Category Archives: Literary Fiction Reviews

The Snail’s Castle – Book Review

 

Carl Jung’s concept of the Shadow is one of many intertwined and mutually reinforcing themes in Mark Gordon’s complex and absorbing novel.

The Shadow comprises the negative, primitive and morally reprehensible emotions and impulses inaccessible to the conscious mind: among them, lust, greed, envy, rage and the pursuit of power. It is at its most dangerous when habitually repressed and rejected, eventually manifesting itself in mental disturbances such as neurosis, psychosis or irrational hostility.

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Mister Spoonface – Book Review

 

Fred Pooley has returned to London after six years in Hong Kong. He has worked hard and saved a little money, but something is wrong. He can’t settle down, he avoids visiting his mother, and there’s an emptiness inside him.

Petra, a new girlfriend, tries hard to bring Fred out of himself, yet he is irresistibly drawn to his former partner, Sally, and her young daughter. He grows increasingly certain that children are what he needs to fill the void in his life. When he decides to act on that need, he is led imperceptibly into illegality, obsession and self-destruction. Continue reading Mister Spoonface – Book Review

To Swim Beneath the Earth – Book Review

 

‘Sometimes it’s hard to know what you’re seeing,’ Megan Kimsey remarks as she prepares to fly from Denver to Bogota at the beginning of Ginger Bensman’s ambitious novel. It’s an appropriate statement from a young woman prone not only to premonitions, but also to visions of a past life lived centuries ago in a different culture.

These episodes are naturally interpreted as symptoms of mental illness by Megan’s mother, a physically attractive woman who instinctively colonizes everything and everybody, and whose need to control extends to hiring a dubious psychiatrist to cure her daughter of her hallucinations.

Megan can depend on her father’s love and support, until his loss precipitates a personal crisis and the start of a quest to find the truth about herself. Continue reading To Swim Beneath the Earth – Book Review

Proud Patrick – Book Review

 

After reading Proud Patrick, I took it into my head to visit Michael O’Reilly’s profile on Goodreads, where I learned that he counts among his main influences, not only writers such as Forster, Hardy, Joyce, Melville, and Shakespeare, but also filmmakers such as Bergman, Cassavetes, Kubrick, Kurosawa, and Lean.

I found this list of luminaries to be intriguing, as I also think of my own writing in terms of film style – not a conscious and deliberate emulation of particular shots and scenes, but the grammar of film and the kinds of dramatic tension that great filmmakers know how to construct.

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Editorial Review – When We Sleep

 

Title: When We Sleep

Author: Ernesto H. Lee

Genre: Supernatural fiction / Dreams

 

When We Sleep by Ernesto H. Lee is a supernatural fiction book with a focus on the mysteries that his dreams have to offer. The book blurb promises bizarre truths the reader will encounter.

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Editorial Review – Thursday’s Child

 

Title: Thursday’s Child

Author name: Joseph Wurtenbaugh

Genre: Literary Fiction / Romance / Business Intrigue / Legal Thriller

 

This is an epic story, seasoned with mystery and romance, of how Adele Elizabeth Jansen’s life transforms slowly but irrevocably after meeting author, poet, polymath, and unrecognized genius, Thomas Newcombe.

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Editorial Review – A Place of Timeless Harmony

 

Title: A Place of Timeless Harmony

Author: Curt Eriksen

Genre: Literary Fiction

A Place of Timeless Harmony is about a couple, Richard and Sofie, who go on a romantic vacation to the African safari. But they are carrying secrets that are weighing heavily on their hearts, and the two realize that no matter how much they hide from each other, not opening up about the darkness within is only hurting their chance at love.

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Editorial Review – The Beasts of Electra Drive

 

Title: The Beasts of Electra Drive

Author: Rohan Quine

Genre: Literary Fiction/Magical Realism/Horror

Aptly titled, The Beasts of Electra Drive tells the story of a video game designer’s revenge on the “Dreary Ones,” the corporate leaders at Bang Dead Games, the company where he worked until recently.

They’re about to release a new, glamorous social media software, Ain’t They Freaky!, designed to fuel the tabloid-style view of the world—cutting others down to build oneself up—and Jaymi Peek feels that something is wrong. Despite owning an opulent house on Electra Drive and two nearby rental properties, something is missing…and then he has an epiphany.

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Editorial Review – Sophie’s Playlist

 

Title: Sophie’s Playlist: The Gramble Chronicles

Author: Michael Finocchiaro

Genre: Fiction, Action and Adventure, Thriller

This is a meandering, literary-style story spiced with romance, grit, and a touch of adventure as it covers the multiple storylines of three characters—Gramble, Zoe, and Samuel—as they explore a kaleidoscope of human experiences.

On the thriller side, there is the story of Gramble, a member of the Bureau of Indian Affairs who has been investigating Florida tribal ties with the mafia for years. He eventually transfers to the FBI, but he’s still drawn to Miami and the troubles that he feels are hidden just below the polished surface of casinos and “legal business.”

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Walls of Silence – Book Review

 

Rating: 5/5

This book is amazing. The topic of abuse is not something you want to think much about. It is mostly hidden behind a wall of silence and if it gets public attention, it’s usually garish sensationalism. Not so in this book. It is completely beyond me how the author managed to write about severe abuse – both as a child and as an adult woman – without it being garish and shocking. The atmosphere is one of quiet pain and that gets under your skin.

I could not put the book down and read it in one go deep into the night. I have read things like this before, but usually I either mentally squeeze my eyes shut and hurry through to get it over with or I want to scream with outrage. Here, I found myself trapped right along with Maria in the wide-eyed disbelief that this could really be happening, enduring the suffering with her.

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