The Monday Poem: Less Time

Less Time – Poem by Andre Breton

Less time than it takes to say it, less tears than it takes to die; I’ve taken account of everything,
there you have it. I’ve made a census of the stones, they are as numerous as my fingers and some
others; I’ve distributed some pamphlets to the plants, but not all were willing to accept them. I’ve
kept company with music for a second only and now I no longer know what to think of suicide, for
if I ever want to part from myself, the exit is on this side and, I add mischievously, the entrance, the
re-entrance is on the other. You see what you still have to do. Hours, grief, I don’t keep a
reasonable account of them; I’m alone, I look out of the window; there is no passerby, or rather no
one passes (underline passes). You don’t know this man? It’s Mr. Same. May I introduce Madam
Madam? And their children. Then I turn back on my steps, my steps turn back too, but I don’t
know exactly what they turn back on. I consult a schedule; the names of the towns have been
replaced by the names of people who have been quite close to me. Shall I go to A, return to B,
change at X? Yes, of course I’ll change at X. Provided I don’t miss the connection with boredom!
There we are: boredom, beautiful parallels, ah! how beautiful the parallels are under God’s
perpendicular.

 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Monday poem. Breton always brings a smile to my face! There’s something about his writing that is so easy and inspirational.

Review: Reflections by Clifton Kenny

Reflections revolves around three teenagers, Shane, Paige and Jimmer, as they work together to unravel Shane’s mystery abilities. The young protagonist accidentally discovers that he can see into people’s family histories by reflecting on them, discovering their ancestral past and unlocking their secrets.

The plot is never predictable and I was kept interested throughout the story. Reflections is a lovely portrayal of childhood friendship above anything else. It reminded me of 1980’s coming of age films, the likes of which had an innocence that seems to have been lost in that genre today.

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The three kids aren’t the cool guys, or the popular gang, they’re just really normal teens. I would definitely be happy for my future teenager to read this book, but I’d also recommend it to adults.

Anyone who’s into coming of age stories, mediumship or the paranormal should love Reflections.

The Monday Poem: Corridor

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This week’s poem is Pierre Reverdy’s Corridor (Couloir)

Corridor (Couloir)

We are two

On the one line where all’s continuous

In the meanders of night

A word’s in the middle

Two mouths not seeing each other

A sound of steps

One light body gliding towards the other

The door quivers

A hand passes

One would wish to open

The bright ray stands erect

There before me

And it’s the fire that parts us

In the shadow where your profile slips away

A moment without breathing

Your breath has burned me in passing

Review: The 100-Pound Gangster by Henry Lin

Henry Lin spent most of his precocious youth involved with the international criminal underworld. By the age of fourteen, he was involved with a notorious San Francisco triad with links to Hong Kong and mainland China, and by the age of eighteen, he had seen, and done, more than most will in a lifetime. Unsure of himself and his place in the world, he fought to survive and earn respect from his peers. But when he learned that his grandfather was a high-ranking member of the Chinese Secret Service, and was one of the most powerful and well-connected men in China until his death a few years before, Henry discovered that he was descended from a kind of underworld aristocracy. – Blurb

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The 100-Pound Gangster by Henry Lin

This is a really interesting and gripping memoir. Henry Lin tells us stories from his life, from childhood to his late twenties. The tales are brutal, sad and shocking, as you’d expect from the premise of the book.

The most interesting parts of The 100-Pound Gangster for me, were the stories of incarceration, wether in juvenile detention centres, prisons or “reform” schools. Lin describes these experiences well, speaking truthfully about his fears and emotions.

I do wish the book was a bit more linear. We jump back and forth in time for no apparent reason and I found this a little frustrating at times. But overall, it’s a fascinating read.

I give The 100-Pound Gangster 4/5.

Giveaway & Author Interview: The Sultan, the Vampyr & the Soothsayer

I recently reviewed Lucille Turner’s brilliant book The Sultan, the Vampyr & the Soothsayer. Wanting to find out more about this new (to me) author, I have since interviewed Lucille.

Not only that, she has kindly agreed to give away a paperback of the book to one lucky Examining the Odd reader! See the bottom of this post for more details.

  1. Have you ever visited a country or town to conduct research for your writing?

Yes, I visited Florence and Vinci when I was writing Gioconda, because it was about the life of Leonardo da Vinci, and I went to Norfolk to get inspiration for a new book I am working on called The Summer Country, which is also historical fiction, only this time set in Roman Britain. If I can get to visit a place connected with what I am writing about I find it helps. There is also often local information to be found, which is a bonus. Once I had a fascinating conversation with a Welsh miner in connection with some research I was doing about gold divining! He was really helpful.

 

  1. Do you consider your potential readers when you’re writing?

I think I do, in the sense that I try not to slow the plot down with too much historical detail. It’s important to stay as close to the truth as possible, even if historical truth is at the best of times a fairly grey area, but still the story is more important at the end of the day. This is fiction, after all.

 

  1. What authors did you dislike at first but later discovered love for?

It used to be that if I disliked a book I would just stop reading it, but since I’ve been reviewing other people’s work I have had to stick at things even if I didn’t like them at first. It can be a very rewarding process. I am not really a genre fiction fan so I tend to go for quirky titles when I can. At the end of the day though, I prefer historical fiction that tackles unexpected subjects and takes you into the head of the character(s).

 

  1. Do you read any book or author related magazines?

Bookmunch keeps me up to date on what is coming out because I review for them. I read quite a lot of non-fiction though, and The Economist when I’m travelling because I buy it at airport kiosks.

 

  1. What’s your favourite way to market your books?

Through my blog at www.lucilleturner.com/books

 

  1. Is there a particular book that changed your views on fiction?

I speak French and Italian, and have read quite widely in both languages. I think that Italo Calvino has had the greatest influence on me, as a writer. I love all his books; he tackles heavy subjects with a very light hand.

I love Calvino’s writing. This has reminded me that I need to read more of his books as I’ve only tried a couple and that was a while ago. Thanks Lucille!

  1. Is writing your only job?

I taught composition and literature for about ten years, but now I have returned to my first line of work: a translator.

 

  1. All authors get the occasional bad review. How do you deal with them?

I go and read a good one afterwards.

Good answer, and I’m sure there are many great reviews for Lucille to immerse herself in – an excellent writer indeed!

  1. How long does your writing process take?

It takes me about a year, although I often have a break in the middle of revisions.


Thanks to Lucille for taking part in this interview. Check out my review of The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer and I think you’ll be tempted to grab a copy! In the meantime, why not enter our giveaway?! Simply click here. Good luck 🙂