I loved the movie so I decided to read the book. Much of the material is based on the author’s personal experiences as a junky who knocked off pharmacies with his partners on the West Coast to maintain their habits, and as a result were marginalized and meshed into a subculture exposed to violence, degradation, incarceration, and often on the run. The narrator owns his experiences like an adventure he takes part in ‘by choice’ and as an exercise of free will. The tone is one of dark comedy. The book is a quick read with simple vocabulary and lots of speaking parts rounded out by short descriptions and visualizations in and around Portland, Oregon. I felt like I could care about Bob and Diane and Nadine and Rick, maybe even more than they cared about themselves in the end!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is definitely one of my favorites by King. If you are a child of the eighties (or older), gen x, you will get a real nostalgia kick what with all the references to American culture 1970’s. The characters come to life, the storylines thread well and weave into a fine fabric, and it’s not too gory or over the top with fantasy, less supernatural more psychic powered, and overall the book is pretty timeless. The movie’s not bad, either, what with Chris Walken. This ice cream cone is vintage Stephen King and stand alone sweet!
AUTHOR: Katya Mills
PUBLISHER: Amazon / CreateSpace, 2015
SUMMARY: In modern day America, there are those — indiscernible from you and me — who thirst after (human) fear. Ame, in her twenties and the heroine of this tale, has fallen in with them. As a youth she had the same light in her eyes and androgynous form, which marks them. She was abducted and taken to Oakland, California, where she comes to terms with her own dark heritage. Her love interest, a resilient young punk named Maze, skateboards into her life and together they roam the streets, seeking and extracting fear from Ordinaries. Conflicted by her own violent nature, Ame has become nevertheless intoxicated by her new life and associations. Meanwhile, lurking around the boarding house where Ame and Maze stay, a Malafide is busy trapping and hollowing out Ordinaries and leaving them shells. Ame discovers her little sister Kell, in the grips of a terrible addiction. Just as Ame seems to have found her rhythm in the chaos of this new world and city, Kell disappears. Then, searching for her sister, Ame unravels a secret buried on the tapes of a security camera, which threatens to uproot her once again.
|cover of Maze|
Dare I look into these projects you are slumming? Somewhere in each one a person pushed out front, coat-tails blowing up egos in need of personality. Altruism was suddenly a four-letter word like media and Muslim. You made an urban dictionary out of the constitution. Wannabe celebrities still slinging their ghostwritten books, to get a stab at some easy cash before the crap inside all the margins falls out of consciousness and to your cutting room floor… now ankle deep in film, archaic, in a dark corner of ill-literatures.
Here we find a thorough & recent review of my work:
GIBNEYS BLOG: BOOK REVIEW
A cliffhanging sequel that can be admired as a standalone., February 16, 2017
This review is from: Maze (Daughter of Darkness Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Some top-class writing is on display from Katya Mills. She picks up the story of Ame, and introduces a new character with Kell, a young woman raised on the Texas border and forced to flee to Oakland. The similarities between Ame and Kell do not end at exile to a new life. Kell acts as both a mirror and new set of eyes for Ame. Meanwhile, we also hear about Maze’s story.
Ame’s bad-boy skater dude love interest has a lot going on beneath the surface, and it’s not all good. Indeed, there’s lots of subtle interactivity in the various relationships we’ve been introduced to over the two-book series. There’s a cliffhanger in this too – but as a standalone slice-of-life involving supernatural beings, this is some great and unique stuff.
The (e)book can be purchased here: MAZE on AMAZON
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Selby Jr. follows four characters as they descend into the madness of addiction, in new york city, a journey the author knows well, having become addicted to morphine when he was suffering from tuberculosis as a merchant marine (and years later, heroin, which he recovered from in the late sixties). Harry and Tyrone are buddies caught in the lifestyle, embracing it at first, copping and selling dope, kicking back to enjoy the high, dreaming of some impossible free-wheeling wealth and luxury on top of some zion of dope… forced to face the danger in the streets, inevitable mishaps and kicking in the joint. Marion is Harry’s girlfriend, a wannabe artist who likes a small habit which grows and grows, only to push away all her old life’s ambitions and interests. The love affair is mostly content to stay in the confines of their apartment, saddled by the sad business of easing back, high and dreaming, making plans to open an café together, nodding and sleeping, happy plans in the head… then falling on hard times looking for money and drugs to fix. May have to get creative about it. Don’t expect a picnic, here, if you read Last Exit To Brooklyn (or saw the movie), you know this is a cautionary tale and all of it’s out in the open. I just love how Selby Jr.’s run-on prose moves freely in and out of headspace and lands like a kick in the gut between personalities. And how the characters seem to get over on themselves. Sarah is Harry’s mom and lives alone and dreams into the television and wants to be the lovely picture she once cut, to fit in that old red dress, and fancies she might lose some weight and make it in television. She starts on diet pills and goes mostly downhill from there. As flawed and impossibly dreaming as these characters are, the book was a page turner because I was not simply ambulance chasing, no, I really gave a hot damn about all 4 players and hoped against hope that they might figure themselves out and find a way out of hell and back to some decency and love and happiness. You never know. Addiction isn’t always a life sentence.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed reading Jim Carroll’s movement from all out junkie in NYC to mostly clean weedhead in California then traveling back to NYC to re-experience it like a challenge he was taking on for himself in his new sparkly dried out persona. – may he rest in peace – You almost think the kid didn’t stand much of a chance, hobnobbing with celebrity at Max’s and getting dissed by Warhol over the phone, because Warhol only wanted to talk to him when he was wired on speed (and recorded these phone calls apparently). Great street level perspective of NYC in the early seventies. Jim Carroll is an brutally honest sorta writer, so be prepared to go under carpets with him and hangout with fragments of cheese doodles and mites. Or inside a festering abscess. He certainly won’t glorify substance abuse or addiction, so you don’t need to worry about your children. Or do you? I found the first half of the book a little harder to get through, a lot of socializing with Ginsberg and name dropping (though anyone could be envious to hang out with William Burroughs and Bob Dylan for a night). Sometimes I felt he was writing to impress his celebrity buds. But mostly I admire Jim Carroll, I consider him a strong writer and the survivor we know by his Basketball Diaries. This book was supposed to be a sorta sequel to that one. He didn’t stand a chance as a kid himself going deep on the streets, yet he always respected the muse and was a real creative mind, and a local new yorker in his heart. The second half of the book I found a bit clearer, more honest, and particularly his return from Bolinas to NYC. The last quarter of the book was a straight read, I hunkered down in my apartment and really got into it. It ends well, I mean, more intimate and heartfelt. A good read.