Eleanor Review


Eleanor: A Novel - Jason Gurley

Every once in awhile, a book will come along that changes how I feel about the fiction I consume. Raises the bar, as it were. Eleanor is one of those books that makes me consider how I’ve rated books in the past. Based on how much I loved this book, I’ve obviously rated some books five stars when they haven’t deserved them. Because this one is now high on my list of the best novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Definitely it is in my top ten.

Eleanor takes a detailed and unflinching look at grief and depression and how those bastards affect us and the people around us. There is an explanation for depression in this book that was fascinating. I don’t believe the explanation in a real-world sense, but I believe in this version of it, the one in Gurley’s world, the one he creates in this book. I feel that, in the world of Eleanor, depression is most definitely created by such things. In other words, I found truth in the fiction. My suspension of disbelief was so complete that I started considering how plausible Gurley’s world might be, which might sound silly, but such was the level of my immersion. That’s some powerful fiction, kids. For a brief instant, I understood how so many people could read the bible and believe in invisible, infallible deities, eternal hellfire, and never ending paradise.

What I really found captivating was Gurley’s ability to paint vivid landscapes and vibrant images that I simply could not put out of my mind. I was on an adventure, sightseeing in worlds previously unknown to me. This book had some of the coolest set pieces I’ve ever come across. And I mean ever. As redundant as that is, this is, truthfully, the most beautiful book I have ever read. Gurley created crystal clear vistas, and made darkness tangible. This book is, simply put, pure magic and illusion. Reading it made me feel like a kid again. Thank you, Jason Gurley. I mean that.

My one criticism is that I knew who everyone was the moment they were introduced. You’ll likely understand what I mean when you read this book. And you should. It’s something I want everyone to experience, young and old.

In summation: Eleanor was sent to me by Crown Publishing in exchange for this review, but I wish they hadn’t. I wish I had found this on my own and that I had paid for this book so that I didn’t have to tarnish my review with that disclaimer. I’ve given Crown’s books anywhere from one to five stars, but this is hands down the best I’ve read from their publishing house. And, Dear Jason Gurley, you have a new fan. I will consume everything you write in the future and everything you’ve written in the past. Bravo.

Final Judgment: If you like the sound of What Dreams May Come as written by Neil Gaiman, you’ll love this book.

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The Passage Review


The Passage - Justin Cronin

Reading this book was like an awkward and awesome sexual experience broadcast publicly to all my followers.

We started with a little foreplay, some touching, and it got good. So good that I prematurely ejaculated all over my own face. What can I say, I got that firepower, yo! I then had to run to the bathroom and wash up. Because who wants their own semen on their face? Unless you’re into that, then you do you and fuck the haters. All the while, my lover is lying in bed, bored, playing with themselves. I’m taking sooooooo long to come back because I’ve emptied the tank, so you know I gotta pee. I’m pissing hard and my lover is still waiting, the sound of my stream splashing in the bowl isn’t attractive and all the lust is dying. My lover is thinking about rolling over and going to sleep. So are the people watching at home. They’re saying:

“When’s he gonna get back to business?”

“What a cockknocker, blowing his load all early and shit. AND THEN making them wait!”

“His lover should totally warn everyone about his premature ejaculation, so no one else has to go through that.”

Finally, I swim through the derision and step back into the bedroom and jump in bed and commence to fuck the brains out of my lover. I’m beating it up. They won’t be able to walk for a goddamn week, and when they do recover, they’re gonna be permanently bow-legged. There’s screaming, there’s fun, there’s loads of action, and I last for a really long time. Like fucking forever. You know, because I came once before, so you know round two is gonna last about as long as Titanic‘s run time. In fact, the boat’s gonna go down before my dick does.

Then, when we’re both fighting for breath and our hearts are racing and I’m seeing stars because I’m fat and out of shape but that doesn’t matter because I’m doing work, son! I fucking bust a nut like goddamn Superman and we all find out whether or not Lois Lane has a adamantium vagina.

Whew. That was good. So we cuddle. We cuddle for like four fucking hours and my arm’s asleep and you’re asleep and you’re facing me and your breath smells like ass because you’re dehydrated and the only fluids left in your body once belonged to me. But I don’t care about any of that. We had fun. Yeah, a bunch of people saw me come early, but then I came back and rocked your shit. You’re welcome.

In summation: This book is all of that. Enough said.

Final Judgment: Premature ejaculation followed by the fuck of your life.

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Gregor Xane is a sexy man with loads of writing chops. He’s the best technical writer I personally know, and is one of the most imaginative people I’ve ever come across. His work is surreal and clever, yet written in such a way as to promote understanding and ease of reading. 


That being said, he’s got a book on sale. I suggest that, if you’ve not already purchased it, you buy THE HANOVER BLOCK for a buck and read it. It’s fucking weird and amazing and you’ll likely never read anything else like it as long as you live. It’s one of the best novellas I’ve read. It’s also the piece that made me fan of Gregor’s work.


Yes, I am good friends with Gregor. He’s been a supportful buddy through hard times, but this has nothing to do with that. The above statements are my unbiased opinion. If the book sucked, you wouldn’t be reading this post.


Buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NKUSVZS/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

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Ruminating On: Problem Popups (Writing Advice)

Something I rarely see anyone offering advice about is problem popups. These are the issues you come across in your story that make your story harder to tell. Plotters do not have this problem because they have everything figured out before they even start writing, but Pantsers face this crap on the reg. I’ve seen many people describing how to fix problems when they occur or offering content editing services, but I rarely see anyone tell people to ignore the issues that pop up, which you should.


Hang on. Stay with me. I don’t want you forgetting about it. I want you to leave that stuff for the editing room. Worrying about it while you’re writing is futile. It kills motivation and gives unneeded headaches. So many stories die because writers try forcing square pegs into round holes. And guess what? Most readers don’t like stories that need numerous pages full of thousands of words of explanation to figure out the plot. They like it even less when a simple fix like removing it would suffice. 


But, I hear you asking, what happens if my plot needs the problem. Well, here you go:


Let’s say you’re tooling along with your storyline and your character does something unbearably stupid or you simply write yourself into a corner, as Pantsers are wont to do. Some authors (not all of you, so calm down) will spend the majority of their time trying to explain the issue away instead of cutting it and moving along. Then, in post, when we’re killing our darlings (because no one wants to lower their word count while they’re actually writing), we come across the screw up and spend a buttload of time trying to edit out all that garbage and garbage explanation because enough time has passed to where we can see it for what it actually is: garbage.


So here’s my advice. If you find something that’s causing you trouble, write around it, not through it. Do not try to explain it away or explain it at all. Treat it like it never happened and see if your story survives without it. If you suffer plot holes, go back in post and add the explanations you need. That way, there’s no decrease in word count to kill your motivation, and you have all that time in editing to think about how to fix it by adding some or deleting a small chunk instead of a massive one. Work smart. Not hard.


I know most working authors know this. But I see folks on Twitter and Facebook dropping the old “Uh oh, I think I just wrote myself into a corner” and then losing steam. It doesn’t have to be that way. You’re just being stubborn. Stop being stubborn. When you finally learn to ignore issues until you reach the end of your rough draft, life becomes much easier and writing is more fun. 


This has been a public service announcement brought to you by the letter E.

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Giving the Gift of Cruelty (Audiobook Edition)

Cruelty: A Novel - Edward Lorn

CRUELTY: A NOVEL is now available on Audible, all ten episodes in one massive file (over 17 hours of book). While the finished audiobook is expensive, you can pick it as your freebie if you’ve been planning to sign up, and (full disclosure) the narrator and I get to split $50 more than we normally would. If you’re already a member, you can use a credit. If you’re broke, ask me to gift it to you. I don’t mind at all and no strings attached.

Thank you for your continued support.

Link to purchase: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Cruelty-Audiobook/B01DTEHL2I/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1460384254&sr=1-1



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