Monday, August 30, 2010

Red by Victor Banis (review)

Reviewed by Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk

I recently came across Victor J. Banis’ ‘The Final Curtain’ in an anthology of collected gay stories “Red,” with authors William Maltese and JP Bowie. In his story Banis goes back to a mode of writing that was so popular in the late 19th century to the beginnings of the 20th century: of relating a story within the story itself, as in the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, W. Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad among many others.

Banis weaves his tale in a peopled bar with gay men about with the lead character sitting alone in the back and looking up at no one. The story that he relates hooks us in and we’re caught up with what is happening…but can it be retold? How does Gaylord fade away while Nick still has the sin of his disappearance upon him? Or does he? Banis doesn’t tell us but like all great storytellers he pulls us into the story till we’re at the end, more intrigued and puzzled but strangely fascinated to read it over and over again --it holds you that much. Some short stories can be more intriguing than horrendously long novels and Banis has a winner here.

Banis has painted numerous tales over the years, “The Why Not,” “The Man from C.A.M.P.,” “Longhorn,” “Lola Dances,” “Angel Land,” and the best non-fiction book written in some years “Spine Intact, Some Creases,” among countless others. This short story ‘The Final Curtain’ again shows him at his best, playful but serious as he still experiments with his creative powers and melds another tour de force made so alive and active by his talent. A short but mighty read! I recommend this wholeheartedly.

via Alan Chin

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Blood Noir

Blood Noir

book by Jesse Fox

reviewed by Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk

A very nice edge-of-your-seat thriller with crossdressers, over-eager cops, psycho killers and two gay lovers…or are they?

Alex is a photographer who takes off for Seattle leaving behind his gay lover Harley in St. Louis who discovers something isn’t right. Strange incidents begin to happen, accidentally severed car breaks, people snooping about, and a mysterious woman following Alex onto the plane bound for Seattle. But by then the reader’s suspicions are raised and heightened.

And it’s a very nice, suspenseful novel at that. Starts off in a lazy almost lyrical way but soon you have a serial killer on the loose and what a killer he is…or is that a she? The reader will have to solve this puzzle but with the pace the narrative is kept up you have little time to slow down.

And it gets more complicated as the novel progresses, with police men, FBI agents, literary book representatives but the novel is well written with Jesse Fox doing a commendable job in successfully bringing it all together.

I like complicated novels that have you thinking on your feet but this novel is very satisfying, whipping out new facts as you so hungrily turn page after page.

I highly commend the author. Great going, Jesse, Blood Noir is a definite winner! I enjoyed it.

275 pages-$5.99

Dark Roast Press