Monday, January 20, 2014

Tollbooth by Bud Smith


Piscataway House Publications

by Bud Smith

reviewed by Mick Mykola Dementiuk

     A manic, uproarious novel very reminiscent of the drunken novels of Charles Bukowski but Bud Smith takes his character’s mania a little farther and more deeper than Bukowski ever could. In Smith the mania is seductive, teasing, after all who would not want to lead the boring repetitive hum drum existence the toll collector leads? No wonder he gives in to his depraved madness, I surely would.
     The toll collector lives his rather dull life, taking tolls on a New Jersey highway, mumbling to himself hour after hour with his wife (in his fantasies), the few friends he has accumulated over the years and most of all the seductive teenage girls he knew once upon a time or happens to know right now. Needless to say the reader can’t help but look at these girls and ask are if they fantasies, these future hookers which he drools over anyway, big-breasted, high-haired, tight-pants and very short-skirted, a jerk-off dream come true right before his eyes? Perhaps, but still this reader was sucked in by the euphoria of that life, following the tale as it shifted far beyond New Jersey. The madness held me on every page; I very much wanted to know where he eventually was going.
     I thoroughly enjoyed Tollbooth, even the 300 or so pages seemed too short for the depravity displayed, I certainly would have read a few hundred more. A beautiful book, Bud Smith, with the Tollbooth you have collected your final toll and no more are you forced to mindlessly mutter, “Pay your toll!” No, let the miserable future collectors repeat it for you. Bravo, a great novel!  

Available in Kindle but I would get it in paperback, it's something you would want to hold and cherish over the years  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Two Lambda Awards

Lambda Awards for Holy Communion Bisexual Fiction 2009 and The Facialist Gay Erotica 2012 (press picture to get full photo)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sweet Snow

Sweet Snow

by Alexander J. Motyl

reviewed by Mykola Dementiuk

Much as Dostoevsky's House of the Dead and Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago Alexander J. Motyl looks upon Soviet prisoners in his novel Sweet Snow but these prisoners are very different, since the year is 1933 and the worst enforced state famine, the Holodomer is tearing through the Ukraine while Stalin sits and smiles, smokes his cigarette and does absolutely nothing.

Four prisoners are being transported to the prison camps, a Jewish Communist from New York City, a German nobleman from Berlin, a Polish diplomat from Lwow, and Ukrainian nationalist from Vienna. But their Russian guards are notorious vodka drinkers who crash and overturn their transport truck until the guards are dead or dying, freeing the prisoners from their captives. And oh, what a freedom it is! The frozen wasteland of Siberia lies before them, an emptiness every which way they turn. Still scarred and shaken from the accident they start trudging their way back, whichever way that might be.

The description of the four surviving prisoners is grueling, even a few times this reader squirmed in revulsion from was being portrayed, lost men trying to make in back into life, if such a thing still exists.

Along their way they do come upon people, dead children holding on presumably their dead mothers, all emaciated, their bellies distended and dead of slow starvation. This is not a book for the careless, fickle reader but one who dares to look upon and learn what really went on at the time, mass organized starvation by the powers that be, the 1933 Soviet Elites.

I've read many of Motyl's books, Whiskey Priest, Who Killed Andrei Warhol, The Jew Who Was Ukrainian and others, but never before did I read one such as this, Sweet Snow, showing him at his masterful powers as a writer.

Well done, Alexander Motyl, literary greatness is certainly yours!

Alexander Motyl is a writer, painter, and professor. He is the author of five novels, Whiskey Priest, Who Killed Andrei Warhol, Flippancy, The Jew Who Was Ukrainian, and The Taste of Snow (forthcoming); his poems have appeared in Mayday, Counterexample Poetics, Istanbul Literary Review, Orion Headless, The Battered Suitcase, Red River Review, and New York Quarterly; his art­work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in New York, Philadelphia, and Toronto and is on view at Motyl teaches at Rutgers University-Newark and lives in New York.

See review for Motyl's Flippancy click here

  order My Orchidia here