Listicle Reviews: Violet Dusk by Ankhesen Mié and The Kind of Friends Who Murder Each Other by Chris Rhatigan


Pages: 102
Genre: Noir, Novella
Format: E-book
Published by KUBOA Press

1. A noir novella with the most handsome book cover.

2. It’s about a bunch of guys who live in a boring suburbia who have done horrible things.

3. Once again, like I said about My Friend Dahmer, it’s about that secret evil that lurks in the shadow of suburbia. A lot of people are bored and they think nothing happens, but guess what, people are stalking and killing each and chopping you up.

4. Friends who keep secrets are not the most trust worthy friends.

5. Because they will kill you and stalk you and make sure you don’t spill the milk.

6. Like most noir novels, this is a spitting, cursing, nihilistic little book about a guy who kills his friends and runs away. All because they sat down one day and had some drunken banter about their deepest secrets.

7. Written with prose that is lurid and yet somehow dull in the main character’s apathy. 

8. One thing that I tend to notice about anti-heros in the noir genre is that for some reason, you think they’re really cool. Which is bad, because in real life they are much worse than what is in these novels. 

9. Although I will admit that I didn’t enjoy it as much as his novella in  you don’t exist with Pablo D’Stair.

10. But it is excellent in its execution and would probably make a good short indie film.

Rating: 3/5

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Pages: 27
Genre: Poetry, Chapbook
Format: E-book
Published by Middle Child Press

1. It’s a short chapbook of poetry. 

2. It’s written in that classic style that I never remember the names of.

3. It’s hard talking about poetry, but I do love the essence and feeling of them.

4. This is refreshing to read. They weren’t heavy love poems sweating with lust or angsty poems sweating with tear drops or dripping them. Instead, they are poems that are complacent and sure of themselves, in their own seat, possibly a computer chair or a comfy cushion.

5. The poems are developed, reminding me of the form of pantoums or sonnets. I think that’s what they are.

6. Each poem is a representation of the author, because poetry like I will be saying a lot in this blog, is a form of healing and understanding one’s self. 

7. Like her novella collection, Folklore and Other Stories, she used folk tales and metaphor on her canvas.

8. Folk tales and fantasy are the tiny strings that somehow compose realities.

9. I honestly have nothing else to say. But I would definitely read more of her poetry.

10. Poetry reveals what’s  unconscious, hidden, and difficult to thread out of the mind. While fiction reveals it whole and exposed, sometimes a little too harshly. 

Rating: 4/5

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Soo….

So I literally just figured out how to change the website address to match the title. But how do I make it pretty? Sigh.

Listicle Reviews for Two Books: My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf and Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

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Pages: 224
Genre: Graphic Novel
Published by Abrams Comicarts
Borrowed from the Library

1. An autobiographical graphic novel about knowing someone that became one of the most infamous serial killers.

2. It’s very sad, so sad.

3. But utterly repulsive as you witness, in paper and ink, Dahmer slowly falling apart and you can’t help but pity him, but be disgusted, as his family leaves him alone to his demons.

4. Derf is just living your usual suburban life.

5. It’s about what lurks underneath the skin and consciousness of your neighborhood while you’re on the bus minding your own business, listening to some feel-good tunes. 

6. It’s about the biggest demon you fear that is sitting right next to you.

7. The art is comical but fits the hidden dreariness of isolated suburbia and teen angst that usually builds up a serial killer like Dahmer. The boogieman that lurks in suburbia streets. 

8. You question why something like this exists, but it’s about a guy who actually knew Dahmer.

9. It’s a form of  healing of sorts. Trying to comprehend a sadism that you don’t  want to know. 

10. The last haunting words on the last page: Dahmer, What have you done?

Rating: 4/5

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Pages: 192
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays, Speeches
Format: E-book

1. A collection of essays and speeches by Audre Lorde. A lot of people have read this since she is definitely one of the most important and influential women in history. Which is why my words on it aren’t really that important because it’s no different than anyone else’s.

2. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but this was written in a way where I could easily digest it without clawing my eyes out. It is written in her lovely voice by her lovely fingers.

3. She is delicate and strong, knowing that she is shoved outside of everything by every sister.

4. She is a women and a feminist.

5. A Black women and a Lesbian.

6. A poet and a word weaver.

7. Writing is a form of healing for those who know they are consistently clawed out of existence or muted.

8. Sisters should always join hands but yet we never do it.

9. You know that overused quote about pens being a weapon? This book is one of the most powerful swords, it will rip every form of organism and matter with one slice.

10. And that all I have to say. By the way, I wonder if she has a book dedicated to her travels, I really liked that first essay. Of course, I loved all of the other ones, but that one stuck with me for some reason, the way she describes people and landscapes, I guess that’s just how her poetic mind influences her prose.

Rating: 5/5

The Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai

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Pages: 175
Genre: Literary Fiction, Japanese literature, Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Published by New Directions

So I decided to break the silence on here for a little bit and write a short review of this rather short novel. I’m not sure if it’s short enough to be a novella, but most people don’t seem to notice and claim that it is.  I find it very hard to find pictures of this novel in the Google image searches. I had to search for it on Goodreads, but for some reason you can get the pink, No Longer Human pretty easily. 

It seems like No Longer Human, which was his first novel, is much more popular than The Setting Sun and honestly, I will admit that I was quite disappointed with this one. I gave it a three-star rating, but I honestly felt like giving it a two. I couldn’t though, I just couldn’t bear to do that to Dazai since I enjoyed No Longer Human so much. 

The Setting Sun almost felt like a sort of side story to No Longer Human since there were so many similar elements, the main character with a tragic flaw, the deeply flawed man who commits suicide who was actually a lot like the main character of No Longer Human, and of course, that unattainable desire. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what was the point of this novel. It was definitly one of those novels that were more of a concept than actual meaningful plot. If that makes sense. I do read a lot of concept or driven novels, but this one left me scratching my head. I know it’s supposed to be about the fall of the aristocrat class in Japan after World War II, but something about this novel made me shrug my shoulders and forgot all about it.

The whole plot of the story is centered around the tragic heroine’s life living as an aristocrat who’s life of being an aristocrat has died. She cheated on her husband and is divorced and basically does nothing except housework and occasionally a little bit of labor for when the money gets low. But what’s constantly looming over her head is the possibility of her mother passing away and leaving her alone to the world, because all this women had was her mother and alcoholic depressed brother and a lover who is also a bit of a bum.

Much like Dazai’s first novel, the main heroine gets into a lot lof shameful mess, such as once again cheating on her husband and doing ditzy crap like almost accidently setting a village on fire. Unlike, his first novel though, he brings in some weird coincidences where black snakes seem to predict incoming death or misfortune.

The woman is lost and in love, in fear of the future as her mother passes, and trapped in her home with her mother and brother as they depart from her life. And then all she has is the one lover who isn’t really there for her, because forbidden love stuff, and he’s married already. 

The Setting Sun is a lot like No Longer Human, but it’s just subpar, plot-wise. The prose is beautiful and delicate, much like Yukio Mishima’s works, who was influenced by Dazai, but towards the middle of the book, it got weighed down by the tragic heroine’s constant moping. I get that the situation would cause this, but it was just so overwhelming, I felt like I was watching one of those really over dramatic soap operas. So this second novel, very nice and classical, but it was a total flop for me. 

Rating: 3/5

Not Dead, Just Busy

1. I’m in summer school, but it will end soon. (The 28th.)

2. Sometimes I’m in a blog funk, especially in the summer, ironically enough. It’s usually when I have lots of free time that I procrastinate everything.

3. I like to do many projects and then get overwhelmed. What am I doing?

a. I’m running an e-zine  And I’m still working on the second issue. If you’re a writer and want to submit, just read the blog. The second issue needs poetry and prose that is weird, experimental, Sci-Fi, and surreal. Here’s the first issue. If you want to download it, just comment, and I will send you a link to the PDF.

b. I’m writing my own zines. But I keep scrapping them because they suck. But this one I will stick to. It’s going to be a perzine reflecting on my mixed-race identity and the non-fiction book: When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian American Identities by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu. The perzine will be called “Penumbral Eclipse.” The title may change. There are very little media out there that is relatable and makes me feel less lonely.

c. I also write my own fictions and had one little fiction scene published in a little zine, little non-fiction proses published in two little zines, and some terrible poetry in one zine. Should I put a “Stuff I’ve written” in the tabs? I generally do not like talking about my own writing because it is pretty bad in my opinion. These zines are little zines run by zinesters, they are not major publications like The New York Times or Five Quarterly or something. Which is why I don’t talk about my writings anywhere. I’m also writing for a zine. I also write under various pen names. But I’m sticking to one right now. No more changes.

d. Maybe, just maybe, I will publish snippets of my writing here and then provide them for pay what you want on Gumroad, which means free, if you want it free, just put a zero. But lately I have been super lazy and dry with writing. And honestly, I don’t really care about being published and recognized. I rather give it away for free and have like 5 ratings on Goodreads. That’s enough to make me happy. If my friends like it and some random stranger liked it, that’s good enough. I like indie and obscure.

4. Once again, the blog is not dead. I love this blog.