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Houdini Heart (English Edition) eBook Kindle
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These techniques, badly handled, jut out of the work at odd angles, never quite cohering into a coherent vision. In their fragmentation, they do not interact as related, messy pieces that organically shape an arc that is more than the sum of its discrete parts - worse, they interfere with each other.
Ugh - so many awful things about this "book", but the worst of all is the message:
"Real Artists" are those who live on the edge of madness, on the outskirts of "normality", those who are driven to create out of a passion to escape the boundaries of the conventional, "real world", those who self-destruct in their pursuit of their art, those who abuse and neglect their loved ones in egotistical self-absorption...
Longfellow's world is such a shallow, hollow one- one in which fame is a measure of one's artistry, in which drink is a solution to problems, in which people are driven mad by the natural consequences of their thoughtless actions, and do not learn anything about how to shape themselves into better people along the way, in which suicide is an expected form of ultimate denial, in which egotistical characters love to wallow in self pity and helplessness, in which damaged people damage each other and the world around them while not growing one single bit in the process.
No wonder, with this outlook, that Longfellow sounds so inauthentic, confused, and like she is trying so hard to write a story worth of Shirley Jackson (her apologetic tone, at not being good enough, strikes even more discordant tones, for indeed, the reader is led to admit to herself, Longfellow's drivel is bad mimicry at best)
The author's voice is a creepy,dry,rustling one,echoing with nostalgia from the past,quietly.grimly taking you on a tour of madness.
Houdini Heart is one of the best horror stories you will read.
I don't know any other book with a story vector quite so perfectly paced. It's rather like swimming in a clear, serene pond, floating languidly, amidst a mastery of language and descriptors delicious, rich and funny as Tom Robins, Thomas Pynchon, or even sometimes Joyce, and almost lazily sensual. But as one floats, the sense of a current slowly and subtly increases, until before you know it, it's as though you're swirling in a mad blender with blades swirling beneath the surface that are sure to chop you up. You want to scream for it to stop, but it's so beautifully and masterfully done that you need to see what happens next.
Flashing between the glamor of Hollywood and a small, bucolic town in Vermont, this book's protagonist invites empathy even as she leads you into her full blown insanity. She's a monster you've never met, yet somehow you know. By the time she's done with you, you've gone through her three dimensional circus of dementia right along with her.
If you like Steven King, Lovecraft, Alfred Hitchcock movies, and even a touch of Jaqueline Suzanne, this is a dark, lovely, wonderful and harrowing tale full of movie stars, sardonic humor and good old fashioned horror. It shakes you up, and then spits you out more than a little changed. Devilish fun. Highly recommended.