November 25, 2011
The schedule fell apart and there was no post last week, despite what the Dead Days Calendar said up until now. Instead I have a very special instalment for you today. I'd like to present my review of...
Idols & Cons by S.S. Michaels
John lives in an area being infiltrated by Hollywood types. He's into art, music, and selling drugs even though he's not out of high school yet. He's sort of friends with boy band idol Damien Tungsten of the band In Dreams. He's also friends with eccentric, artist Patrick Salinger. When John witnesses Damien murder a girl in his posh bedroom, and Patrick becomes involved, things go from bad to strange.
Idols & Cons is S.S. Michaels' debut novel, published by Omnium Gatherum. What a great way to start off a writing career. The book is a fast read that also moves along at a good narrative clip. It is written in the first person, but also changes character perspective from chapter to chapter as necessary. While not a new idea it is put to good use. It starts off with Jake, who is also John for much of the novel. It's an element of the somewhat fluid timeline, but it manages not to confuse if you pay attention to whose point of view you're in until you can tell without looking. Everything fits together well and really crystallises nicely. After teetering along in an exciting, wild ride of relish-worthy fulfilled expectations, and breakneck twists, it ends with short burst of abrupt reality hits that satisfy except that there is no more to read.
The writing is involving. There is excellent contrast between the dark and comedic. The satire is obvious but not in your face. The character work with John draws you in, with nice detail and depth to Damien as well. Patrick is kind of the odd one out. That however has more to do with his psychology and his action more than introspection role to the narrative. The characters are physically described mostly by fashion sense and personal style, which is a good fit to the world they live in just outside of where regular people do. This, the content, and some of the story stylings push the book into the transgressive milieu that the publisher is interested in.
You can pick up your own copy of Idols & Cons at Amazon.com.
Music: Maniac Dance by Stratovarius.
November 11, 2011
Build Up Begins on the Rhoads
Here we are, back from the Hallowe'en hiatus. The recovery time afterward wants to be longer every year. I'm leaning toward giving into it so I will keep this short. We're on the last couple of miles in the year. The days are getting shorter and shorter. Things are very inchoate around here and not feeling very ascendant. There is one place where things are rocking and about to build up to a big blast to cap off the year, and that is On Dark Rhoads. Be sure you don't miss it. Tomorrow lays the groundwork.
Music: A Kind of Magic by Queen.
Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada
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