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Love Is the Law Mass Market Paperback – October 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616552220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616552220
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Mamatas. Author of a number of novels; Move Under Ground (Night Shade 2004, Prime 2006) and Under My Roof (Soft Skull Press, 2007), Sensation (PM Press, 2011), The Damned Highway (Dark Horse, with Brian Keene, 2011), Bullettime (CZP, 2012) Love Is the Law (Dark Horse, 2013), and The Last Weekend (PS Publishing, 2014)three collections; 3000MPH In Every Direction At Once (Prime 2003) and You Might Sleep... (Prime 2009), The Nickronomicon (Innsmouth Free Press, 2014); and the novella Northern Gothic (Soft Skull, 2001).

He is also the editor of the anthologies The Urban Bizarre (Prime 2003), Phantom #0 (Prime 2005), Spicy Slipstream Stories (with Jay Lake, Lethe 2008), and Haunted Legends (with Ellen Datlow, Tor 2010). As part of his day job, he co-edited the Locus Award nominee The Future Is Japanese (with Masumi Washington, Haikasoru 2012) and Phantasm Japan (with Masumi Washington, Haikasoru 2014)

Nick also co-edited the magazine Clarkesworld for two years, which was nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy awards. Stories from Clarkesworld have been collected in a pair of anthologies: Realms and Realms 2 (Wyrm Publishing 2008 and 2009).

Nick's own short stories have appeared in literary journals such as Mississippi Review online, subTERRAIN, and Per Contra, slicks including Razor and Spex, and fantasy and horror magazines and anthologies including New Dark Voices 2, Poe's Lighthouse, ChiZine, and Lovecraft Unbound.

His fiction has been nominated for the Bram Stoker awards three times, the International Horror Guild Award, and Germany's Kurd-Laßwitz Preis. His reportage and essays have appeared in the Village Voice, The Smart Set, H+, Clamor, In These Times, various anthologies. With Kap Su Seol he translated and edited the first English edition of a firsthand account of South Korea's Kwangju massacre--Kwangju Diary (UCLA Asian Pacific, 1999).

Nick now lives in the California Bay Area, where he is editor of tradebooks for VIZ Media and edits both Japanese science fiction novels in translation and books associated with Oscar-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
If you enjoy reading do yourself a favor and buy Love Is The Law, or one of his other books.
Fran
Mamatas does a great job holding together a rapidly expanding storyline and array of odd characters while holding the reader's anticipation until the very end.
D.T. Griffith
I finally carved out time to start in on Nick's book and once I was in I was hooked completely.
Malcolm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Scott R Jones on October 17, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There's a lot of Thelemic hoo-ha in Nick Mamatas' new noir novel Love Is The Law, and I am fine with that, since for a good portion of the `00s I ran with as gnarly a pack of wannabe Crowley-ites and ritual occultists as you could ask for. I've had about as much of that as a person can stand, which is to say I get the stuff, and the fastbreeding esoteric patter of narrator "Golden" Dawn Seliger is tone-perfect in this book. You don't have to get Thelema or understand where Dawn is coming from to enjoy it, which, considering how twisty the ouvre of the Great Beast can be is a real achievement.

Now, Trotsky and Communism and worker's revolutions I don't get as much, mostly due to my being Canadian (socialist utopia, I'm told!) and a woeful lack of education in these matters (as well as the disinterest bred into me by capitalist fear-mongering? Mmm possibly...) but I am fine with that, too, because Love Is The Law is a not a book about Thelema or Communism per se; I'll borrow from the alchemy here and say it's a crucible into which Mamatas has tossed those things along with 80s punk aesthetic, family disintegration, drug addiction, murder, conspiracy, a grimoire's worth of black humour and just a smidge of redemption.

On the surface of it, Love Is The Law shouldn't work: the above elements too disparate, the suburban Long Island setting too hermetic, and so on. But it's a crucible, and though the process of reading it is rough in spots -- there are some brutal characters here, Dawn's crack addict father for one, Dawn herself for another -- what comes out the other end of that process is gold.

It all hangs together beautifully, and watching it happen is as close to storytelling magic as I've seen recently.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John S. Costello on October 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A noir murder mystery set in 1989 and recounted by a Thelemite/Trotskyist, punk, teenage protagonist, "Golden" Dawn Seliger. The secrets of the death of her magickal mentor and of the collapse of the communist project are entangled in a way which can only be perceived with the appropriate double-initiation (just as they could only have been caused by an opposing double-initiate). Dawn's magickal and ideological initiations allow (and impel) her to unravel the dual mysteries -- but they are simultaneously the source of an alienation which works against her efforts at revenge on -- never justice for -- the murderer. This conflict is the novel's animating tension.

Love is the Law is a Catcher in the Rye updated for modern (but still pre-millennial) times. Dawn Seliger has long shed Holden Caulfield's pre-pubescent hangups with sex and status and replaced them with her own prepossessions: Will, and Communist revolution. These are far weightier subjects, and she is a much more interesting character because of it. Both the Thelema and the Trotskyism seemed accurate to me (an educated layperson but not an initiate), and the novel also very successfully expresses its setting's zeitgeist, which is still in living memory for most of us -- a welcome contrast to the Salinger. All of these are considerations which would justify replacing Catcher with Love in the canon; on the downside, Mamatas's book is far too frank on the subjects of sex and magick to make it past high school censors.

Mamatas successfully ties the disparate elements I mentioned above -- sex, magick, alienation, murder, and the battle (arcane and otherwise) of communism and capitalism -- into a well-told noir thriller. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SJC on February 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is so good I think it's a great book. I'm not great at reviews unless a book is bad, and I never know what to say about this because it's too good.

But more to the point, if you own it, you are guaranteed to trick people out of your league into thinking you're cool and attractive by casually leaving it around.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Monica Gaudio on December 11, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book! I really enjoyed the ad-ass yet slightly crazy protagonist as well as the writing style. Two thumbs up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen McSomething on November 8, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's 1989, and the Berlin Wall has just fallen. On Long Island, Dawn, the teenage punk narrator and protagonist, is convinced that while it may look like her mentor and lover has killed himself due to the fall of communism, it is a set up, and she is determined to find his killer(s) and get revenge.

Dawn is a punk, a communist, and an occultist, and Mamatas weaves these three aspects together to create a character who is a rebel with a cause, but who is currently lacking anyone to rebel against. Firstly, because the people who make up her suburban community are too self-absorbed to notice her, and secondly because her family are too dysfunctional to care. But after Bernstein's death, Dawn finds herself in the center of some sort of conspiracy, where it seems that everyone is more connected than she knew, and the more she tries to untangle the web, the more tightly she draws the knots together.

This is a short and fast paced story. I read it in two sittings, and didn't want to put it down at all. In Dawn, Mamatas brilliantly captures the sense of teenage alienation, and how appealing rule governed systems of thought (like Aleister Crowley's Order of Thelema, or the ever-splintering leftist factions) can be to someone who is desperately trying to make sense of the world.

There are also moments of pure hilarity. Mamatas has fun using the benefit of hindsight, having his characters make seemingly prophetic pronouncements about the future (which is of course their future, but our past). Dawn's narrative voice is acerbic and sharp, even if she somehow fails to turn the critical lens, to which she subjects everyone who crosses her path, upon herself.

Everyone I know who has read this book has raved about it, therefore I declare that this is a book for everyone, and which everyone must read.
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