Archive for May, 2014

Brendan Backlog…

Posted: May 24, 2014 by douglasthompson in Uncategorized

Final Cover copy

Well, we’ve been falling behind recently on our blogging of reviews at Eibonvale Press, and we wouldn’t want anyone to think we weren’t mega grateful for every book review we get, so here goes. Like waiting for the proverbial buses therefore, here we have six reviews in a row for Brendan Connell’s Avant Garde masterpiece “Miss Homicide Plays The Flute”.

First up, seasoned reviewer Mario Guslandi writing at the Book Noir website gives the book 5 our of 5 stars and says:

“Brendan Connell is an atypical but gifted fantasist, author of various novels and short story collections which are very hard to label in terms of literary genre. Miss Homicide Plays the Flute isn’t exactly a novel and, although the main character is an assassin by trade, does not quite belong to crime fiction. Revolving around Sereana Plevier, a flautist who occasionally becomes an enrolled killer to manage to pay her bills and who continuously changes her identity and her look by means of wigs, fake noses and coloured lenses, the book is a phantasmagoria of episodes and odd events taking place during one of the girl’s murderous tasks…

…. Mixing crime and fantasy, mainstream and speculative fiction, Connel serves a delicious, extremely dish apt to satisfy the taste of many kinds of readers, including the more demanding and seasoned lovers of refreshing and entertaining fiction.”

Then we have an extremely in-depth review of at the Large hearted Boy website, which says:

“Brendan Connell’s Miss Homicide Plays the Flute is one of the year’s most inventive novels, and masterful in its language.”

The website goes on to feature Brendan Connell’s own Book Notes music playlist for his novel, an interview with the author and various other goodies so check it out.

Then we have the redoubtable Djibril al-Ayad writing at the Future Fire, who says:

“This strange little title is the eighth book published by prolific and acclaimed author Brendan Connell, in a typically high quality and quirkily packaged edition by Eibonvale Press. To all intents and purposes this is a crime novel, featuring a sociopathic assassin, art thefts, family feuds and sexual transgression, but it is so full of experimental features, nonlinear digressions, dreamlike descriptions and rambling, pedantic detail that I suspect it rather thinks of itself as “literary” in genre.

…It’s a complicated, highly crafted book, not without flaws, but also not without that spark of genius that dares to take this sort of a risk.

…I can’t deny the masterful writing, research, storytelling and sheer craftsmanship that this book contains. I felt the same about Dorian Gray and Perfume, and those are indubitably works of genius. If the words “experimental”, “pedantic” and “literary” in the first paragraph of this review didn’t put you off, then you’ll probably be very impressed by the quality of Miss Homicide Plays the Flute, and recognise, as I do, the exquisite craft that Connell has put into it.”

Then Catherine Ramsdell over at the Pop Matters website says:

Miss Homicide Plays the Flute’ Is Playful, Witty, Disturbing and Strange

Of course, I substituted book for hobby. And I like strange. I like curious even better. Most likely if you don’t enjoy curious or strange you aren’t going to enjoy Miss Homicide Plays the Flute. No matter which term you use—avant-garde, experimental, surreal, weird—you probably aren’t going to find this book prominently displayed at your local Barnes and Noble bookstore (although I do believe it’s available on their website).

Some chapters appear to be more poetry than prose, and Connell can make even the ugliest of things seem beautiful. ..

Then our old friend Adam Groves over at the Fright Site writes:

“…Particularly notable is Connell’s highly playful and inventive use of language, resulting in one paragraph printed backward (complete with a note instructing that it’s “to be viewed in a mirror”) and sentences like “Rotting meat spoiled polluted odour corruption frozen stock-shot burgundy liver perfume seaweed fat to the tune of starfish.”

The insanity of the story is complimented by the author’s miscellany, if miscellany is even the correct term for the odd dreams, lengthy “recipes” of murderous methodology, brief glimpses of Hell, lengthy descriptions of the artwork the heroine admires and overall obsession with ancient Greece (evident in passages like a description of a nightclub that devolves into a highly eccentric dissertation on Greek dance). Such things may qualify as deviations from the main narrative, or perhaps it’s the other way around. Either way this is a fascinating oddity that resembles nothing so much as itself.”

And last but not least we have Sami Airola at Rising Shadow enthusing as follows:

“Brendan Connell’s Miss Homicide Plays the Flute is a fantastic novel. It’s a brilliant example of what can be achieved when an author has enough imagination and vision, and isn’t afraid of writing something different and experimenting with different kind of storytelling.

…This novel made a huge impression on me, so I can’t help but praise it as much as I can.

Brendan Connell is an author who has a distinct writing style that separates him from other authors. No matter what he writes about, he writes quality and he isn’t afraid of experimenting with unusual material and combining different elements. He’s an undisputed modern master of decadence and weird stories. His prose can be as sharp as shards of glass and there’s underlying and seductive eroticism in his stories. ..”