Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review 223: The Blood Poetry by Leland Pitts-Gonzalez

Description: (from Press Release)
     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 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.

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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

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful and kind review, Allizabeth!