Monday, June 13, 2016

Get 20% Off My Books at Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble takes 20% off Any one item via coupon code "BNLOVEDAD". Plus, the same coupon bags free express shipping for all orders. A great deal for dad or the Poe lover on your list is Edgar Allan Poe Annotated and Illustrated Entire Stories and Poems. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Cure Pay Homage to One of Prince's Most Literary Songs

The Cure played Minneapolis this week and delivered a four encore set that has become the norm for the best band on the planet. Yes, epic has become the norm for The Cure on their 2016 tour. Robert Smith played homage to the newly departed Prince by playing with a purple guitar. “The pressure of holding a purple guitar is really getting to me,” Smith said.

Here on The Cure blog I reported that Robert Smith listed "Starfish and Coffee" as his favorite Prince song from the 1980s. Cool, right? It's one of the purple one's more literary efforts and he even played it for the Muppets.

Robert Smith again paid homage to the song. On his guitar was written a lyric from "Starfish and Coffee": "it was 7:45 we were all in line" Check out the photos at Glide Magazine.

#RobertSmithPrince #SmithPurpleguitar

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Literary History of "Charlotte Sometimes" by The Cure

The Cure is currently touring the United States to wide acclaim given their amazing back catalogue of fantastic music. What's more, each concert has had a different playlist with some reaching five encores of artistic glory.

One classic Cure song that has been played at every concert so far is "Charlotte Sometimes," which Robert Smith wrote about the English time travel story. The video by The Cure is great, too.

Below is a repost of my blog and my impressions after reading the novel. Enjoy and go see The Cure if you are able!

I’ve recently read “Charlotte Sometimes” if for no other reason than to compare The Cure lyrics of their classic song Charlotte Sometimes to parts of the children’s fantasy. This is what I learned and it’s very interesting. ***Spoiler Alter***

All the faces, All the voices blur
Change to one face, Change to one voice

First sentence: By bedtime all the faces, the voices, had blurred for Charlotte to one face, one voice.

Prepare yourself for bed

Second sentence: She prepared herself for bed . . . .

The light seems bright, And glares on white walls

Book 2nd paragraph, 6th sentence: The light seemed to bright for them, glaring on white walls . . . .

All the sounds of

Book 4th paragraph, 4th sentence: All the sounds about her . . . .

Charlotte sometimes
Into the night with
Charlotte sometimes

Book 5th paragraph, 1st sentence: She must have slept at last . . . .

Night after night she lay alone in bed
Her eyes so open to the dark

Part II, chapter 4, 1st sentence:  Night after night, Charlotte lay in bed with her eyes open to the dark . . . .

The streets all looked so strange
They seemed so far away
But Charlotte did not cry

Part II, chapter 4, paragraph 15, 1st sentence: The streets looked strange . . . .

The people seemed so close
Playing expressionless games

Part II, chapter 2, paragraph 24, 3rd sentence: Charlotte, on the other hand, became absorbed, concentrating wholly on her fingers’ easing . . . .

The people seemed so close
So many other names

Part II, chapter 2, paragraph 37: “Good night, Mr. Chisel Brown,” she said with almost a curtsy. “Good night, Mrs. Chisel Brown. Good night, Miss Agnes Chisel Brown. Good night, cat. Good night, dog . . ..”

When all the other people dance - Reference to school dance

Expressionless the trance - Reference to séance

So many different names - Reference to names of Brown family

The sounds all stay the same - Reference to airplane sounds overhead

On a different world - Past that Charlotte travels to

On that bleak track
(See the sun is gone again)
The tears were pouring down her face
She was crying and crying for a girl
Who died so many years before

 Part III, chapter 2, paragraph 53, 1st sentence: On that bleak track, the sun almost gone again, tears were pouring down her face. She was crying and crying for a girl for a girl who had died more than 40 years before.

Charlotte sometimes crying for herself

Part III, chapter 7, paragraph 13, last sentence: She began crying bitterly, could not stop . . . .

Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself

Part III, chapter 7, paragraph 10, 1st sentence: She dreamed she stood below the picture, The Mark of the Beast, and there were soldiers all around her in red uniforms, stiff as toys but tall as men. There were dolls, too, like Miss Agnes’s doll, as tall as the soldiers . . .

Glass sealed and pretty

Part III, chapter 7, paragraph 15, 4th sentence: And when she looked at the wall at the picture glass, it looked quite empty, as if a mirror hung there, not a picture at all.

Get my goth books here:

#CharlotteSometimesCure #CharlotteSometimesBook

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Madame Bovary - A Review

I must admit I didn't feel so manly toting around my dog-eared copy of Madame Bovary the past six weeks. I was stared at on planes and subways. I live in a household with three females and was mockingly regaled by each.

I told them all the explosions and spy intrigue in the book was keeping me riveted to the pages. They knew this was a falsehood since I struggled through the novel and hate books/movies with high explosions to plot ratios.

But I needed to read this novel for no other reason that it has become a classic. It set France aflame nearly 200 years ago and caused poor Gustave Flaubert, the author, to suffer through an immorality trial. He was acquitted, and rightly so. A novel where no body parts are described, where no sex scenes are described, immoral? A criminal trial launched against a French author for publishing a book set in France, immoral? A novel with only one or two common swearwords, immoral? Pshaw!

Today, it is required reading in many high schools. It just shows how much literature has degraded over the centuries. Not to call 50 Shades a Gray literature, but it makes one wonder the beheading that would have befallen (every pun intended) the modern author if she published it in Flaubert's day. Off with her head!

Emma. Emma. Emma. Is the bored housewife of a country doctor. Her choices used to make her more exciting don't turn out well for her. Poor Emma. She gathers little sympathy from readers, though. And Flaubert's greatest crime in publishing the novel is he expressed the hidden desires of bored housewives everywhere on the page.

In Madame Bovary he pushed the envelope of literature and should forever be rewarded. The novel seems rambling at times--almost restless--and I believe Flaubert wrote it this way to reflect the restlessness of Emma. Apart from Flaubert being terrible at setting in the novel, this was a groundbreaking novel in every respect.

Henry James once said, "Madame Bovary has a perfection that not only stamps it, but that makes it stand almost alone; it holds itself with such a supreme unapproachable assurance as both excites and defies judgment."

It's worth a read even if romance is not your preferred genre.

#MadameBovary #MadameBovaryReview

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Did Robert Smith of The Cure Like Prince?

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Prince died this week on Robert Smith's birthday -- April 21st.

It's difficult to tell whether Robert Smith of The Cure was a fan of Prince. After lots of searches I have been unable to find an interview where he mentions him. But one thing is for sure, Robert Smith thinks his Starfish and Coffee was one of the best songs of the 1980s and he listed it as such in a poll he did.  The song can be found on Prince's Sign 'O' the Times album.

Above is a one minute take. Enjoy!

#PrinceTheCure #StarfishandCoffee

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Best Selling Non-Fiction Book of 2017 Will be Prince's Autobiography

I'm writing this on 4/21/2016, the wrenching day that Prince has died and left the world in shock. Typing the words doesn't make it seem any more real. Fact is, I don't want it to be real. When I was younger I admired him for his music and later I admired him for the artist he unabashedly became. His musical talents were truly boundless and without measure. They called him The Kid.

When one thinks of Prince, literature is not the first thing that comes to mind. If it does, The Little Prince novella is a cheeky response at a dinner party. Still, many of his lyrics were poetic and his The Ballad of Dorothy Parker was homage to the fine American poet of the same name.

Prince and literature?

Yet in 2017 I am predicting that Prince's forthcoming biography from Random House will be the number one selling non-fiction book. It already is getting a lot of buzz and if Prince came anywhere close to completing it, you can bet it will be read the world over.

"We've seen the future and it will be."

Meantime, The Very Best of Prince is a must own album if have nothing else by Prince Rogers Nelson.

#PrinceAutobiography #PrinceDeath

Sunday, April 10, 2016

On Negative Book Reviews and Writing the Novel That's Inside of Me

As a writer I have been fortunate in that the majority of people who review my books give positive reviews. Every now and then I get a negative one. This, in itself, does not bother me. Negative reviews are the price of art. Good art should come from an unfamiliar place and when it does it has the ability to exhilarate and shock the eye of the beholder. Because of this authors who are only getting positive reviews are doing something wrong, as strange as that may sound. Take any great book of literature and you will find many horrible reviews. "The Catcher in the Rye," one of my favorite little jewels of literature, has many one star reviews.

So not only do I expect the occasional bad review, but they are necessary if I am being true to my art form. The kind of review I hate the most--yes, even more than the "this was the worst book ever written"--are those that say "this is not what I expected." Read another way, the reviewer means this is not the book they wanted me to write.

Pardon, moi. I recently got a two-star review in such a way for Coffee with Poe: A Novel of Edgar Allan Poe's Life.

I need to write the book that's inside of me begging to get out; the one that nags at me while I'm sitting at the table having a holiday meal with my family while I stuff another piece of broccoli in my mouth; the one that talks to me at two in the morning when I'm having trouble sleeping.

I have no way of knowing what a random person I have never met will need to me write for them. Even if I had such a blueprint, I would not do it. I simply write the books I want to read and that will push the art form forward. I am not trying to sound cruel or be calloused. I can accept bad reviews. Ii really can. Please, try not to judge my books because they fail to be the book you wanted me to write.