Sunshine In The Valley, CCM (Civil Coping Mechanisms) Press, by Kyle Muntz. Reviewed by Elynn Alexander for Full Of Crow Press.
“We were here and we were really here. It kept us breathing.” (7)
It strikes me that they gather beneath the full sun, seeming to celebrate time’s passage rather than indulging in lamentation.
“...always to glorious burning.” (7) This is in contrast to the typical themes of the so-called human condition, creatures tethered to dread, in constant fear of our own mortality and with an often painful awareness of our insignificance. Living with the spectre brings a certain pressure to bear, beings set out to live in ways that maximize perceived “significance”: progeny, legacy, endurance of the corporeal made manifest through enduring actions and accomplishments. How to make one’s mark? How to distinguish one’s small life from an expansive tribe, exponential, a pool that consists of others with the same preoccupations, both present and ancestral? We compete with history. We want to BE something in our own right. We want to be enduring, somehow, different perhaps in the way that Muntz makes a distinction between a story and a legend. We want to be more than a story, we want to be embellished and etched into permanence, to linger. Continue reading
Apostle Rising, by Richard Godwin, published by Black Jackal Books. Reviewed for Full Of Crow by Elynn Alexander.
In his first novel Apostle Rising, Richard Godwin emerges as a writer willing to take risks because of his confidence in the reader. He understands that on one level we want to be passively entertained, and that is what sells in a market dominated by vampire clone stories and the prattle of politicians-gone -celebrity. The rubric for success seems to include attention-getting crossover and repetition, feeding the appetite of the consumer for familiarity and predictability. In putting out a genre work- Godwin is responsive to this. Called both “police procedural” and a “psychological thriller”, there is certainly a niche market in mind. But one characteristic of a good novel is the ability to resonate with others, particularly those who don’t tend to frequent those sections in the book store, a sort of “universality” about the book’s appeal. Continue reading
Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom : A Novel By Mel Bosworth. Reviewed by Lynn Alexander. Published at Prick of The Spindle, Vol. 3.2.
“They quickly learned that we were the King and Queen of the bar. They were our servants. They worked for us. We were Gods. Our ears and noses were red and our lips wet. We were drunks. We were in love.”
Mel Bosworth is a sweet romantic bastard, who knew? This is a love story, lines of love: crazy love, nervous love, public love, mother love, writing about love to remember love. And it’s funny.
Bosworth’s character, David, spends chapter after chapter ogling Samantha while becoming more and more powerless in her presence. He covets her gun panties, delights in her classy sipping of shots, tells her about his period in a baby voice, and promenades with her as a monster. Continue reading