Usually, I’m not one to read memoirs or autobiographies.
I like fiction because I can delve into the story, take a mind break and live someone else’s lUsually, I’m not one to read memoirs or autobiographies.
I like fiction because I can delve into the story, take a mind break and live someone else’s life. I love fiction because it’s fun, often frivolous and I’m a sucker for a good story. Fiction has a way of easing stress for me, taking away the days’ worries and it’s just entertaining.
I wish I could say the same for biographies or memoirs. I find them preachy and boring and the author is usually full of themselves. Yet, lately, I’ve been drawn towards non-fiction, something I rarely read. I read Night by Elie Wisel last year and it was an eye opening book, a gut wrenching book. I figured, Okay, that’s a fluke. But then I read The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier. Okay, another non-fiction read. Maybe I’m on to something here…
Perhaps I found a niche that I enjoy? I also loved (despite the controversy) A Million Little Pieces. So maybe my tastes are chaging. Talking to a book seller last night she told me that as we grow and mature, so do our tastes. I also promise myself that I would broaden my reading horizons this year, that I would read some good, hard books.
This brings me to I Am Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.
I think it was the title that intrigued me, or it could be the circles on the cover putting me into a trance. Either way, it’s FANTASTIC! But what is it about? It might not be for everyone, but it’s one hell of a read.
Josh is living a double life: Ad exec by day, Drag Queen by night. Going out to drag shows as Aquadisiac, a drag queen with fish floating around in plastic breasts. Hers is a life of vodka, bumps and ABBA.
One night, at a bar, he meets Jack. Jack is a man on the edge and he has a coke problem. Can a cokes out man and a drag queen find love? Well, I don’t know yet. I’m only twenty pages in to it so far and, thus far, it’s perhaps one of the freshest memoirs I have read in a long time.
I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going. One thing is for sure, I’m in for one heck of a ride!
In the dead letter room in the middle of Omaha, Randolph Jaffe has stumbled upon a secret. At first, the secret isn’t clear, just vague references toIn the dead letter room in the middle of Omaha, Randolph Jaffe has stumbled upon a secret. At first, the secret isn’t clear, just vague references to something called the Art. The Art begins to consume Jaffe, taking over his life. Its secrets continue to elude Jaffe until he cracks part of the code.
The Art are laws governing an alternate reality called Quididdty. Quididdty is the dream see, the dreamscape, the magic that runs through all our fantasies. Jaffe can think of nothing else except the Art and becoming a master of it. Quididdty is his for the taking.
Taking a scientist named Fletcher under his wing to further his growing evil, Jaffe hopes to get one step closer to mastering the Art. Fletcher creates a transforming drug they call Nuncio, which uses the principals of the Art. What they don’t realize is that it will become their undoing.
Fletcher realizes that Jaffe is evil and attempts to stop his plans by destroying the Nuncio. He knows that the drug is capable of transforming anyone into what ever they are most on the inside. Good becomes great. Evil becomes more so. Except, the Nuncio has other plans. It transforms Fletcher and then Jaffe into Demigods. Not content to let the other live, (after all, good must always triumph over evil) Fletcher and Jaffe engage in a battle that brings them to Palamo Grove, a small town and an ideal place to hide and rest in the earth while regaining the energy to continue fighting.
Years pass. Then something unthinkable happens. Four girls, dubbed The League of Virgins, become pregnant after swimming in a river that appeared on the edge of town. When the girls start talking of being raped in the river, gossip in the small town grows to an all time high. No one knows the truth, however, no matter how crazy the rumors.
Jaffe and Fletcher have impregnated four women in hopes of producing offspring to continue the battle they began so many years ago. Fletcher knows that he cannot allow Jaffe to gain access to the Art, to Quididdty; otherwise, it could mean the end of the world, and dreams, as we know it…
What Barker does here is create myth and he does so beautifully. It’s a difficult thing to create an epic myth from the ground up, but Barker does so in “The Great and Secret Show” with such skill and mastery that you know he has a gift. The plot mentioned above doesn’t even begin to describe the plot for this book. It is a big, wonderfully sprawling dive into wonderland.
What I love about books by Clive Barker is that they are usually character driven. This is also the case here. While there is a lot of focus on myth and legend here, Barker also focuses on the people filling his tale. It’s a good thing he does – there is a cast of hundreds here and we get to know almost all of them through out “The Great and Secret Show”. What’s wonderful is that this is actually the first novel in a trilogy, The Books of Art.
I devoured this book. Quididdty now floats through my dreams and haunts my waking hours. This is an amazing book. It’s a big one, but it’s worth it. An amazing piece of literature, a great beginning to an epic fantasy, any way you look at it, this is an amazing read.
I have been waiting, along with many others, for years to find out how Hannibal Lecter became what he bRight off, I have to say that I love this book.
I have been waiting, along with many others, for years to find out how Hannibal Lecter became what he became. I wanted to know what caused his transformation into one of the most frightening killers in literature (and the movies) known to man.
I was thrilled beyond words to hear that Harris was writing a new book and that a new movie based on the book was in production. I knew that Harris was writing the screenplay. Aside from that, I knew nothing. I wanted, needed to know more.
Now that I do, what can I say except that knowledge is power.
Despite bad reviews (of the movie and the book), I loved HANNIBAL RISING. It’s a beautiful haunting work that stays with you long after you have read it. It’s not just a simple tale of revenge, but one of lust and wanting, of judgement and secrets that is beautifully written. Harris uses quick short sentences to instill images into your mind, to show you the change Hannibal goes through to become what he is.
Personally, I think others are none to pleased with Hannibal Rising mostly because they were expecting another Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Rising is really historical fiction, seeing as how most of it is set right after the second world war. I knew that there couuld be no book like Silence of the Lambs, that Hannibal would probably be a quieter, subtler book.
I was half right.
There is beauty in the blood here; the harrowing images of death are subdued and gorgesouly written but most shocking is that you feel empathy towards Hannibal Lecter. Knowing what I know now of his character, is it any wonder why he became a monster?
Judgement and revenge come in many forms.
I think that’s what puts most people off about the novel. You feel sorry for him, sorry for Hannibal Lecter. You come away wondering if you would have done the same, had someone eaten your little sister. You come away wondering if you have a monster waiting to rise up.
Even mosnters have feelings, no matter how inhuman they may seem.
HANNIBAL RISING is probably one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. Hannibal Lecter will stay with me for a long time and I can’t wait to read the tale of his beginning all over again.
Margaret is a woman who lives for the downward spiral. Fleeing from Canada to escape her past, Margaret settles in T“I sell my time and kill my body…”
Margaret is a woman who lives for the downward spiral. Fleeing from Canada to escape her past, Margaret settles in Tokyo to work for Air-Pro Stewardess Training Institute. There, she immerses herself in drugs and sex to forget her family and repress memories of her brother Frank: The brother who tried to kill her.
Sharing an apartment with her friend Ines, another fellow Canadian, Margaret ingests illegal substances, drinks herself into stupors and tries to ignore her past and where she came from. Drugs and booze will only blind for a moment; sex gives her another outlet, another way to forget, while hands are caressing her body.
Margaret? Margaret I need you to call me. There’s been an accident-
Margaret trains doll-like Japanese women to be stewardesses, to fly high in the skies. “Air Pro: Putting young women in the air. Where they belong.” But her past still gnaws at her, still tries to push forth into her consciousness. More drugs and booze don’t help; the cocaine and beer concoction no longer purify her thoughts, no longer help her to forget. She is no longer able to stay lost. That all changes when Margaret meets Kazu.
Kazu is a mysterious gangster; tattoos mark his muscled body and his eyes are dark and full of shadows. They engage in sex, in lust. Kazu takes Margaret to a Love Hotel. There are hundreds of Love Hotels in Tokyo, lurid places with themed rooms and no human attendants. You choose a room from a lit up display and have a rest (three hours) or a stay (all night). Which room will you choose?
Immortality is not an option
Margaret becomes obsessed with the pictures, the face, of a girl reported to be dead. Abducted and killed, if rumor is to be believed. But Margaret sees her face everywhere: in alleyways, on posters, in the subway. Margaret begins to search for the lost girl, realizing that she is one herself.
Despite her best intentions, Margaret finds herself falling for the tattooed Kazu, but their love comes with complications. Margaret can no longer pretend she does not love Kazu, but he has not been honest with her. He is married, and in Tokyo, it is best not to battle with the wife. Mistresses have been known to perish at the hands of knife handling wives.
Don’t fight a Japanese wife…so sharp, you don’t even feel it…
Kazu tells Margaret to leave, to go back to Canada. But how can Margaret leave the man she loves? She continues to pine for Kazu, who tries to keep his distance. She sees the missing girl everywhere now. She fills Margaret’s dreams, her waking hours.
Before her stay in Tokyo is over, Margaret must confront her past if she is to survive. She also must confront herself, to free herself before the downward spiral claims her, or be lost forever.
“Lost Girls and Love Hotels” is Christine Hanrahan’s first novel and that’s a crying shame. After I had finished the book, I scoured the Internet to find out if she had written anything else I could get my hands on, to no avail. As soon as I finished reading “Lost Girls and Love Hotels”, I started reading it again. I’m now reading it for a third time. The book is just that good. It’s the best book I’ve read in years.
From the first page, the story is just so consuming, so engrossing, that you can do nothing but turn the pages and continue on it’s wild, lustful ride. She uses writing devices (like flash backs and talking in third person whenever Margaret is on a drug binge) like a pro. Hanrahan is a natural at creating mood, using words to her advantage and letting us see inside her protagonist’s head. “Lost Girls and Love Hotels” is proof of her skill and it’s one damn great book.
What makes the novel so interesting is that it doesn’t hold back any secrets. We know everything (or almost everything) from the beginning; Hanrahan has set up a line of dominoes, long and curvy, and is about to flick the first one. All we have to do is watch the rest of the line fall; and be amazed.
All I can say is: Read this book. It’s amazing, the ending is a shocker and it will be the best book you have read in years. I, for one, can’t wait for Hanrahans next offering.
Everyone remembers their first love. The one who woke their heart, the one that made their breath stop. The one that made your heart beat. The one thaEveryone remembers their first love. The one who woke their heart, the one that made their breath stop. The one that made your heart beat. The one that got away. What if you could have another chance at that love? Would you take it?
It is 1978. Travis and Craig attend the same finishing school, though they are in different crowds. Travis is the school nerd while Craig is the school jock. They go in completely different circles until fate brings them together. While working on the play Brigadoon together, they spark something inside each other.
Soon, the two of them fall in love and begin to explore everything possible about the other person. They decide, that summer, to rent an apartment in the city so that they can be together. What follows is the most wonderful summer of either of their lives, but all good things must come to an end.
They are each going to different colleges: Travis to UCLA and Craig to Harvard. They know that at the end of the summer, it will be goodbye. Though they write to each other at first, the letters soon die out and they lose contact with each other.
Flash forward twenty years. It is now 1998. Craig is a lawyer with his own firm and Travis is teaching history at his alma mater. Craig is living with his boyfriend, Clayton and Travis is still searching for love.
He begins to think back to a summer he has never quite forgotten; to the boy he first loved. Doing something completely uncharacteristic, Travis decides to go on a cross country trip to find Craig and let him know that he is still the man of his dreams. He breaks into Craig’s mother’s office to find Craig’s address and then he is on his way, with help from his best friend Gordo, a wise cracking waitress named A. J. and even Clayton.
When you’re in love, it’s impossible to stay apart for long…
This is one of the best books I have ever read, period. My run down of the plot doesn’t even begin to describe “Almost Like Being In Love”. Not even close. Much like his previous bestseller, “Last Days of Summer”, “Almost Like Being In Love” is told in a series of narrative, checklists, journal entries, emails and letters that give the book a fast pace and a wonderful sense of charm.
Because we are allowed to glimpse their world through their journal entries and emails, etc, the characters are vividly drawn and instantly human. Anyone can identify with the characters in these pages. Anyone who has ever loved will love this book.
It’s touching, wonderfully funny and actually made me cry in a few places when I remembered my first love. This book is also laugh out loud funny. I’m serious. I’ve seen that tag line on books often enough and usually I’m disappointed. I don’t even giggle. “Almost Like Being In Love” made me laugh so hard at one point I cried and snorted so loud at one point, I think I gave my cat a heart attack.
What did I find so funny? You’re going to have to read the book to find out.
What else can I say? It’s that good, you won’t be disappointed. Read it, and remember the good times.