White Rabbit (Caleb Roehig)

Taking place within about a twelve hour period or so, this is a fast-paced thriller with a high body count. Featuring a queer main character and a romance, it’s a fun read. Don’t expect excellent character development (in fact, there’s little beyond Rufus’s own stereotyping of these rich jerks) but it’s refreshing to have a bloody thrill ride with those who seem to deserve their ends getting it…and not have suicide or mental health be the root cause of the story. [Read more…]

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The Love Machine (Jacqueline Susann)

eamstrashy novelslove-machineWould you think something was wrong if you kept shouting out “Mummy! Mummy!” in a German accent every time you tried to sleep or reach orgasm? Maybe a trip to a hypnotic psycho-therapist is in order and we can travel back to when you were five. This extremely tasteless best-seller from 1969 certainly shines. Like a rhinestone in a pit full of manure. The novel deals primarily with the rise and fall of Robin Stone. His psychological problems are straight out of Hitchcock. And he runs through the lives of a good half-dozen women in the course of the book, leaving all of them scarred and mutilated–a couple of them literally so. [Read more…]

Easy Rider (1969 USA)

3EasyRiderThe first thing a viewer becomes aware of is how dated it is. There is Peter Fonda, young, thoughtful, soulful. There is Dennis Hopper, young-ish, thoughtless, self-indulgent. And Jack Nicholson actually has hair and a Southern accent, carrying on some monologue about Venusians mating with humans. Fonda explains to Nicholson why smoking dope is better than getting drunk: “How do you do it? Don’t it lead to the hard stuff? I don’t want to get hooked.” As Bob Dylan might sing: don’t preach grandma, I’m only bleeding. The Terry Southern-written script was probably scrawled on the back of a cigarette packet!
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A Scanner Darkly (Philip K. Dick)

4798509311_fa145ba0c2The work of a mature writer – and is as close as the author came to writing a mainstream novel. The sci-fi elements are discreet: the novel is set in the future, but this is the California of an imagined 1994 that is very similar to that of 1977, which is this book’s original year of publication. [Read more…]

The House On The Strand (Daphne du Maurier) Book Review

220px-TheHouseOnTheStrandDick Young is staying at his friend Professor Magnus Lane’s house on the Cornish coast whilst he is in London, and is encouraged by him to try an experimental drug he is working on. The drug sends Dick back to the 14th century to experience life and intrigue in the local landowning families through the steward Roger Gylmirth. [Read more…]

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