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Conquering Venus Paperback – August 4, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Vanilla Heart Publishing (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935407295
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935407294
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,992,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Mr. Kelley's writing is too addictive to put the book down. -- Anne Stanford --Baby Got Books

This stunning debut novel is everything--a poetic page-turner, a wonderful mystery, and a compelling story of self-realization. - Angel Curtis --OutSmart Magazine

Kelley does an excellent job of taking us seamlessly into the paranormal scenes and back to reality, neither missing the proverbial beat or losing one bit of his hold on the reader. - Jennifer Perry, 
--New Southerner

The writing is crisp... with finely detailed dreams, gypsy readings, hospital apparitions, undiscovered journals, and an abundance of metaphors (tattoos, classical statues, and poems). - Jameson Currier --Out in Print

Unflinching and mysterious, Conquering Venus is that rare combination of poetic and page-turner. Collin Kelley who refreshingly faces taboos head-on has packed his cinematic debut novel with compelling characters, meaty plot twists and satisfying surprises. This novel is freshly contemporary as well as, in its own fashion, a love letter to Paris. --Kate Evans, For the May Queen and Complementary Colors

From Memphis to London and to Paris, Martin Paige seeks redemption after a terrible and violent loss. The wonder is that he still believes in love, even when it appears like an apparition in an elusive and conflicted young man. Collin Kelley takes you on a sometimes frolicsome, sometimes tragic tour of the heart in this engaging first novel. --Gary Zebrun, Only the Lonely

Collin Kelley writes with the heart of a saint and the horns of a satyr. Conquering Venus poetic, personal and proud goes off like a starter s gun to announce a fine new writer of fiction. --Charles McNair, Land O Goshen and Book Editor of Paste Magazine

About the Author

Collin Kelley is a novelist, poet and playwright from Atlanta, Georgia. His poetry collections include After the Poison, Slow To Burn and Better To Travel, which was nominated for the 2003 Georgia Author of the Year Award, Kate Tufts Discovery Award and Lambda Literary Award. He is a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee and a recipient of the 2007 Georgia Author of the Year/Taran Memorial Award from the Georgia Writers Association at Kennesaw State University for poetic excellence and his work as co-editor of the Java Monkey Speaks Anthology series from Poetry Atlanta Press. His poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world. His play, The Dark Horse, was the recipient of the 1994 Deep South Festival of Writer's Award for Best Play from the University of Louisiana and the Georgia Theatre Conference Award in 1997. Kelley has been a journalist for more than 20 years. Conquering Venus is his first novel.

More About the Author

Collin Kelley is the author of the author of the mystery/suspense novels Remain In Light, a 2012 finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction and 2013 Georgia Author of the Year Fiction Finalist, and Conquering Venus, both available in brand new paperback and eBook editions from Sibling Rivalry Press. He also has an Amazon exclusive ebook of short stories, Kiss Shot. His poetry collections include Render, After the Poison, Slow To Burn and Better To Travel. Kelley is the recipient of the 2007 Georgia Author of the Year and the 1994 Deep South Writers Award from the University of Louisiana. His poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world. For more information, visit www.collinkelley.com.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Treat this book like dessert, the kind you eat all at once and want more of.
Jessica Handler
The two main characters were very well developed and the secondary characters add a nice complexity to the storyline and the elements of mystery and intrigue.
Deborah Etherington Bailey
I have not been as excited for a sequel as I am for "Remain in Light" in a long, long time!
J. Elliott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Bloemeke on September 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Collin Kelley's debut novel is an irresistible read. Wait no longer! As a poet, Kelley's writing is precise, captivating, and memorable. Combine this with a sensual plot that moves at a clip, and it becomes impossible not be invested in the characters. What compels Irene to be agoraphobic? Will David ever be able to be honest with Martin? What is the catalyst for Diane's snarky and often hilarious quips? Set mainly in Paris, Kelley deftly brings the city to life, using familiar landmarks as talismans for key scenes in the novel: the palace of mirrors at Versailles, Notre Dame, Ile de la Cite, etc. Building on this, he overlays his characters, creating a resonance that continues long after the last page of the novel:

"Martin studied himself in the unforgiving image. He looked thin and haunted; his eyes showed despair and exhaustion. Irene knelt beside him, holding a photo of her and Jean-Louis taken in the same spot in front of Notre-Dame. "This is a message," Irene whispered, "Not coincidence."

Kelly sets up a compelling combination of love triangles--both overt and secret--a dose of magic realism, voyeurism on both intended and non-intended front (are we as readers voyeurs as well?) all presented through well-crafted prose and symbolism. In doing so, he leaves us looking at Venus de Milo in a way we have not yet seen her before.

But the best news of all is that there is not one view, nor one story to tell. Kelley's Conquering Venus is the first of a trilogy and a brilliant foreshadowing of what is to come.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Herrle on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
CV is the first gay literary fiction I've read, and it wasn't gentle with me. Brimming with coincidences, allusions, burst illusions, sexuality, and psychological depth, this book delivers both heartache and redemption, controversy and harmony. Irene, my favorite character in the novel, is a woman I want to make real and befriend. Bravo. I look forward to the sequel(s)!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By GK on August 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wow! I'm not sure what I was expecting going into this one, but what I got was writing of the highest caliber that propelled a story that was both fascinatingly convoluted and heartbreaking. These characters will haunt me for a long time to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sometime Critic on December 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Even the pain of a bad affair, unflinchingly portrayed, can not overcome the magic spell cast by Collin Kelley's Paris. That the affair verges on the impossible only makes the city - and the other main character, an elderly agoraphobe with a warm heart and penetrating insight - more alluring. In fact, this heartbreaking story could probably not take place anywhere else, just as the hero ultimately discovers that the whole story of his life can not take place anywhere else. The reviewer who said this book was not gentle with him is right. Like Kelley's poetry, this novel delivers a blow to the solarplexus, especially if you ever desired someone who just could not handle you and was off on their own blindly self-destructive path. I don't know if Amazon recommends that you buy "Conquering Venus" in combo with Kelley's "Better to Travel" - but I certainly do. A nice holiday twosome. Well, maybe not "nice." As Macheath says in "Threepenny Opera" - "This is art, and art is not 'nice.'"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Richardson on May 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Conquering Venus by Collin Kelley is a page-turner which is difficult to put down! The plot is fast-paced and the characters are hauntingly realistic. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Kelley tosses a curve ball which engulfs the reader in the novel.
Kelley is also a poet. There is evidence of prose in his description of the setting, which is for the most part Paris. However, Kelley is careful not to drag out details which might bore the reader. No, you won't be bored.
Conquering Venus is listed under gay literature. However, the listing is irrelevant. I'm straight and found it easy to understand the characters.
What speaks volumes is that Kelley is from Georgia and is a true Southern writer with all of the story-telling skills bestowed upon that title. Hmm..could Kelley be his generation's version of Tennessee Williams? That will be revealed in time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pris Campbell on October 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Conquering Venus

I couldn't put this book down. The author had me totally immersed in the stories of the two main characters, one a man who is surviving a terrible loss and secret in this trip to Paris; the other an aging woman whose dead husband carried his own secret to his grave. Their stories interweave as the two characters meet and form an unlikely bond. I highly recommend the book!
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