Review

Love At Last Sight: Stories by Thea Bowering — review by Mark McCawley

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Love At Last Sight:

Stories by Thea Bowering

 

review by Mark McCawley

 
loveatlastsighttheaboweringLove At Last Sight
by Thea Bowering
NeWest Press, 280 pp
ISBN 978-1-927063-34-7
$9.59 CAN Kindle | $14.36 CAN Paperback
September, 2013

 
In sinuous folds of cities old and grim,
Where all things, even horror, turn to grace,
I follow, in obedience to my whim,
Strange, feeble, charming creatures round the place.

— Charles Baudelaire, “The Little Old Women”
 
To the flâneur, his city — though he was born in it, like Baudelaire — is no home. It constitutes for him a stage.

— Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project
 
 
Thea Bowering — “How to Read Your Lover’s Favourite Russian Novel” (excerpt) (Empress Ale House, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 12 September 2013)

 
For those open to contemporary literary experiment will most truly relish Thea Bowering’s debut collection of urban, post-realist short fiction, Love At Last Sight, published by Edmonton’s NeWest Press. In the eight short stories, and one novella, which comprise the collection, Bowering interrogates the fictive nature of reality through literary allusions and through the ongoing allegory of the flâneur —— a concept originally attached to 19th-century Paris, the flâneur is a person of leisure who walks the streets of his or her city, studying the buildings and fellow citizens in the hopes of better understanding them, popularized by Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin.
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Flasher: A Memoir by Tsaurah Litzky — review by Mark McCawley

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Flasher: A Memoir

 

by Tsaurah Litzky

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

flasher coverFlasher: A Memoir
by Tsaurah Litzky
Long Shot Productions (September 14, 2013)
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B00F7V1U1A
£3.98 UK, $ 6.31 CAN, $6.12 US
Memoir

Flasher: A Memoir [Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition]
by Tsaurah Litzky
Narrated by Dina Pearlman
Audible, Inc. (September 15, 2013)
ASIN: B00ET6HP54
£13.64 UK, $17.96 CAN, $17.46 US
Memoir

Tsaurah Litzky’s erotic memoir, Flasher, is a transgressive tour de force — a journey of personal transformation, self-examination and sensual self-discovery. The story of a one-time hippie love pirate, slum goddess, Ruby Tuesday of the 1960s who mutates into a blossoming writer on the Lower East Side art scenes in the 1990’s. When Litzky meets a sculptor who designs fetish-wear at a New Years Day party, her life changes, becomes an intrinsic consideration of the values and costs of love, friendship, and sexual freedom, as well as the underlying importance of family — both real and inherited.
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Dancing, with Mirrors by George Amabile — review by Mark McCawley

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Dancing, with Mirrors

 

by George Amabile

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

Dancing, with Mirrors amabileDancing, with Mirrors
George Amabile
Porcupine’s Quill
$19.95 pb, 192 pages
ISBN 978-0-88984-343-1

More than twenty years in the making, George Amabile’s ‘lyrical retrospective’, Dancing, With Mirrors is Amabile’s thoughtful fragmentation and re-arrangement of his personal history. Essentially one long poem which examines the major events and themes of the poet’s life, organized thematically into a roughly chronological narrative, this long poem is broken down into eleven distinct ‘cantos’, each with a different focus — pain, affection, desire, disappointment, loss, those small graces of the everyday found among the mundane aspects of living. These are intense snapshots of life-defining moments distilled over a lifetime of experience and poetry in which there is general sense of continuity with each of the cantos rather than an imposed unity.

When I began this project, my hope was that, looked at closely, fragments of an individual life — moments of intensity or understanding, crossroads, discoveries, the dynamics of family and friendship, the shifting gestalts of public and private events, glimpses of the interplay between mind, spirit, and world — might become a vehicle for speaking to some of the concerns that have emerged, with some urgency, from the cultural matrix of the last half century. The cantos, as I call them, are organized by juxtapositions which reveal thematic linkages, or narrative connections, and sometimes both.

~George Amabile, Author comments, Porcupine’s Quill webpage

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AltrOck / Fading Records Releases (2013) — review by Mark McCawley

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AltrOck / Fading Records Releases (2013)

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

NotAGoodSignCOVERNot a Good Sign is a project by AltrOck/Fading Records and some bands’ members of the label. Marcello Marinone, Paolo «Ske» Botta and Francesco Zago, after a successful collaboration in Yugen and Ske, proposed a new blend of their musical attitudes. The result was an ominous, fascinating sound melting vintage keyboards, powerful guitars and voice, supported by a compelling rhythmic drive. In 2011, Botta and Zago began to write the music, and Zago provided the lyrics. Soon, Gabriele G. Colombi and Alessio Calandriello, from La Coscienza di Zeno, also joined the band. The drummer Martino Malacrida completed the line-up in 2012. In the following two tracks — “The Deafening Sound of the Moon” and “Afraid To Ask” — many will recognize the Old Prog School sound from the 70s, albeit in a modern key, with a pinch of hard-rock and psych. Resonant vocal melodies and lyrics complete the band’s melancholy but colourful imagery:
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A Story Sadder Than All The Bruised Whores In Hollywood by Tony O’Neill — review by Mark McCawley

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A Story Sadder Than All The Bruised Whores In Hollywood

 

by Tony O’Neill

 

review by Mark McCawley

 

Tony O'Neill SingleA Story Sadder Than All The Bruised Whores In Hollywood
by Tony O’Neill
Galley Beggar Press, 13pp, 7 June 2013
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B00AJ5SDFK
£1 UK, $ 3.04 CAN, $2.92 US
Fiction, Short Story

Among the new vanguard of contemporary urban post-realist writers, Tony O’Neill’s fiction is raw, honest, unpretentious, unsympathetic and completely unapologetic in it’s use of sex and violence. O’Neill explores and examines the underside of modern urban life with a dark, sardonic humour and a mordant insight only a past substance user and abuser can possess and convey with any amount of authenticity.

O’Neill does just that with the publication of ‘A Story Sadder Than All The Bruised Whores in Hollywood’, an eBook released by as part of independent publisher Galley Beggar’s Singles Club.
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