Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How To Start A Fire

     How To Start A Fire - Lisa Lutz 5/5

     How To Start A Fire is an interesting novel that takes conventional storytelling and sends it packing. If you like your stories to start at point A and end at point B then clearly this book isn't for you. It's not the type of novel that you can read and set it down for a bit and pick right up again. It's not told in a sequential manner which I'm sure will piss off quite a few readers. The beauty is that Lutz has given us these characters that aren't perfect, and sometimes not very likable but the way the story unfolds you become invested them and want to see how it all unfolds and ultimately ends. The way the book was written works well and tells the story in key elements. These key elements hinge onto each other giving us a book that is never dull or boring.

     The characters are the driving force of Fire. They are all complex in their own right including Kate who appears to be the most levelheaded of the three. Each of them have their own levels of tragedy and sure, maybe it is a bit cliched at times, but it's an interesting story that seems to hinge on Anna and just how damaged she truly is. Each of these characters balance each other out. It's a friendship that has endured despite it's many pit falls. Each of these characters are an important piece of the puzzle that Lutz has created. It's easy to grab onto Anna, George, and Kate and pick a favorite. The problem is that any one of them may turn out to disappoint you in the end.

     What's funny is that as a guy I'm probably supposed to hate a book like this. The truth is that I'm attracted to a great story. and I like characters that are a bit flawed. If a book is well written and grabs my attention I don't care what it's classified as. I've never read Lisa's work before but after reading How To Start A Fire I'm a fan. I like the complexity of the story. It's a risk that paid off and while most readers may find this book tedious due to its structure I found it highly engrossing. Because of how it's told added something unique to it. You have these timelines that seem random, but they all link together showing us that sometimes a great story can be told in an unconventional manner.  What others may see as a weakness I see as a strength and a fresh take on themes that have already been explored. Is it easy to read? It depends on what you call easy. The fact is that How To Start Fires is a well written novel and one that demands your attention.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Slaphappy Fun Time Interview With Jimmy Pudge

I have been a huge Motherfuckin' Pudge fan for a long time. I stumbled onto Bad Billy and then read everything I could get my hands on including the limited edition chap book When Doves Cry released through Dynatox Ministries, I've been lucky enough to interview Mr Pudge twice and I thank him for taking the time to do this interview. You can also get his latest release Game of Hos on Amazon.

Q: You disappeared for quite a while. What prompted the disconnect?

The bottle and I had a passionate love affair for about two years. That was one reason. Another was that I was getting more and more concerned about what others thought about my writing. I didn’t like the pressure of delivering a story that was better than the last story and wondering if Citizen X would enjoy it. Meanwhile Citizen Y would read my tales and email me, “Wow, that was such an original idea! If only you had done it this way…” I was just getting tired of all that pressure, man. I was sweating. Sweating like a motherfucker. I was making about two dollars a month at that point. Yeah, the money was good, and I was living the high life, but I decided to take some me time off and get real. I feel good now, I’m back to the bottom where I crawled out of once upon a time ago. I’m ready to be dirty and not give a fuck about delivering that perfect story. I’m also ready to make that big money again.

Q: After such a long gap between books how hard was it to write again?

It’s hard in the sense that you feel like a virgin. When “Game of Hos” gets released and the reviews start coming in (if any do) it’ll be like getting my cherry popped again. I said I don’t give a fuck about delivering that perfect story, and that is truth. I do care about my readers hating my new material though. I don’t want my first time to be bad. I don’t want people talking about me in the school hallways, saying he can’t fuck worth a shit or he’s working with a little package. I want to hear that orgasm.

Q: Where did the idea for Game of Ho’s come from?

I was watching “Game of Thrones” one night and this bitch took off her clothes and had about the nicest pair of titties I have ever laid eyes on. You know, the ones with the big areolas. I said, “Goddamn, look at that ho!” and the idea just hit me. “Game of Hos.”

Q: You were afraid that you had lost your edge with this one has that ever happened before?

Yeah, I was thinking less about writing what I wanted to write and more about what my audience wanted. So, yeah, I lost my edge a little bit. I tried going soft. The last project I was working on before my hiatus was a Christian Romance book. I was selling out, man. Selling out for the money. I don’t even know anything about being Amish. But there I was, writing PG13 prose about this little Amish boy who falls in love with a city girl named the Easy One.

Q: For those who have never read your work what would you call it? I always thought of it as white trash fiction but that’s kind of offensive isn’t?

I am offended, sir. I’d call it high quality poor man’s satire. I don’t write no single-wide trailer shit. I write double-wide. No, I’d call my work Satirical Crime Fiction with supernatural elements. My characters are lower class, many criminals, all having little to no income. Basically, I’m writing a little bit of myself into each character.

Novelist W.D. Gagliani once reviewed my short story collection “Yo A$ Is GRA$: Tales From a Rednek Gangsta,” and pretty much hit the nail on the head. He wrote, “With snarky, evocative titles such as ‘The Wine, the Bitch, and the Broom Closet’ and ‘Everything She Touch Turn to Doo Doo’ and ‘Pissing the Night Away,’ you may realize you've entered satirical territory as well as that little-known tract known as trailer park horror. Never heard of it? Well, some was done (perpetrated?) by that old group of splatterpunks, back in the day, but Mr. Pudge here resurrects it to great effect - and great comedic effect, it should be pointed out - with his stories, which are for the most part peopled by the down and out, the meth-addled, the insane, the irretrievably criminal, and the odd serpent-haired one.” For the rest of the review, go here: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2FWZ7Q7L8VS7R/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B005G59IAM&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=133140011&store=digital-text

Q: You once had an advice column. How hard was it to offer advice to people? If given another opportunity to do it again would you?

It’s never hard for me to offer advice to people. The one thing fools are good at is giving advice. Man, I can give advice all got damn day! Yes, I’d offer advice to people, but I’m pretty much an unknown author now. So I would be seriously surprised to find my inbox full of questions if I did write an advice column answering folks’ questions.

Q: You have a pretty loyal cult following. How does that affect the writing process?

I was lucky to have met a bunch of fucking weirdos like me, so I’m very fortunate. Many of these lowlife pieces of shit like to read my stuff, and they’ll tell me I misspelled something. Someone actually caught that I had misspelled my name on the title page of one of my books. That was a good fucking call! It doesn’t affect the writing process, but it does make you doubt yourself when you try something different. You wonder how they’re going to feel about a Romance story like the “Booty Goblin” after they just read the horror tale “Bad Billy,” you know?

Q: You’ve talked about a sequel to Bad Billy. Is there a release date yet or is it still in the planning stages?

Still in planning stages. Bad Billy 2 probably won’t be ready for release until December of this year.

Q: Of all the books you’ve written which one would you say is the one that truly defines your writing style?

That’s difficult. My short story collection offers a wide variety of what I can do. I’d say that one offers the most insight into my different writing styles. I generally write whatever I find funniest at the time, so my style changes a good bit at times. I prefer to write serious shit, like “When Doves Cry” or “Corn Bred” or even “Bad Billy,” but the silly bone gets a hold of my ass, so I’ll often produce masterpieces like “The Dick,” “Kitty’s Revenge,” or “Run, Teddy Bear, Run.”

Q: I’ve seen the cover to Devil Inside and it’s impressive. Is this a straight up horror novel? Who did the cover?

Yes, this one is straight up horror. The humor is absent. This one is dark. I don’t remember who did the cover. He was having a going out of business sale in 2013, I believe, and I scooped it up for $10.

Q: When you’re writing are there any weird rituals that you have?

I like to turn off all the lights in the trailer, except for my desk lamp. I write under the desk lamp. I also eat Vienna sausages with a fork because I don’t want no damn drip juice getting on my keyboard.

Q: For those who don’t know you or haven’t read one of your books how would you describe yourself and your writing style?

I’m not a great person or a great writer, but you’re going to have a good time reading my shit, maybe. Some people absolutely detest my shit. Go to Amazon or Goodreads, look me up and laugh at some of the reviews.

I’m a lowlife living the highlife. My writing style varies from horror to suspense to satire to comedy. My books are full of gore and they’re as filthy as a red light pussy.

Q: Where can readers find you and your work? Anything you’d like to add?

Readers can find me on my Facebook page. Just type in Jimmy Pudge. My work is on my author page at:  http://www.amazon.com/Jimmy-Pudge/e/B008AEZW10/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_1

The only thing I’d like to add is thank you for the interview. Thanks for giving this worn out fighter a fighting chance. Much love!

You can also find him here https://www.facebook.com/jimmy.pudge?pnref=story

Game Of Hos

Game of Hos - Jimmy Pudge - 5/5 stars


     When Jimmy Pudge gave me a copy of his latest book to review it was as if Christmas had come early. For those unfamiliar with his work there’s no correct way to describe his it. It’s a bunch of different genres thrown into a blender and made into a tasty genre smoothie. You have splatterpunk, satire, horror and sometimes even a little romance. Hos is a ghetto version of Game Of Thrones and for those without a sense of humor you should avoid this. Pudge is a writer that knows how to create a story that’s both repulsive and entertaining. The entire novel is about an impending drug war and none of these characters have any real redeeming qualities. It’s the writing style that hooks you. He has a knack for creating characters that we normally wouldn’t care about and makes them interesting.  On top of that you have a great deal of violence and buckets of gore.

     If you follow Game Of Thrones the similarities are quite amazing but this isn’t a parody. It’s not taking the piss to the show or even the book. It stands up well and you even get a twist at the end that reminds us why we hate George R.R. Martin. After a long absence it’s good to see that Pudge has not only returned but he has returned with a vengeance. Hos is laugh out loud funny and also gross at times. The beauty of it is that it’s a highly addictive story that keeps you turning pages. If you like your books to have a bit of an attitude this is one that you shouldn’t miss.  As a fan all of the trademarks are intact which is a wonderful thing. Pudge is a talented writer and Hos is a worthy addition to your collection. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Diary Of A Madman

     I Am Ozzy - Ozzy Osbourne & Chris Ayers 2/5


      First I have to be honest and say that I'm not a die hard Ozzy fan. Didn't really like Black Sabbath until Dio joined and then I heard Born Again and I stuck around a little longer. Of Ozzy's solo work I have Blizzard Of Oz, Diary Of A Madman, and The Ultimate Sin on vinyl. The last two records are by far the best work that the Oz has ever created and are the only records of his that I listen to regularly, The book has never been too high on my list of books to be read. Finally I figured what the hell, I may as well check it out.

      If you're a die hard Ozzy fan this book should be right up your alley. It contains a great deal of humor and a lot of stories about his drunken misadventures. I expected a lot more about Randy Rhoades, but there isn't a whole lot here which was disappointing and I'm not sure why he chose to not include more about Randy other than the fact this his death still affects him, or maybe due to all the drugs and booze he just can't remember much about those days. There's no mention of Jake E. Lee's tenure either and again I'm not sure why he chose to leave those years out, but it leaves a gaping hole in the history of Ozzy's career. The book itself is more about Ozzy's drinking with a bit of his life thrown in. As a co-writer Chris Ayers should take a lot of the blame. When he was conducting the interviews he should have asked for more detail, but he didn't and the book suffers for it.

     It's not the biography that I expected at all. It was boring in parts and the main question I had at the end was; "How is he still alive?" There was so much more that I wanted to know, but instead it left me with more questions than answers. He barely mentions his replacement in Sabbath and seems unaffected by all that has happened to him. We do get a glimpse of remorse when he almost murders Sharon and when Randy died you can tell that his loss affected him deeply. As a whole the book just stumbles around like Ozzy after a night at the pub. The stories of just how much he drank, and how many drugs he took is the common theme here. Didn't the publishers even push him for something else? The casual Ozzy isn't going to find much to like here, and I even struggled to finish the damn thing due to how boring it was. There could have been a great bio here, but instead it's just okay, Nothing special and
man does it drag.