly gates. Oh, this is the other fun part, the people who have made it to Hell (because in this case honestly its a who's who that has made it cornucopia in Angel Falls which matters, not who is making it to Heaven. Sure people want to make it to Heaven, case in point Vapid Armageddon Empty Vessel Girl and Eve, but most folks are happy enough in Angel Falls. Who can resist Manna Cakes and great service!
Satan aka Lightbringer is the bomb! He gave up a hand, he gave up his love, he sacrificed it all and he is left to clean up the mess. He still can eat Manna Cakes and I can officially admit that I was shouting HAIL SATAN with glee by the end of the book!
5 for comedic writing - 3.5 for the cover so - a solid 4 stars
But wait you say, you lead me on with the mention of lies in the title you harpy! Well I do not want to be a liar! Lies, why did I mention lies in the title? Well lies are what started all of this, after all Satan is the lord of them and it is his lying about love which starts his fall... Go grab the book, seriously, it is a fantastic read, and monkey, that quadrupedalism makes him one freaky loveh!
ANYWAY... WARNING, I use the F-word four times (which I thought I was restraining myself) and ASS twice.. but I don't think
THIS BOOK IS OMG awesome!
ANYWAY... WARNING, I use the F-word four times (which I thought I was restraining myself) and ASS twice.. but I don't think one of them counts, and a couple of the FUCKS were wonderful alterations according to my friends.. so I am down with it! CARRY ON!
F is for a frightening experience (and the F-word)
This review rated M for mature as in Facebook said I swear more than 89% of all my friends. I am making sure I live up to their assessment in this review, and I promise, like Catch-22, it needs to be in here. I am still going "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot what did I just finish reading? WAIT not reading EXPERIENCING?!" Now, I am going to do something different, I am going to rate it first...
Five hundred million Bottles of Awesomesauce - there is nothing more, not even bacon at this point
If language offends you ... I really wanted to apologize ahead of time but I can't! I tried to write this straight, but I can't! I am still dealing with dropped jaw syndrome! So...*shrugging shoulders* this book would probably not be something you could handle if the occasional fuck bothered you anyway. It takes balls to take this book on! And I know a lot of you have them, so strap them on ladies and hitch them up, gentlemen and take it on, you will NOT be disappointed. Do not eat before you read, hug your children and be happy with your decision to breed and enter a world that extrapolates to the extreme 'WHAT IF" and, what the fuck! and most importantly? Be careful what you wish for, sometimes someone really can grant your wishes, even if you didn't mean it!
Ever read one of those books that sticks to you brain pan like duct tape on a shaved cats ass.. oh wait that may not mean something to all of you ummm OK that sticks like extra strength duct tape, let's leave it at that! It is the foundation for a myriad of messed up bad dreams and unsettled sleep for the last week. I am deeply and quite deliciously disturbed by this. It has darkness in it, it oozes and gushes epically awesome frightening darkness. All manner of messed up people live in this town where our protagonist Will now lives. And he is in charge of cleaning up behind their worthless lives.
He has a f-ed up but necessary job, he is a human remains removal expert. Car accidents, decomposing bodies stuck to their E-Z chairs... its.. fragrant and ripe with festive insanity. But the bodies are not there just what is left behind. We all wonder what kind of mark we will make in this world and I do not think any of you imagine it will be the puddle of decomp jelly where your fat ass fell asleep watching Jeopardy and stuffing Ho-hos in your gullet. Or spread across the scene that can be hosed away on the interstate. Give up your dreams and forget about clean underwear because it won't matter at this point.
NOTHINGI have read can compare to this except maybe the Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille. Georges may have a 21th century brainchild in Caleb J. Ross and Georges is called the "metaphysician of evil," specializing in blasphemy, profanation, and horror."
Throughout all of this Will is dealing with a pregnant fiance whom he is trying to convince to be rid of the child of before term or if at term to give up. It is full deep imbibing metaphors to immerse your psyche in. It has dark, cruel comedy, he is pretty much a top-notch prick to his fiance and shes obsessed with the belief everything he does and comes in contact with is a health risk to the unborn child. The cleaning supplies he uses coats his clothes, the cigarettes he chain smokes, now outside for her. Well for him, because he does not want to deal with her complaining. I haven't read a book like this, ever!
Yet, just when I hate this guy, just when I start climbing on my fancy feminist fuck-off wagon? He does something showing heart. He feels bad.. he doesn't talk about what he has to do or what his cleanup will be. He convinces himself it is because he doesn't want to deal with her wrath but there is a part of him that is soft enough to remember why they are together. At least that is my warm fuzzy place I have to think about so when he lights a bird on fire and I am right back on the feminist fuck-off wagon I do not pull both guns.
My mouth is still hanging open when I think back on what I read. There is one scene that will forever be burnt into my soul, wait a lot more than one..but the first really horrific scene is a house which has a perfectly maintained lawn in a neighborhood of perfectly maintained lawns and houses, but this house? It is falling to pieces like a forgotten and neglected elderly family member. There was so many symbols seeping from pipes and filling up the basement. Melville would have had a field day with the symbolic iconography in just the kitchen alone. I.. I... I want to tell you so much but I am afraid if I do you would miss out on the shock, which like my swear words is necessary Oh Em Gee try it for yourself, seriously! *mouth hangs open, head shakes, looks at the cat and whispers..." Seriously Asrielle, maybe I better take the squirrel in residence some folks may come after me but then again some folks may be sending me pounds and pounds of bacon!"
Now, I have to leave you here. I probably could go on another 1ooo words because I have not even gone back over in my brain what happens a bit before you hit the halfway mark, or the playing catch with one of the short-bus kids and a decomposing racoon. (do not even go there, there is no way I can be politically correct while trying to explain this. Plus, the short-bus kid? He captures the heart of Will along with me!) Just trust me. Oh and I did not mention the twisted idea of a fairy godmother who leads all this merry mayhem. I would choose her as a fairy godmother mind you she is more like Satan's spawn of a godmother!
I recieved this book as part of a Novel Publicity Tour for a fair and honest review. I do not think it gets more honest than this... I then went and bought it for five of my friends and demanded under pain of death to read or I would send the ninja squirrel assassin, Fred, to their house..
I want to start by stating when I signed up to read this as part of the Book Club Bash, I had not realized I had at one point begun to read it last yeI want to start by stating when I signed up to read this as part of the Book Club Bash, I had not realized I had at one point begun to read it last year when it came out. The opening scene turned me off and I was not interested in reading about a male protagonist at the time mainly, from what I can remember, because of the way she does character building. I did not like Alex at first so I had put it aside and never did finish it. Boy I could not have been more wrong, the beginning may bother you like it did me the first time and again this is all because of how Ms. Domovitch does her character building. Just one example of this is how she uses the experiences of the past to develop the experiences in the future for the group of players within the pages of Scorpio Rising. My advice? Push on through the first two or three chapters you will not be disappointed.
There are two main protagonist and a few supporting characters in this who come together in a type of blended montage of old and new. Ms. Domovitch writes in alternating narratives and with the all the characters having such strong voices it is easy to follow. The narratives blend and weave back and forth, their stories each seeming to have the flavors of different literary pieces from the past, almost a classical feeling. And with the story's setting from the era of early 1940's America and France to the early to mid 1960's it gives it an edge of those paperbacks you would find around the summer rental growing up (if you are my age which is mid-40's).
Alex comes from a horrific childhood which he did not let set him back in his dreams in fact he uses these experiences as a way to catapult and keep them solidified throughout his advanced schooling to be an architect. Despite his mother being a prostitute who would practice her trade while he tried to sleep in his own bed, in the same room, he ended up achieving one dream, to finish school and move across the bridge and into Manhattan where his dreams rose above the tallest buildings and beyond. However he never was quite able to rid himself as many of us have experienced in our lives, of all the dirty remnants of the past. Damaging his ability to have any lasting or healthy relationships with women, which will end up biting him back hard in the end, it ends up doing the opposite to his ambition. His drive was strong and at the expense of repeating another reviewer, I to had the feeling of Mad Men, which makes sense since it is set to be in the expanse of the 1940'so the early 60's, however for me it reminded me more of the 1970's era. There was a sense of the disco mentality, but I am wondering if the feeling was due to his lack of being able to connect emotionally with not just women but anyone. The 70's were all about the "me" no one made connections on an intimate level. It was a rebellion of the 60's love fest where you love everyone and the beginning of the love myself, not thy neighbor. I am taken to the backseat of the car at the beginning scene to "Saturday Night Fever" where in the end his exclamation of, "what was your name again?" comes to mind.
Brigitte gave me the same feeling I had when I read a novel years ago based on the early life of Coco Chanel. It had the same feeling of rising from the bottom and entering into a world from nothing to become something and shining. Like Alex, she took what she had from a broken home, quite literally in fact and had to overcome her misconceptions and warped sense of relationships due to the abuse from her step-father and abandonment of her mother. Through her rebirth she ends up not only being able to cope but nearing the end of her this part of the series, end up being an influence to so many with her art.
Bridgette's story is still at the beginning, at least for me, and her character is not as strong as Coco's (and she will not go on to spy for Nazi Germany either) but as with Coco in the 20's she created style as she moved upward with experience, talent and age. Bridgette has many facet's and aspects which I have yet to really come to terms with, though I think this has more to do with the fact of the author having her past come back to haunt her constantly. Alex also has his past beginning to bite him in his nether regions but it has yet to be addressed fully in this novel, he first in the Scorpio Series.
The story builds into a strong and tall tale, structurally sound and full of bright colors where there was once the water-color mix of brownish grey; a 2 year old's blend of everything in her small white palette to an exquisite use of oil's used in a striking presentation of strength, beauty and grace. Each character becoming more and more complex as they gain not only life experience, but reclaim their damaged existence by creating their own futures. When they meet it can be described as a multimedia collage in narrative voices, some convoluted weaker sub-plots which stand up within the story due to the stronger "medium" of the main characters and presented on a global canvas.
My main issues are it took to long to get to the point, though a solid read, and one I could not stop reading once I was able to plug my way through all the back stories, was it ended with way to many ribbons and trails left untold and unfinished. I hope they are wrapped up in the second and final book, and considering our cliff hanger they will. Another issue is how easily Alex seems to give up his dream, but... perhaps he does not? No one knows until they pick the second one up, The Sting of The Scorpio (available on Amazon).
I highly recommend this as a not only a great book club read, but also one that would be great over the holidays when visiting those wonderful families we oh so miss each year and when we get there we need to find a bit of escape. This would be a grand way to escape the chaos of the holidays....more
What happens when the breaking of the body is what heals the soul within?
The book is riddled with secrets and secret keepers. Some we find out abo
What happens when the breaking of the body is what heals the soul within?
The book is riddled with secrets and secret keepers. Some we find out about right away, some we find out only because Jude, the one person who never let anyone in on her own secrets before finally met her match, The Bluff… hears them from the trap of her own head. Some other’s know and others keep, it is a mess. At the center of this our author has put Jude into a vegetative state, basically a host for her unborn child. So broken, so messed up when alive, we have no clue how important she is and how fast things will unravel as well as heal in the end
Lost for so many years our protagonist, Jude finally wakes up, at least from her own walk-about through reality. Ready to deal with it all, the pregnancy the drugs, a plausible rape, an abusive childhood, bullying, her mothers suicide witnessed, her homosexuality and to all around everything a mystery. The problem? She wakes up in a vegetative state and cannot share all of her secrets she has kept from her best friend, her sister, the small town she lives in and finally to her own unborn child. Now what? She is awake enough to hear, and as her body dies, her child grows, others begin to die within, without and around…
Before Jude falls from the bluff where she lives through miraculously, alive with her unborn child still healthy while her body broken beyond help. She is stuck in a medical limbo and becomes a magnet to the lost souls in the vicinity. Skomal has created a world of symbolism and metaphor as well as a story to immerse yourself slowly in. Will she wake up to tell and help with everyone’s secrets? Will the birth of her child uncover another? What about those secrets which need revealing in order to save that of another innocent? Will she finally be able to help, even if it is just being there to “listen”?
Each of our characters seem to have a little tiny wisp of who she is and what she is about. She is like a center of a web, a web in a small town, a strand of which is the controversy of the Roman Catholic‘s take on pulling the plug, or the strand of the small town, a reflection on many throughout America, and homosexual women. How all and everything compounds these issues. Infidelity, drug abuse, suicide, shall I go on? Oh no, how about abortion… yep I said it, and one thing this book never brings up? Is abortion or adoption which for some reason bugs me the most.
There is a lot going on and I am glad I did not slam through it. It is not one to jaunt through over the weekend, as the author has stated, she wants us to “eat” her books, and I nibbled, ate, put it in Tupperware… zapped it a bit to heat it up and finally finished it with a dollop of whip cream on top.
This is a book about the struggle of one woman with a broken soul, a woman with more secrets than the church in question and the only people who learn the most about Jude are us, the reader! It makes you wonder “what…?” on so many levels. What would need to break in order for our own damage to be healed finally? I recommend this to anyone who is not afraid to face that question and to those who already have....more
Let me start by saying Speculation will probably be on my top 10 list at the end of this year, if not right at the top. I have gone back and re-read pLet me start by saying Speculation will probably be on my top 10 list at the end of this year, if not right at the top. I have gone back and re-read parts this week in preparation for this review for Novel Publicity Tours, though I really wanted to have a full in-depth read done with a pile of notes, a medical emergency prevented me from doing so. So based on my initial read of this book, of which I have a feeling even knowing how the question of will he chose what is in the envelope or the 10 million dollars I will read this many times in the years go come and follow this author forward in his career. Another great Novel Publicity find for me! Now my review!
Speculation begins with a mention of a law office and goes of on the mystery of a missing friend. Then steps into the death of another friend, and then facing the choice of 10million or an envelope, as I shared with you last week in my Teaser Tuesdays. By the end you are left with your mouth hanging open, speechless and wanting to call your mom and tell her, READ THIS NOW! (Which of course I did in fact it was only 99 cents so I sent it to all of the friends whom I had emails for over in her book club, I have gotten thank you’s and a message on my voice mail going “KRISTINE LOUISE….” “What Madre, it was only 8 bucks, go read it you guys have no excuse)=
So three relationships, two of which are ending due to loss of life and a missing person. One which is his wife. All of which our main character Andrew met in college. Those of us who have been to college know the friends we make there tend to be for life. College is the proverbial primordial soup of our adulthood. We meet, make and find those of like mind, same interests, same philosophies or those that mesh with our own world. We also meet people who no matter if they are like us or not, just fit into the puzzle we are still trying to piece together that will carry us through. We are building our ethical framework for our world builds, our careers and in many instances, lets face it most, our core groups and binding relationships.
Our protagonist is a philosophy professor and the three mentioned above he met at college a decade before. He met his true love, Cheryl and married her and Sothum and Buddy who ended up being part of a great legacy of friendship. You could say he found his soul and his core being and based his life choices because of the relationships and experiences of college, as again many of us do. Sothum, Buddy and our main character Andrew are part of a group they formed called “The Three Wise Fools” I won’t go into one of my famous derailed tangents and describe what specifically a club at college is, because it has special nuances and most of the time there are no secret decoder rings, handshakes or hazing. Most of the time it is over coffee, or tea in this story, at a favorite booth in a restaurant that won’t kick you out after an hour or six. This is a necessary ingredient of the aforementioned soup!
Ultimately it carried me along for another one of those incredible rides and adventures which is the core of a good story. What makes this an exceptional book and exceptional piece of literature is the author’s ability to weave and build a character. His use of heavy allegory, but not as intense as Melville but never as light as a popular read, gives us nicely rounded characters from the first chapter on. With each flash back to college or years back after college building up each in our own mind, completely separate people who we come to love, loath or love to loath at times, be annoyed with and just enjoy! This book is all about relationships and exploring, this book is for people that like to engage in thinking and puzzles. It has none of the fantastical aspects used in so many tales these days, be it a book, movie or TV show. So no explosions, no clandestine meetings between spies from other countries or the death of hooker in Spain. Though these characters are just as interesting in my opinion. Without being religious this is a philosophical, religious/theological mystery, an intellectual thriller. Perhaps what Kant would call his bubblegum reading. (Hmm wonder what flavor Kant would choose?) But you do not need to have read Kant or be an academic to enjoy this, just someone who likes beautifully engaging and expertly stated prose with just enough allegory to make you go “Ohhhhhhh”. Each section has you bumping to another emotion, delving down another avenue of experience.
“Death Waits for all of us–as everyone who has not just had someone die is quick to remind us…(Location 572- Speculation – Kindle Version)
Southum’s speech was a litle ironic but also quite beautiful, quoting Woody Guthrie that for him to talk about marriage was like “a cowboy talking about the sky…” (Location 588- Speculation – Kindle Version)
Or perhaps this…
“Pain like light, comes in different wavelengths. Life’s smaller injuries and discomforts, like microwave radiation, inflict their hurt without delay. You feel it instantly when you realize you have been shorted a dollar at the grocery store, or cannot find a seat on the subway or get soaked by the water splashed up by a passing car” (Location 1709 - Speculation – Kindle Version)
So what is this book about? I have pondered how to write this review about a book that appears to be about choices when perhaps it could be read to be the solving of the mystery of a missing friend or the possible hidden message in the pile of papers from the boxes Sothum left to Andrew. Perhaps it really is a cruel joke being played at the expense of a friend who is mourning over the two parts of this trio of fools. Definitely it is about relationships and how no matter how much they change throughout the years of your life, ultimately they stay the same. Speculation makes you think about your own values, and questions which carried with us having fed since our brain started thinking and pondering about them years ago. It is a grand and masterfully wrought book traveling through a sea of experiences layered with every day drinking of coffee to esoteric inner conversations of those pesky “what ifs”. In the end it is about all these choices and loyalties making or breaking the tried and true in Andrew’s life. What and who will he choose? Go grab a copy now and find out!...more
I know what you are thinking, of course I am reviewing this book, it has Zombie’s in the title, well before we go on, I want to make something clear,I know what you are thinking, of course I am reviewing this book, it has Zombie’s in the title, well before we go on, I want to make something clear, this is not a zombie book in the sense of what many of my blog readers expect. Yet, as I sit here and type that this is not a post apocalyptic tale of survival, I realize this is a story of survival just not one after a zombie apocalypse. Then I start typing, this is not a tale about the crazed undead running around obsessed with eating brains and I realize, wait, it is about obsession. In Zombie Candy there is a lot of focused and mindless obsession sprinkled throughout the novel. But I will repeat, though this book is not about Zombies it includes the obsession of zombies in today’s pop-culture as a plot device.
Let’s talk about titles, a title can make or break a book. This title is going to get Frederick sales because people like me are going to buy it. When we read it we will be a bit confused, but most of us will finish it and we will go on to recommend it to everyone, including and even especially to those who are followers of the zombie pop-culture movement. “But wait,” you are saying, “If it is not a zombie story, why am I going to want to read this?” Well let me tell you, it made me laugh at myself a bit because since it is a tale involving obsession and this one part is exploring the obsession of one individuals own zombie movies in particular, it is definitely worth the read.
OK, that is not enough? Frederick Lee Brooke has obsession down! Not just in his characters, but I am betting he has a bit of an obsessive personality, especially after reading the first Annie Ogden Mystery, his obsession of which caused me frustration. I was reading it because it was labeled as a mystery when it was more of a thriller, there was no mystery for the reader just the characters involved. The character development is very in-depth and therefore took up a lot of the novel. Was it badly written? No it was not a mystery and I got hung up on that one thing, hence my own obsession.
But we are talking about Zombie Candy, I already know who Annie Ogden is, her character and her personality. Do you need to read the first one before this? No, he includes enough development that we understand her, and her own obsessions. (seeing a theme here?) This was not an unusual story. Wife is has a dog of a husband. She hires private investigators to find out the dirt. Wife finds dirt out, wife decided to get revenge before serving him with divorce papers, yada-yada. The difference and what makes this an exceptional version of this story arc, is it’s intricacy and fearless reach outwards to the almost fantastical edge of crazy town obsession!
The main character is Annie’s best friend from college, Candice is someone who has pretty low self-esteem due to her weight and her husbands commentary over it. After the first book, Annie took classes at a PI firm and in the beginning of the novel is having dinner with Candice and her husband Larry’s. Candice is also a chef who teaches classes on cooking hence the weight gain. We open up with Larry being a verbal and psychological abusive jerk to his wife to the point of pinching her percieved fat roll.
So we open with Candice obviously upset, but she is upset with more than his actions towards her, but what she has found in his suitcase. In this brief episode at the dinner table we get a taste test for the flavor of the whole novel. Larry’s obsessive personality is introduced with his need to sprinkle cilantro on everything, Candice’s with cooking and the subsequent weight she has put on because this and Annie’s own compulsion and obsession over the happiness of all around her, especially her friends.
As the tale progresses each of these obsessions become bigger and more outrageous. We discover that Larry’s obsession with zombie movies is as bad as his obsession with sex and women. Candice ends up transferring her obsession with her weight into losing it and getting back at Larry before divorcing him by going on to what seems to be a further and further off-the-deep end aggressive attempt to gain control back over her life. Annie’s own obsession with making people happy instead of focusing on her own happiness becomes more prevalent and even begins to be resolved near the end.
In the end the obsessions above continue to grow and rise, much like a great dough recipe with Fredrick Lee Brooke kneading each person’s experiences till everything is just right. Throw in a delightful trip to a village in the Tuscany district in Italy and you have a complete dish! Serve it up finished with the lives of everyone changed for ever as the prefect ingredients. The sauce? All that zombie goodness and sauce is what makes or breaks a good Italian dish. Now just throw it in the oven and see how much a well cooked up zombie can changes your life too. Zombie Candy? Well read the book and see! I give this book a 4 out of 5 set of moose tracks! My obsession with zombies in this paragraph…?
For my special pizza recipe I created just for this book, head on over to Cabin Goddess I promise no brains or cilantro will be part of this pizza!...more
This year, according to the Mayan Calendar, is the year that the world as we know it will end. I have friends who believe this, they maxed took out crThis year, according to the Mayan Calendar, is the year that the world as we know it will end. I have friends who believe this, they maxed took out credit cards and have charged them up. They took the idea of a bucket list a bit far and have been going nuts making sure their bucket is empty before the end is here. Some have even quit their jobs. Insanity? Perhaps, but perhaps some truth to the world ending as we know it. Perhaps like the Tarot card, Death, it does not mean someone will die but it can mean some aspect associated with their life will die. Whether it is a job, or a relationship or their pet plant Robert, 9 out of 10 times it has nothing to do with an actual life ending. Perhaps this will be the year that Mother Earth answers all the atrocities we have broached upon her crust. The landfills, the pollution, the clear cutting of our majestic forests. Our basically taking for granted of this incredible planet. Living in Alaska I have had a slap in the face and we live as green as we can or I have guilt ridden anxiety attacks when I see an aluminum can in the trash.
What if something happened? What if a plague sweeps over us and killing off more 99% of the population? What would happen to the survivors? When the charge is gone from their iPod’s, the prepared food runs out and they forced to rebuild with the lack of survival skills and ability to milk a cow or plant a crop!
Charlinder’s Walk is a story that asks a few of these questions. It explores sociological, religious, cultural and even genetic implications of just such a thing happening. Alison Mier’s writing really wraps you up in the questions surrounding these what if’s. The world in this alternative history of planet earth ended in 2012 and by 2030 the implications of this pandemic were beginning to come to a head in a small village called Paleola. The Faithful (equivalent to bible thumping non-Christlike Christians who have nothing better to do than force their beliefs down other’s throats) are starting to stir and the large group of agnostics in the village are starting to feel the burn of their fire and brimstone.
Charlinder’s village maintains a society where the brother’s raise their sister’s children. Paternity is not an issue, though the village infirmary tracks it to maintain purity in the genetics, it has never been a focus of their internal society. Women are encouraged to go bed people from other villages and other families, it is a matter of having babies and making sure the gene pool has large chain of code to choose from. From a sociological perspective it is one of the most ideal societies that could have risen from the ashes of 2012. But most of the Paleolans have never been outside 10 miles away from the village. They spin their cloth, they churn their butter, the milk their ewes and eat soybeans with joy (that takes a LOT in my opinion).
One reason for the openness of the villagers are blessed with the journals of a first generation survivor who butted heads with the Faithful of 2012, who saw the logic in science. Those who know realized then necessity of learning the pre-technological modern world skills needed to live through the first winter and start rebuilding amid the ruins of the planet. These journals happen to birth of many of these questions helped raise the villager’s teacher. Reading the book we get to have a peek at the society immediately post plague and are able to compare it to with life is like 118 years later.
So what happens when this young teacher starts to worry the Faithful will ignore not only the biological implications but also of cultural eruptions of hate within such a tight-knit family/village. That they will stir up hate and discontent that will split this loving and supportive community down the middle. The questions that the journals have built up in him for years and the question that the Faithful are pushing on everyone to believe that God punished us and brought about the plague. But as the author points out within the pages of Eileen’s journal:
There is no burden of proof on choosing God as an answer in the first place, no evidence required for defending Him as your position, and no way to rule Him out of the equation in the end. He is the quickest and easiest way to be right at the beginning, without carrying the risk of ever being proven wrong.”
Wise words to remember when trying to look for the answers to questions no one answers too. Charlinder needs these answers not only for himself but for the continued harmony of the community. A sudden realization of the necessity of the answer to the questions becomes clear when seeing the anger from someone he may have some religious issues with, but who is still part of his family, his community. In this instance he makes a decision, to go find the answer to the plague. There are not boats, there are no planes, he cannot speak anything but American English but he has two legs and he can walk, and walk he does, all the way to Italy.
I am giving this book FIVE stars on the writing and complexity of a tale that flows so well and so beautifully. For the different voices that spoke to me and I could hear. For poetic beauty she wove throughout the book. From a personal rating, I am giving it THREE, not because it is not a good book, it is amazingly written. As stated, the story is well constructed. the cultural questions, religious questions and all the sociological implications are spot on. My reasons are exactly that, just like my religion. Many things rubbed me wrong, and it mainly was the religious thing, so you can ignore me and take a four star rating to the bank. (**see below for my explanation of why I have an issues.) SO overall this book gets FOUR stars, or moose tracks - trying out a new rating system!)
I recommend this read to anyone who wants a really good thought provoking read. I would recommend this for a book club read because I spent hours talking about this with my fiance. I would recommend this to my elder children to read and question. I would recommend this to people who have no hang-ups like me because it really is one heck of a book. I would not recommend this book to any of my rabid pagan friends. I would not let anyone young read it because the sex scenes are just to graphic. Necessary to the story for sure but much and to graphic for a young adult read. It is well worth the cost of either paper back or ebook. Fair warning however, this is not a weekend read. This is a book that makes you think all 400+ pages of it. The only thing I would add to the book is a book club guide because as stated above this is a great book club book. Hmm maybe I should write one!
I want to also give props to author on Charlinder’s Alaska visit. Choosing the Yup’ik was a bold move. They traditionally are seal hunters and though they also hunt Walrus seals are their main traditional and most revered animal for the hunt are seals, which is their main festival. As an Alaskan I found this very interesting and well played out on Alyson’s part. Just as with any society and culture on earth, they will have adapted also. Reality is the Yup’ik tribe is in the Bering Bay area so they were where they belonged, the walruses are down there too. These days there are walrus hunts, so I was pretty impressed. Most people call the Native Alaskan’s Eskimos and move along. The Yup’ik are actually a Eskimo tribe!
**Here are my religious hang ups if you are interested. Many reviewers have stated they liked how religion was not pushed into their faces, however I beg to differ, and I do not think this is on the author AT ALL. This is an implication and reality of today. Creationists have a thing called Intelligent Design. They are argue as many others in the past that scientists actually do believe in something, the religion of science. Religious faith is an emotional based response to belief and belief is fallible. Therefor science is not is and cannot be called a belief. I call bull. AGAIN this has nothing to do with the author! Science is based on empirical evidence, there is a burden of proof involved. I was raised to believe in evolution, by Christian parents who knew the cultural truths about Mary and Joseph’s society where the only answer to living would be a virgin birth. I am a proud pagan woman who is an ordained Priestess, who has ministered and married many and who tries being as culturally aware as possible and even I can get sucked into this argument and was shocked, so AGAIN kudos to how well written this book is.
?Of course I understand your frustration with the Faithful,” she responded, with eyes glowing, “but insisting that everyone follow your non-belief in God is still dogmatic.”
>i>This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the author for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone. This is a Novel Publicity Tour review....more
This is a very personal collection of short stories and none of them left me with a feeling of hope. It is a stark picture into one Latino family liviThis is a very personal collection of short stories and none of them left me with a feeling of hope. It is a stark picture into one Latino family living in poverty amidst the concrete and weeds, the alcohol and abuse, and then of course there are the rabbits (ok I had to mention rabbits because I have a soft spot in my heart for bunnies). “Esta las historias de la familia” within the pages of John Paul Jaramillo's “The House Order” will leave you sad, despondent and wanting to rescue this grown child and his own family, from falling into the same footsteps his alcoholic father did.
The collection begins with Manito and his Uncle Neto sitting out back, amongst the weeds and urban decay of a neighborhood behind the family room with the backdrop of a failing steel mill. The thread that binds these as more than just a collection but a well segued group of tales leading you through Manito's, the protagonist, own journey to discover the truth of their “historia”. Each title binds the symbolism within each story. After Uncle Neto finishes telling another Ortez family tale the title becomes relevant.
It is hard to label this an actual collection of short stories, it is more like a condensed taste of reality within the 108 pages and a beautiful cover. It is not a quick read, a few hours, but I took my time mainly because the stories were so dense with meaning and realism. The Ortez's are a characterization of many “familias”in American today. This is not a story for Latino's and just Latino's, the machismo, the abuse, the abandoning of children and alcoholism is a problem with many impoverished in this country. In today's struggling economy the situations that crop up over and over within the Ortez “familia” are mirrored within the stories. There is a choice Manito must make, with where this leads him, to break free “de liberarse” of the apron strings that drag him out the door? Or to let himself go down the path with her. What will it be?
Go grab your copy today, the book is beautiful, dark and though I will not be reading it again, I will be sharing it with many of my friends who can emotionally handle reading this.I was left depressed and brooding.
Who would I recommend it too? People that love well crafted, deep literary fiction. Who like art in their words when presented with a stark reality and sociologists! Yep, this would be a GREAT book to include in a sociological study. I already am planning on handing it over to my friend up at the university who is doing a study on the third generation Mexican Americans and the Machismo factor (or something to that effect).
My rating scale is as such:
5 stars for the cover design: The cover made no sense to me at first, then I got it. This is raw, exposed and rough. It is not pretty, painted and standing on a corner with a pill box hat. Deal with it move on and screw you I like my longs black. The cover is amazing.
4 Stars for the writing: Exquisite. There are a few problems I found in places where the flow was just to in erupted with the use of Spanish everywhere. Not just when characters are speaking but continually used in the monologue with Manito. I used it in the review to prove a point, it kind of derailed me a bit.
3 stars for character development: There were a lot to deal with. I think there could have been a bit tightening up of some of the development and less focus on others. It was almost like a rabbit hutch. To many, and I did re-read a bit. This could have been because I was derailed by the language usage.
3 stars for the “like” scale. I like it. I did not really like it and I did not love it. I have had enough despair and seen enough ugliness and depravity in my life I can handle crying in a book, but this book had me very sad and depressed. I was already struggling through some things while I read it but I doubt even if I was so happy I was about to burst would I give it higher than three on the Kriss LIKE scale! But you may definitely love it, I know many did.
In all it has a rating of 3.75 stars(so 4 here on Goodreads)...more