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Narcisa: Our Lady of Ashes Paperback – July 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Free News Projects/Heartworm Press; 1st edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979723833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979723834
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,527,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fearless storytelling." - Marilyn Manson

"Jonathan Shaw is the great nightmare anti-hero of the new age." - Iggy Pop

"Shaw's writing is one hell of a wild ride through the bizarre netherworld of his own damaged consciousness.  His experiences are real and his language and insights kinetic and brutal... Shaw's writing certifies him as a subversive and criminal inhabitant of the world of human expression." - Jim Jarmusch

"Haunting poetry." - Hubert Selby Jr.

"A darkly hilarious litany of doomed love, drug addiction, compulsive sex and mutual enslavement..." - VICE MAGAZINE

About the Author

Jonathan Shaw is a world traveling outlaw artist, novelist, blogger, head doctor, anti-folk hero, whorehouse philosopher, legendary tattoo master and notorious innovator and creator of underground art. The bastard product of a brief, surreal, violent and unhappy alcoholic marriage between big band legend Artie Shaw and movie star Doris Dowling, the Vietnam War and massive preteen LSD consumption. After running with the likes of Jim Morrison, the Manson Family and Charles Bukowski, he fell prey to heroin addiction and a life of crime. He finally left 1970's Hollywood to travel the world by thumb and tramp freighter and is still out there somewhere.

More About the Author

Jonathan Shaw is a world-traveling outlaw artist, gonzowar-correspondant, novelist, blogger, head doctor, anti-folk hero and whorehouse philosopher. A legendary tattoo master and notorious creator of trendsetting underground art, over the decades Shaw's workhas steadily infiltrated and quietly swayed the direction of popular culture world-wide; From 'Reality' based television programs to the fashion styles of the rich and famous, his original, innovative mark is clearly visible everywhere you look in modern style.

A child of the 50's, Jonathan grew up the bastard spawn of a brief, violent and unhappy marriage between jazz legend Artie Shaw and the beautiful and glamorous Hollywood starlet Doris Dowling. Shaw's particularly surreal world-view was largely shaped during the tumultuous Vietnam era, then sharpened like a straight-razor by massive teenaged LSD consumption and close personal interactions with some of the weirdest minds of a weird time. After running with the likes of Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, the Manson Family and Charles Bukowski, Shaw, like most of his friends, eventually fell prey toheroin addiction and was swept away in a degenerate wave of juvenile delinquency, sudden destruction and moral degradation.

Around the age of 19, fleeing for his life, he left 1970's Hollywood behind to travel the world by thumb and tramp freighter and he is still out there somewhere. Many years clean and sober now, the heavily tattooed author was recently referred to affectionately by old pal Marilyn Manson as "a decorated veteran of the drug war."

Today Jonathan lives wherever he is, but resides mostly in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, makingfrequent visits to other home bases in NYC and Southern California, when not traveling the rest of the world.He has one adult son, also an artist, as well as an extended Gypsy family of old and new friends, lovers, admirers, well-wishers and partners in crime all over the world.

Many years retired now from a burgeoning tattoo industry he once set the standards for, he continues to test the limits of his reality, traveling the South American backlands by motorcycle, living with witch doctors, artists, outlaws and whores, while continuing toterrify and inspire his steadily growing fanatical following withnightmarish poetry, memoirs, screenplays and fiction.

His motto is: "Born to lose. Live to win."

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 137 customer reviews
These characters are both entertaining and tragic.
john christian bayne jardine
Jonathan Shaw has created a dark look into the world of sex and love addiction as well as the disease of co-alcoholism.
Johnny
The `read' of Narcisa Our Lady of Ashes is a wild ride into hell and back.
MoJo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By macocael on April 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Red Smith really didn't say "Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed," but the line was so good that people have quoted his advice over and over and over again. If only they followed it! Today's market seems to be dominated by Creative Writing School graduates who consider a paper cut adequate bloodletting for their vocation. The result is arch prose and the glib ironies of living in a postmodern media cocoon. These folks wouldn't know a real conflict from a bad hair day, and the closest they will ever come to an Oedipal Karthasis is when they misplace their Armani eyeglasses and have to tear their eyes away from the tube in order to find them.

So thank god (or perhaps the devil) for a book like Narcisa, which plumbs the depths of a human sinkhole that makes contemporary tours of Hell look like a stroll through Beaver Cleaver's neighborhood. This book is not for those who faint at the sight of blood. This book has all the purgatorial torments of a Joe Coleman painting described in the acid-pitted prose of a Charles Bukowski. Narcisa not only hacks up the frozen seas within us, it serves up the crushed ice with a draught of absinthe and a hot shot for after, puts a gun to your head and says, "Drink." You won't be sorry you did, but you'll be wondering what hit you when you turn the final page and close the book, its surreal laughter echoing in your head. This is what real writing is all about. It's raw, it's rasping, it shaves away illusions like a potato grater on bared skin, but the bloodletting is purgative. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - and funnier too.

It is high time that this book, which has become a collector's item, be reissued.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LucaM on April 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jonathan Shaw describes a world in which we fall in love quickly. the life, the characters and their stories, the city ... I do understand that we are dealing with a writer of high level.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Louis Hansell on April 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Reading Narcisa is an experience much akin to a slow sinking turned violent drowning as you're pulled into the depths of a personal shadow so dense and dark that it's a mystery how anyone can possibly find a way out. Carl Jung referred to the shadow as the hidden side of our consciousness that represents "a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well". It's a fateful encounter with Narcisa on the streets of Brazil that lead to this deadly look at the protagonists's and our own shadow that Shaw delivers so unflinchingly. A perennial and dangerous romance that perhaps could be retitled as "Jonathan Shaw's Inferno" or "The Exorcists - A Love Story". Narcisa's scarred childhood, drug-ravaged mind, ruthless wit, and personal demons make for an engaging and powerful character. Much like Odysseus had his men plug their ears to avoid the Siren's call, Narcisa attacks all your senses and pulls you down into the black abyss.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By NUJ on March 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Shaw took story writing to another level. Narcisa: Our Lady of Ashes, is raw and full of emotion. Definitely a book you won't be able to put down until you have turned the last page. Whether it is fiction or not, it walks the line with the reality of what lives in the shadows.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan E. Evans on July 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
I'm not that great at writing reviews but I wanted to say something about this book. I couldn't look away. The idea of a relationship so fraught with need, destruction, and obsession is real. I've seen it, I've experienced it and the joy and fear and devastation of an all consuming love, lust and loss is written on these pages. Thank you Jonathan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Gurrola on June 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
An unadulterated, relentless, first-person journey into the seediest depths of humankind, taken place in a subtropical, hellish paradise. Written as casually as a journal entry after an everyday stroll through a sterile, suburban neighborhood. Over-the-top honest and unforgiving. Squares beware.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nan on June 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Shaw is an intuitive writer who can take you into worlds you have not even begun to imagine. The way he can transport you into the underworld of his imagination will leave you transformed as a human being.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniela Austin on May 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
I have been trying to write this review for…three weeks?...and have been unable to approach it. What has been blocking my way?

Approaching these characters is not like calling your best friend to chat. Not like scheduling an interview with a client. Not even like bringing up a tough topic with your husband or boyfriend.

These are characters of the underworld, living in some of the most hostile, soul-rending environments on the planet. So, maybe you will not cozy-up to them on the basis of this fact. It would be sad if that were your reason, but fear not: very early on, Shaw dismisses this avenue of distaste anyway, does away with the external, and tunnels into both personalities to their core:

“Her name is Narcisa. As we stroll along, the sound of the breaking waves lends a dreamlike percussion to her weird, melodic speech. She talks on and on, waxing soft and eloquent, and incomprehensible. Out of nowhere, she begins talking about Sacred Geometry and paranormal visions; and something enigmatic about mysterious hybrid human-extraterrestrial royal bloodlines or something.”

Thus Shaw dismisses the social bias, makes familiar the stranger’s face. And before long gets to work on the real reason to avoid them.

Narcisa is everyone’s non-stop ride back to childhood pain: trauma, damage that makes them what they are today. The cold, unattached mother. The monstrous, abusing men. Drugs and death and pain.

That is Narcisa’s legacy. Prepare to substitute your own.

Narcisa…prostitute, crack-addict, a whirlwind of nightmares.

And Cigano?
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