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review 2013-09-09 18:16
A satisfying tale!
Spunk - Helen O'Reilly

SPUNK, A Fable, is quite a brave choice for a title, and this bravery reflects in the tale tackled. As a lesbian I've read at least two of the sort of 'modern Amazonian tribe' fantasies prevalent in LGBT genre (in the early 90's) which SPUNK is an intelligent and astute spin on. Such all-female societies were ideal if not always utopian, purposed to elevate and overtly empower its female characters (and maybe make other statements). With SPUNK, Helen O'Reilly intends none of these things but explores a very believable path that a post-apocalyptic, all-female 'tribe' can take, and it's all shades of Lord of the Flies, and then some.

But unlike the blunt, young boy/testosterone-fueled savagery of Flies, O'Reilly softens the more unsettling aspects of this female tribe, united in a corrupted vision of survival, with a fable's euphemistic language; just as we can easily digest the monstrosity of Baba Yaga through the simplicity of fairy tale, we can absorb the more queasy or frank aspects of SPUNK with O'Reilly's poetic narrative, though the estrogen-fueled savagery of her setting is still effectively intact. The fable comes to a very satisfying conclusion, as most good tales should, with a beautiful mix of both female and male characters (very much unlike the typical 'amazonian utopia' formula),who pull surprises at the end.

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text 2013-06-25 18:29
Why Not Ban WAR in War Zones? Why Stop at Rape?
Spunk - Helen O'Reilly

Although she's widely considered one of the world's great beauties, Angelina Jolie was never one of my choices to play a role in Spunk, a Fable (I admit, I've thought about who would be my choices to portray my heroines in a movie version).  Then again, Spunk is not so much a book about beautiful women; it's about "powerful women in desperate circumstances," as Dr. Judi Hollis, author (From Bagels to Buddha) describes it.


Angelina Jolie is not only an accomplished actress, she is also a UN commisioner for refugees, and her remarks urging the world’s nations to make the fight against rape in war a top priority are commendable; but I wonder. Why not just fight to make war itself a thing of the past? Horrible as it is, is rape in a war zone any worse than so-called date rape, domestic-violence rape, or stranger-rape? It's all pretty horrible.

Source: www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/celebrity/violence+zones+must+stop+Angelina+Jolie+says/8570909/story.html
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photo 2013-06-18 20:12
Spunk - Helen O'Reilly
Riddley Walker - Russell Hoban
Animal Farm Publisher: Signet Classics; 50th Anniversary edition - George Orwell
1984 - George Orwell
Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
A Clockwork Orange - Stanley Kubrick
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet - Eleanor Cameron
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien,Alan Lee
Portrait of the Artist Hiding Double Chin

In the news today we see that Emma Watson, the gorgeous, gamine ingenue who first portrayed Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, will be cast in a post-apocalyptic female "Game of Thrones" type movie. I guess post-apocalyptic female dystopias are in the air! Good; Perhaps someday Spunk, a Fable, will be made into a movie, and won't that be fun!?


Okay, I'll admit it, I've played the game (in my mind of course); "who would I want to play the lead in the movie of my book?"


For the physical description of the character Pink, I imagined, not the singer who goes by that name, but the actress Lily Cole, who I consider a great beauty.


For Yuki-Kai, I imagined Paz de la Huerta, an altogether different type of beauty, but a beauty nonetheless.


I imagined Helen Mirren as the perfect Senga, but the other older women characters seemed too different to be embodied by any present-day stars. Of course, Buffy could only be played by someone like Kathy Bates, or even Kirstie Alley, a woman of substance. And who could play The Abbess? In a movie, the villain always has to cut the most striking figure-- and yesterday I read that Barbra Streisand, a most striking figure indeed, has been awarded an honorary degree--Yes; Doctor Barbra Streisand would be a most suitable Abbess!

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