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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »
  1. $18.90 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Quick

    Lauren Owen 9780812993271

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Customer Comments

lisa_emily has commented on (24) products.

Dance of the Assassins by M Fagyas

lisa_emily, September 23, 2011

I came across this book while on search for all things fin de siècle Vienna. This book did not fit the bill, I think I was looking for another book by this author; however, I enjoyed reading this book very much. I was surprised, I also was uncertain if the book was based on a real historical event and after reading 2/3 of it; I looked and found that it was. But it is an event that I highly suspect you may not know about: the Serbian May Overthrow of 1903. The end of the House of Obrenović in a coup d’état by the military to assassinate King Alexander and Queen Draga to place Kara�'or�'ević dynasty back on the throne. It’s a pretty complicated story, I could not do it justice here and it took Fagyas around 380 pages to do it. And how well she did. The book is structured with each chapter as an hour leading up to the coup- for almost 24hrs. It seems historically accurate (my fact-checking was with Wiki, not the best I admit) and so she does not seem to take liberties, although the main character Michael Vassilovich does seem to be fictional. And it is through him and his relationship to Draga and to former king Milan that we see and experience this historical shift in Serbia. The characters are humanely drawn without sentimentality or romanticism. The background is given in clear ways without bogging down the narrative. It was much more engaging and emotionally available than reading the account in a history text. The book gives the reader a way to enter a relatively unknown historical event- and even though it was published in ’73, it reads well today.
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Wetlands
Wetlands

lisa_emily, July 29, 2010

If I had to select one word to describe this book it would be: yuck. There's a lot of hype surrounding this book, touting it as some sort of feminist manifesto, I would say, not really. If I were to be generous, I would agree that the novel transgresses, similar to Bataille's, Story of the Eye, with its overt and liberated sexual descriptions and its fixation with the informé- the body's secretions. However, the narrator's obsessions with her parents' reunion and her neurosis (anal and otherwise) deem her as not liberated but rather psychologically traumatized and infantilized- too bad.

The book is easy to read with jaunty approachable prose; if you like reading books that make you cringe and make you feel like you're some sort of textual voyeur- then I say, go for it.
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(3 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)



Wetlands by Charlotte Roche
Wetlands

lisa_emily, July 29, 2010

If I had to select one word to describe this book it would be: yuck. There's a lot of hype surrounding this book, touting it as some sort of feminist manifesto, I would say, not really. If I were to be generous, I would agree that the novel transgresses, similar to Bataille's, Story of the Eye, with its overt and liberated sexual descriptions and its fixation with the informé- the body's secretions. However, the narrator's obsessions with her parents' reunion and her neurosis (anal and otherwise) deem her as not liberated but rather psychologically traumatized and infantilized- too bad.

The book is easy to read with jaunty approachable prose; if you like reading books that make you cringe and make you feel like you're some sort of textual voyeur- then I say, go for it.
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(3 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)



Paris Trance by Geoff Dyer
Paris Trance

lisa_emily, May 4, 2010

I have heard a lot of hype about this writer, so I wanted to check his work out and this was the first book of his I came across. If I had thought more about its topic, I may not have read this book; frankly, I don't care about coming-of-age stories. This work definitely has Hemingway written all over it, even some "excerpts" are quoted from a Hemingway novel and they are listed at the end. But I think Dyer's pulling our leg since the quotes are so trite, I don't have the book before me so I cannot give examples.

At first, while reading this book, I felt annoyed. I could not relate to the characters and Dyer's descriptions of Paris really didn't make me believe it. After a while, the writing started to seduce me with its rhythms and details. Dyer really has a way at writing out a thought or a scene that captures small details that one may transiently notice; I don't often come across this quality in novels. He's writing about nothing really, but writing it out: a party with all the subtle body language, a scene at an outdoor café with people watching, riding a bus, having sex, etc.

But all these non-events add up to a story of youth wasted, dreams misdirected, and the greedy lust to freeze the perfect present in eternity (a baleful idea). With this failure, how can the story end? I would read more Dyer, but I am glad this novel was pretty short.
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(2 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



The Big Sleep (Vintage Crime) by Raymond Chandler
The Big Sleep (Vintage Crime)

lisa_emily, February 5, 2010

I am always surprised to find how much I like the tough-guy prose of Raymond Chandler; it is befitting of the place and characters. His lanaguage is a window into America's linguistic past, preserving the slang, rhythms, and quirky sayings of a darker, provincial Los Angeles. The plot keeps you involved; dead bodies and metaphors quickly pile up. Women, and there a good number of them, aren't given the best light here. But there is something sad and revealing in this novel.
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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)



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