An upbeat, life-affirming collection that’s a bit too personal and unpolished for general consumption.

POEMS BY THE SILVER SCRIBE

Amusing, exhortative light verse and often highly personal occasional poetry.

These days, anonymity is a curiously conspicuous rhetorical choice for the author of a poetry collection, an effacement that draws attention to itself. However, if this particular nom de plume suggests a certain pretension, perhaps evoking fears of sententious navel-gazing, don’t fear: Fortunately, the Silver Scribe is more tongue-in-cheek than word-to-the-wise. Not that he forgoes moralizing, but the moralizing bits tend to be buried by the cornucopia of quirky occasional poems on subjects that arrest the poet’s flitting interest. In addition to the odd word of wisdom and paean to friendship or the charms of the fairer sex, he writes adoringly, humorously and sometimes quite earnestly of Princess Di, Wayne Gretzky, Ronald Reagan, Marlon Brando, a pigeon named Frank, Hurricane Frances, various friends, Mercury the Cat, Pope John Paul II and Elvis—especially Elvis. The King acts as a minor muse, usually inspiring poems that play on anagrams of “Elvis” in some way, which is about as deep as the wordplay runs. By definition, the poetry is doggerel, but good-hearted doggerel; meaning often plays second fiddle to rhyme: “Maybe you could call me a Jack of all Trades / Yet, in the morning my bed I have always made” or the indecipherable “As you drive around to receive your order / The girl takes your money and dares you to get bolder / But, you just thank her for how she works to get older.” Likewise, syntax often suffers when setting up forced rhymes: “As Pope of the entire World he shared his beliefs / He never thought of anyone as to him beneath.” Ultimately, though, it hardly matters, since this is neither a collection about poetic technique nor the weighty words of a silver-headed sage. As the precisely dated entries (implying an absence of revision) and the inclusion of impossibly personal references suggest, this is a glimpse into a private journal, into a joyful, if sometimes naïve, perspective centered on the belief that rhyming is better than whining and song will never lead you wrong.

An upbeat, life-affirming collection that’s a bit too personal and unpolished for general consumption.

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2007

ISBN: 978-1434327598

Page Count: 212

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2013

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Colorful, wacky escapism.

GLEN & TYLER'S HONEYMOON ADVENTURE

Rich, gay newlyweds put bigots and bad guys in their place in this “bromantic” adventure.

Tyler Conrad needs to marry by his 25th birthday if he wants to claim his inheritance, but he can’t rustle up a bride. His best friend, Glen Merriwether, proposes the answer: They’ll take each other’s hand in marriage. Glen and Tyler are both slightly homophobic (and extremely handsome) amateur hockey players who have only dated women, but their rapturous wedding-day kiss uncorks bottled-up passion. The Hollywood conceit kicks off a pageant of wish-fulfillment financed by Tyler’s $36 billion trust fund, featuring a cavernous Park Avenue penthouse, limos, fabulous fashions, the purchase of his-and-his NHL franchises and constant boasting about net worth. Even better than the luxury is the power—to overawe charities with generosity, breeze past snooty gate-keepers with a phone call, and turn the tables on right-wing homophobes with the news that Tyler, who apparently comes to own almost every company in the world, is their boss, landlord or principal advertiser. The novel’s countless revenge scenes are capped by a gothic showdown in which Tyler evicts his thunderous dad and shrieking stepmother from the family manse. After several chapters focused on glamour and gloating, a lightweight thriller plot gels around assassination attempts and the hijacking of a cruise ship; it furnishes the narrative with some nifty spec-ops set pieces, along with a hardened, muscular security detail for Glen and Tyler to banter with. Sanders stocks the story with eccentric—sometimes cartoonish—characters, giddy contrivances and plenty of racy repartee in the stripe of a screwball comedy. Also, determined to portray a feel-good gay relationship free of trauma and angst, he regales readers with scenes of Glen and Tyler nuzzling and cooing amid lavish décor. Unfortunately, their romance doesn’t generate much heat; Glen has little to do except play the adoring onlooker to Tyler, the smug, frat-boy mogul. Still, Sanders’ fluent, well-paced prose supplies enough lively action and glitzy scenery to keep readers entertained.

Colorful, wacky escapism.

Pub Date: June 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-1257809363

Page Count: 324

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2012

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A unique mystery that could benefit from more action.

THE DEATH FAIRY

In Stevens’ debut novel, suicidal Asia McPhee wonders why she wants to take her own life; her dreams may provide the answer.

This volume, the first in a series of fantasy stories, introduces Asia, a new mother who fights for her sanity while unknown forces urge her to commit suicide. Asia struggles to grasp that her dead mother’s life holds the key to her problems. The book’s compelling premise and the author’s lyrical style ease readers into the story, as haunting parallels connect Asia to her mother, who took her own life when Asia was a newborn. When Asia starts experiencing dreams and visions of her mother, she follows her husband’s advice and seeks the counsel of a psychologist who had ties to her mother, as well as Asia’s friend Jessica, who has similar dreams. As she struggles to remain alive and in control, Asia realizes that she may be a danger to the one she loves most: her baby. Both mystery and fantasy, Stevens’ novel starts off well in blending the two genres, but the story begins to falter at the midway point, when the action gives way to too much conversation. Redundant dialogue not only bogs down the mystery but stunts the pace of the narrative. Meanwhile, the book’s action sequences are riveting but far too infrequent. The plotline would benefit from drawing out the tension, as the climactic moment occurs too abruptly for readers to experience the full power of its effect. Despite its flaws, though, the book’s vivid journey through Asia’s dreamscapes will enthrall readers to the end.

A unique mystery that could benefit from more action.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2010

ISBN: 978-0986706608

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Paris Press

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2012

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