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review 2019-01-26 20:26
Headless Bust: A Melancholy Meditation on the False Millennium - Edward Gorey 
Headless Bust: A Melancholy Meditation on the False Millennium - Edward Gorey

Gorey is a magician who evokes humor without writing any jokes; large country houses as sets by showing nothing but a chair, or a bit of a wall; Victorian doorstoppers with only a handful of sentences. It's not at all surprising that his production of Dracula was a hit. 

 

One thing that comes up in the books about Gorey is this idea of him as the godfather of Goth which I don't see: the Gothic for him is always mixed with the humor. The modern Goth seems more akin to the Romantic poets. While individuals have a sense of humor, I don't feel like the aesthetic does. Goth is Edgar Allan Poe not Oscar Wilde's Canterville Ghost.

 

Anyway, if anyone has other authors who combine Gothic and humor, please let me know. I would hate to think that I had missed someone.

 

Personal copy

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url 2018-04-17 16:39
The Rules of Magic
The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

Months ago, I made a big fuss about this book and how excited I was that I could get my hands on the ARC...and then promptly went silent because I'm lazy like that. I ended up getting the book and reviewing it for Bust.com. I actually struggled with it; it was a good story, yet I think I wanted or expected it to be something it wasn't. I don't know if Practical Magic can be recaptured in a prequel or a sequel or any other method. This link is ancient by internet standards, but in the interest of trying to be an actual blogger again, I guess this as good a place as any to start.

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review 2018-04-09 00:30
“Basically, he wanted Deirdre gone"
Bust - Ken Bruen,Jason Starr

Deliciously reprehensible. Surprisingly light on its feet too; fifty pages of this stuff goes down like a shot. ‘Stuff’ is ‘kill the wife’ and it goes south most entertainingly. “Bust” isn’t anything you haven’t seen before but it won’t half make the commute fly by.

This is a soufflé, a romp, populated by cartoonishly horrible people out to do each other over in search of money and sex and whatever else they can get. We have Dillon – a.k.a. “Popeye” – a psychotic Irish lunatic and the ‘Begbie’ of this piece, coronary-waiting-to-happen businessman Max, the wily Angela (Lady Macbeth crossed with Jessica Rabbitt), ex-vet Bobby Rosa and various cops who get in the way of the dance. Everyone is potty-mouthed and out for themselves (and those that aren’t don’t last very long) and get lots of opportunities for devilment. The prose is simple, the chapters are short and the POV changes between each one, so you’re never bored. Characterisation is…hyperbolic: Dillon is such a psycho he not only hits Angela, not only takes a dump in the house he breaks into, not only kills tourists for lolz then watches cartoons but kills his own dog when its starts whining because Dillon hasn’t fed it for a week. Max’s slow motion descent into ruin recalls Robert Lindsay in Channel 4’s “G.B.H.” series and of course Angela is an angel, if you like lots of silicon which all the men do here. Everything is heightened such that you’re watching these characters and laughing with them but you’re not wholly gripped by them. There are plenty of gags (“And Zen there were none!”) and fun escalations and these edge the plot closer to classic farce in its later stages. Strangely, with Angela getting covered in blood and Dillon having dreams of a Banquo-esque Tinker he once killed it can sometimes feel as if the novel is trying to strain for some sort of Shakespearean element but then there’s another murder, Angela switches sides yet again and the plot races on.

It’s quite a skill, by the way, to deploy all of this so expertly. No, it’s not going to change the world but it’s a great little ride. However you do end up with the nagging wish that the two authors had deployed their obviously considerable skills on something really pitch black, something that got you to experience the true quagmire of the human soul. “Bust” is pure entertainment, nothing more or less and when its done this well it feels churlish to take the number of stars down from the heights of the real knock-out classics but down they must come. It’s slight but, “bejaysus”, it’s bloody good fun. “If he’d just had a thing for flat-chested women none of this would have happened.”

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url 2017-07-05 22:55
Bust Review: The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne Valente

I have a new review out on Bust.com. (I haven't really been blogging much because I've been focusing on pitching and writing for publication, but I hope to start being more active again soon.)

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review 2015-08-18 02:54
Bigger Bust Fast: A Step by Step Guide to Increasing Your Bust Size by Kathy Moore
Bigger Bust Fast: A Step by Step Guide to Increasing Your Bust Size - Kathy Moore

I received a free kindle copy of Bigger Bust Fast: A Step by Step Guide to Increasing Your Bust Size by Kathy Moore, published by Bullcity Publishing from an Amazon promotion in exchange for a fair review. I gave it stars.

I gave this poorly edited book two stars. There was barely one sentence without a typo or grammatical error.  Needs a lot work to be readable.

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