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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: February 2005

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Manners and Means
By Julia Talbot
201 pages
Published by Torquere Press
Available as a downloadable PDF or LIT file ($4.95), or on CD-ROM ($9.95)

Reviewed by Lene Taylor

Dear Readers, there's nothing like a fine romance, is there? Especially one set in a fantasy version of the Middle Ages, with some Greek, Russian, and Hungarian vocabulary thrown in, a murder plot, a good dose of romantic angst, plus a LOT of hot gay sex. And a happy ending. What's not to like?
[more]

Posted by Lene Taylor @ 08:59 PM PST [Link]

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Wodehouse: A Life
by Robert McCrum
Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company

Review by Kathryn Ramage

"...threatened by unbearable thoughts, 'one has deliberately to school oneself to think of something else quick'."

This phrase from P.G. Wodehouse's diary, as quoted by Robert McCrum, seems to me to be the key to his biography of the celebrated author of dozens of light-hearted stories featuring such characters as Bertie Wooster and his manservant Jeeves, Lord Emsworth of Blandings Castle, and Psmith -- stories set in an idyllic and innocent Edwardian England that never was. The phrase is used at least twice, as a means of explaining Wodehouse's outlook and some of his more controversial actions.

Although this biography covers the entirety of P.G. Wodehouse's life, the focus is on his actions during World War II. Wodehouse and his wife were living in the French coastal resort of Le Touquet at the beginning of the war, and delayed leaving their home for England until it was too late to flee when the German army invaded; they found themselves trapped. McCrum begins with a foreword describing the day that the Wodehouses encountered the invading forces in occupied France, before recounting the details of Wodehouse's childhood and early success as a writer, then returns to this event at the book's midpoint. Wodehouse was interred as an enemy alien and shifted from one prison camp to another, until the Nazis became aware of the identity of this elderly English prisoner; he was then taken to Berlin for a series of radio broadcasts -- the substance of which were innocuous in themselves, but the fact that Wodehouse agreed to do them left him open to accusations of collaboration and even treason from the British. [more]

Posted by Kathryn L Ramage @ 01:04 PM PST [Link]

Monday, February 21, 2005

Blasphemy
Edited by M. Rode
205 pages
Published by Torquere Press
Available as a downloadable PDF or LIT file ($4.95), or on CD-ROM ($9.95)

Reviewed by Lene Taylor

Dear Readers, am I the only one who reads anthologies through as if they were novels? I think I must be, since almost every anthology I've read gets a bit...repetitious. I suppose they're meant to be taken like vitamins, one a day, rather than ingested all at once. But let us proceed on the assumption that this is my problem, not yours. In any case, Blasphemy is a fine collection of gay porn (mostly male, a few lesbian stories) that should satisfy anyone looking for some hot, well-written smut that pushes a few boundaries. Don't worry, there's nothing terribly kinky here (aside from some light S&M), but the scenarios are, well, blasphemous. Priests fucking! In churches! On altars! In alleys! Everywhere! [more]

Posted by Lene Taylor @ 10:54 PM PST [Link]

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hutch Owen: Unmarketable
by Tom Hart
Publisher: Top Shelf

Review by Tom Good

If Dilbert represents a view from the inside of corporate America, where cubicle-jockeys learn to play the corporate game, then Hutch Owen takes a completely different, outsider's view. Hutch is an anti-establishment slacker who scrounges food from garbage cans and is suspicious of the very idea of commerce.

In the book's longest story, titled Public Relations, Hutch attends a PR event for Bird Burger, where he grabs the microphone and rants at the crowd: "You gluttonous job-gotting free-food greeding tomato eaters [. . .] The world creaks and you buck and whinney like a gangrene mule to your graceless desires!" His behavior is so over-the-top that a PR executive assumes he must be a paid actor, there to showcase the plight of the underprivileged. [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 10:11 PM PST [Link]

Holy Moly
by Leah Hayes
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books

Review by Tom Good

Imagine finding a student composition book left behind in a library. Inside, there are no class notes, but only page after page of wild drawings. A girl declares her love for steak and eggs, but the steak rejects her, saying, "It's really not a good time for me right now." On the same page, what appears to be a narwhal bullies a snail. If I found something like this, I would want to return it to its owner, but I also would not be able to resist reading the rest of it first.

Holy Moly resembles such a lost artifact, right down to the blue-lined paper on which it is drawn. It even has a hand-drawn bar code on the front cover. I doubt this would actually scan, but it is an amusing touch. The art is crudely drawn, as one might expect from doodles in a notebook; in fact, according to the publisher the book was "written and illustrated almost entirely during class time over several years." [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 06:22 PM PST [Link]

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