Published by Belladonna*
Published by Belladonna*
Genre: Horror, Surrealism, Bizarro
Published by Grindhouse Press
Mr. Prunty is that writer that I would be scared to meet in real life. That sounds a little mean, but it’s my true feelings. (Did I write this before?) I read his The Warm Glow of Happy Homes months ago. I don’t remember exactly when, but I enjoyed it. It was a novella, it was short, gory, and thrilling. Now here’s a short story collection. It’s completely different.
“The feeling of contentment would always be followed by the world crumbling beneath her feet.”
I wonder if Prunty is a huge fan of old horror movies. Because while reading this, I played the soundtracks, did the jump scare effects whenever my eyes came across the violence, and the innocent little girl voices. “Hey? What is that?” *Gets murdered.*
But like a lot of people stated, the stories were wrapped up a bit too fast. “Oh hey! Look I killed someone! Oh no someone punched me. But I survived. And I walked home like nothing happened. The end.” Just kidding that didn’t actually happen. But I can probably say the longer short stories were better.
“The only mystery they had left her with was the mystery of who they were and what they were like. She didn’t expect them to be anything but mystery.”
And as much as I liked the first few short stories, it took a grand fall towards the end for me. I’m not sure if it was because I got tired of it or I was just getting really grossed out by it. Yeah, I said it. I got grossed out by a bizzaro book. The pedophilia, the fornication, the sacks of blood, it was just a little too much. There’s horror and grossness, but this reminded me of those people who have weird fascinations with snuff films and watching people die with pleasure. I guess, I just wasn’t in the mood for this one. I didn’t expect this to be this gross though.
“Really, it was nothing. Just a bad dream. Just a nightmare. And everybody knows nightmares end when we open our eyes.”
I guess I was too wimpy for this one. But I was reading this in the middle of the night and I cringed so bad at the last two stories. But eventually I got used to it and was like “meh,” for the rest. I did get some weird dreams though.
Published by All Due Respect Books
This was sent to me in exchange for an honest review
All Due Respect has been publishing noir and hitting the genre repeatedly until it bleeds and smiles at them with crooked teeth. Yeah, really hard. They’re busting up the Kindle tops with pride.This collection consisted of mostly lower middle class or poor people getting into super difficult situations or ending in death or embarrassment. Of course, since it is noir, those people have committed crimes or are in a situation where one takes place.
“The creak of your car door slices into your ears and carves canyons in your bones. Did you think the girl at the Kwik Trip would look at you twice?”
But crime, cusses, and bloodshed isn’t the only thing in this story collection. Foolish love, wasted love, missed opportunities, and regrets plague the backgrounds of each story. There is immorality in the air, but somewhere in there is a little speck of humanity floating around, it probably landed in your ear drum or in your throat and you coughed it out. What I meant was that it’s a little hard to see.
Noir is kind of a weird genre and I noticed that while reading this collection. It’s a type of literature that works sort of like a thriller, where the reader is absorbed into a world filled with deviances and it makes them sweat and jitter, but it also has a human condition or “literary fiction,” aspect where the character measures their misfortunes with their fortunate moments, and then decide on whether or not everything is as bad as they thought it was. (Along with my lack grammar rules on this blog.)
“Well, Nikki, truth be told, this really isn’t your country. We tolerate you, when we don’t need the entertainment you provide, we send you back home or lay you down with the worms.”
Religion is also thrown in here too, much like Jake Hinkson’s The Deepening Shade. In the noir world, religion always seems to be that one huge conflict that just leaves everything shredded in five different shapes. Most of those shapes are guilty hypocrites. It dedicates what is right and wrong over and over in the ears to make a hypnosis that turns quite hypnotic, until it wears off, making a rabid beast. I’m talking about the story, “A Moral Majority,” where a priest gets an abortion for a young pregnant lover. He didn’t really commit violence, but he in a sense did, because he killed off life and betrayed all of the commandments of his church.
“He closed his eyes and imagined himself a giant, stomping across the Minnesota countryside, cracking the Earth with every step.”
Crooked Roads is a collection of confessing all of the crimes people dream up in their heads of doing, but never actually do it. Instead, they project the fantasy in Grand Theft Auto. And if they ever do, they buckle down or get a whip to the behind. It has its humor here and there, due to some characters being sort of pathetic, but at the same, in their foolishness and unfortunate circumstances, you learn to empathize. Go outside or watch the news and then try to picture every detail, understand the deviance and motive of these crimes. The collection manages to entertain but also give that warm feeling (I sound like a masochist,) of knowing and experiencing something. Because noir is not just thrills and gunshots, well most of it kind of is from what I’ve seen so far, but Crooked Roads contained both the trope of noir, that I’ve seen so far, but also the “literary,” qualities. It contains the observations of people falling into deep holes of either “Whoa, you messed up big time, I kind of feel bad for you, here’s a bit of mercy” or “Dude, you’re such a jerk, so now here’s your flip.”
Favorite stories in the collection:
A Moral Majority
No Hard Feelings
I decided to self-publish through CreateSpace because it gave me the most freedom, it was simple and it had very good reviews. For my first book I wanted to be involved in each fact of putting the book together. I wanted to choose the cover, pick the arrangement of poetry as well as to edit my work. The process of marketing has been an undertaking but I’m so excited. I have had so much support from my followers on Google and Twitter it has been amazing! I also had a very successful Book Launch Party where I sold a good number of books. The word is getting out there now as a result of my physical event and I also have a feature event coming up in June and in July I will be selling my book at the Harlem Book Fair. I want to start working on my next book in June. I plan to self-publish all my books. I’m not sure how many I will write but I am off to an excellent start.
I decided to do this. It’s a little too late though. I don’t think I’m going to have any new book reviews anytime soon, so I will just post a little post here and there to keep it alive. I’ve been pretty darn busy and reading at a very slow pace. I don’t even think I will complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Yeah, I know, quality over quantity, but I would like to finish unread books that I currently own. Now here’s the real point of this post, Julianne from Outlandishlit nominated me for this award. Thank you! Sorry for doing this so late. (I’m so lazy I copied and pasted everything, so this will all look weird when I post this.) EDIT: Never mind, I fixed it.
11 Facts About Me
1. I’m going to be a Sociology major. I’m not very interesting. I might do Library Science/Information Science as a Masters. (I heard people do Biology and then do their Masters in Library Science.) If not I will end up doing something else.
2. I’ve learned Spanish throughout most of my life. I’ve forgotten and wish to learn again. I learned Basic I and II Mandarin. I’m now learning American Sign Language.
3. I’m 5’2 or 5’3. I don’t know my own height. That’s how wonderful I am.
4. I’ve written two reviews that were published online. This one and This one. I’ve also had my reviews blurbed on CCLaP. (The second one I did under a pen name because family members don’t know I do this book reviewing thing.)
5. I’m going to publish a zine very soon. I hope to make lots of zines. And I have a crazy dream, I want to start a small press one day.
6. I yap a lot online but outside I’m pretty quiet and stick to myself.
7. I get allergies very easy. It hasn’t happened much recently, but I used to wake up blowing my nose with tears coming out of my eyes every morning.
8. I’m a New Yorker. Born in Brooklyn, but like a lot of them, I ended up moving and living in suburbia as a Sophomore in high school.
9. I’m trying to gain back my graphic design skills, but I still stink at it.
10. I’m very fond of folk, neo-classical, and ambient music. One day I’m listening to Grindcore, the next day I’m listening to piano.
11. I never read Harry Potter and I don’t feel like finishing Game of Thrones.
Questions she asked me
1. Do you write in books?
No, but I recently started underlining sentences I like and bending the pages. Yep, I got over my obsession with not dog earing my pages.
My favorite is Snapple and Ice teas. I also like Coffee and sometimes drink decaffeinated coffee in the late afternoon.
And well this was a lot more fun than expect. But I have no idea who to tag with this. So I think I will just leave it like the evil human being I am.
Genre: Noir, Novella, Southern Literature
Published by Bartleby Snopes Press
C.S. Wildt is one of All Due Respect’s authors, his book, Love You to a Pulp, was published not too long ago and here is a novella by him. It’s short and not so sweet, more like salty. And the story is straight and simple, it’s about a guy, who’s sleeping in bed with his boss’ daughter and wife after he decided to kill him one day, that is making plans on escaping the town.
“Where I come from a man asks you to meet him alone at midnight, you know you aren’t getting what you’re promised. How you going to believe the man that robbed you blind? Huh?”
It’s quite short and so far, for what I’ve read for noir, this is nothing new. It’s not particularly bad, but it’s nothing that has blown my mind. I knew what was going to happen, the main character was going to end up not really getting exactly what he wants. Some little twist was going to happen and there was going to be a lot of blood shed.
However once again that doesn’t mean it is not something to enjoy. The prose subtly contains that quirky bounce of Southern talk and the same morbid beauty of disgusting humanity that is usually in these noir novels. Humans who are stinky and vile. They like apple pie though, but that sweet taste in the belly won’t make much of a difference.
Genre: Spanish Literature (Argentina), Literary Fiction
Published by Riverhead Books
It’s been a long while since I’ve read something in its physical form. And honestly, I’m glad I’m back because I miss it a lot. This book came from a Bookoutlet order from over a year ago and it’s some of the shortest books that I have in my unread pile. But I kept picking it up and putting it down for some reason. During those times, I guess I just wasn’t in the mood for it. This novel is a bit hard to get into, but once you get comfortable with it, you will freaking love it. I took this novel with me during a trip to New York to attend a bridal shower. It was totally worth it, it was hard to let go after twenty pages or so, or maybe because I was just bored of listening to my music.
“It’s strange how, during a dictatorship, words become infected by politics, lose their nobility, and start to lie about themselves. The tongue is a sly little muscle, and goes wherever it likes. The nose, on the other hand, is like a loyal dog.”
The novel is all about one guy, Alejandro Bevilacqua, he was a South American writer that was found murdered. One of the main characters, Terradillos, I don’t remember his first name, interviews some people that happen to know this guy, in order to write an autobiography of the elusive writer. Does this all sound familiar? (Psst, The Savage Detectives)
“I know that we are all fools in love, that we let ourselves create plausible ghosts in place of our loved ones. Or rather, we create a ghost which enters the solid person we see in front of us, inhabiting him, looking back at us from behind his eyes.”
That’s basically the whole novel. Terradillos interviews some people or reads the letters of other people who knew him. There’s also a narrative of somebody who was around during the time of Bevilacque’s murder, he was actually the cause of it. But I guess I can rule his death as an accident. I don’t really have much to say since lately I have been writing these blog posts a little too late. But Manguel is a fairly popular writer and there is nothing wrong with short reviews, so I guess I can let this one go.
“Those deaths that take place out there in the world, those hundreds of thousands of deaths that swamp us every day – they’re insubstantial in their vast anonymity.”
All Men Are Liars gets its title from a quote of a psalm, you find out in the first page of the book. The title is quite fitting for the plot. Each part or chapter of the novel is a different perspective and each perspective tells a different story of who Bevilacqua is. And what makes this interesting is that nobody, including the interviewer and the reader, has absolutely no idea if whether or not any of these stories are true. Everybody including the elusive writer is a liar. And that’s what’s so great about this novel, how it shows that everyone you know has a weird, twisted vision of who you are. How your existence can tell more than one story, hundreds more than you realize.