The Blood Poetry is a dark and otherworldly literary novel about a clan of grotesques. Epstein, the protagonist, who delivers his innermost rants in a berserk vernacular all his own; Abby, Epstein’s wife, whose disappearance sparks our protagonist’s descent into guilt and vice; Olivia, Epstein’s mother, who is undead and tames her ruthlessness by joining a Pentecostal church; Astor and Fester, conjoined twins who date back to the Civil War and elders of the Pentecostal church who profess their own brand of redemption to Epstein; Professor Applebaum, Olivia’s boyfriend during Epstein’s childhood, who forced Epstein to participate in a series of horrifying acts; and our once rambunctious Sylvia, Epstein’s daughter who returns to life after dying, only to become repulsed by the sound of her grandmother’s thoughts and all human touch, but whose yearning for her father to restore her to health is Epstein’s best chance at reclaiming his own humanity.
Obscenely unique to say the least! When I read the blurb, I was oddly intrigued, yet confused by the seemingly evasive premise. I was not quite sure what a "grotesque" was, or why the mentioned characters appeared to be circling the drain of madness, but I knew that I was interested in figuring it out. Upon receiving the eBook, I was surprised by the story's abrupt start, Epstein and Sylvia were the first characters I met, and their relationship, as well as their inner dialogues, were quite putrescent - dark and boorish, with an abundance of corkscrewed humor. I am not used to reading books that play back-and-forth between streams of consciousness, so I had to get used to Leland Pitts-Gonzalez's interesting writing style, however, after the first couple of sections I actually started to enjoy the gritty and off-kilter nature of the plot-line and characters, particularly Astor and Fester's role in the unearthly bedlam. Epstein is a very strange and complex character, I spent most of my time attempting to figure out his personality and queer behaviors - cringing at the overly descriptive prose that tended to be offensive, but not entirely off-putting. The back-story was just as demented, proving to be a challenge - which may have been the intention - nevertheless, it added another layer of convoluted imagery to the already tangled series of events. I will admit, I did have a bit of trouble comprehending a few sections, whether it was the wording or the grammar, I do not know, but I felt that it was easy to get lost in text itself; I even had to get out the dictionary a few times. That said, the crude, off-the-wall, and untamed content still presented itself as well-constructed and highly original. I do recommend this book to adult readers, although - be warned - the strong language and subject matter is definitely rated "R". I do consider the perverse style of The Blood Poetry an acquired taste, but it was very interesting reading experience indeed.
Rating: On the Run (4/5)
*** I bought this eBook on Amazon.com in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
About the Author:
Leland studied creative writing and ethnic studies at San Francisco State University where he discovered the enormous possibilities of poetic language, experimentation, and critical theory. He eventually earned an MFA in Writing from Columbia University on a merit fellowship. He has published fiction in Open City, Fence, Dark Sky Magazine, Drunken Boat, and Monkey Bicycle, among other literary journals. He is also the Project Director for an upcoming literary series of happenings, Phantasmagoria, for which he received fiscal sponsorship from The New York Foundation for the Arts. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. This is his first novel.
Visit Leland on the web at www.THEBLOODPOETRY.com.
Like Leland Pitts-Gonzalez on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phantasmagoria.nyc
The Blood Poetry Tour Schedule
Monday, August 6
Horror Book Pick at Book Marketing Buzz
Tuesday, August 7
Guest Blogging at Literarily Speaking
Wednesday, August 8
Guest Blogging at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem
Friday, August 10
Guest Blogging at Precious Monsters
Monday, August 13
Book Feature at Bunny’s Reviews
Wednesday, August 15
Guest Blogging at Bibliophilia, Please
Thursday, August 16
Character Interview at Beyond the Books
Friday, August 17
Interview at Between the Covers
Monday, August 20
Interview at Review From Here
Tuesday, August 21
Interview at The Dark Phantom
Thursday, August 23
Book Review at The Paperback Pursuer
Friday, August 24
Interview at Pump Up Your Book
Monday, August 27
Interviewed at Review From Here
Tuesday, August 28
Guest Blogging at The Writer’s Life
Friday, August 31
Guest Blogging at As the Pages Turn