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Phineas Poe: Kiss Me/Judas/ Penny Dreadful/Hell's Half Acre Paperback – October 1, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Will Baer has located the black heart of noir, rescued it from the dry-hump clutch of homage, and dragged it back to the drunk tank where it belongs." -George Pelecanos, author of Hell To Pay and Soul Circus

"Violent deconstruction of urban myth and dark unraveling of mystery within mystery- this is a fine and dangerous work." -Poppy Z. Brite, author of Drawing Blood and Exquisite Corpse

"The writing is perfect, synergistic, and beautifully interwoven with the story- the reader is put through an extraordinary experience." -Hubert Selby, Jr., author of Requiem For A Dream and Last Exit to Brooklyn

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 857 pages
  • Publisher: MacAdam/Cage Publishing; First Thus edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159692151X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596921511
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,138,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Born 1966 in Mississippi. Lived in Montreal and Italy as a child. Graduated high school in Memphis, TN. Received MFA (1995) at Naropa U, Boulder, CO. Worked as taxi driver, journalist, and migrant college professor. Recently co-authored screenplay for Kiss Me, Judas, now in development with Mythic Films. Short stories have appeared in BOMB, nerve.com, the Cult, and elsewhere. Recent shorts include "Deception of the Thrush," SF Noir (Akashic), and "Fugitive Tendencies," postscript to the UK edition of The Contortionist's Handbook, (Harper-Collins UK). Status of much anticipated and long overdue fourth novel, the horror noir Godspeed, is unknown. WCB is married, two children. He currently teaches fiction and screenwriting at the Memphis College of Art.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Phineas Poe omnibus collects all three Baer novels to date in one large and lovely tome.

Kiss Me Judas affirmed my love of psychotic women.

Penny Dreadful left me wanting for real life urban games and a potion for something harder than alcohol. (And affirmed my love of distubred goth girls.)

Hell's Half Acre wrapped things up in chaos and left me on a desolate highway wishing it wasn't a dead end. (And made me rethink my love of psychotic women...)

All in all, the collected tales of Phineas Poe offered here is a steal at the price, be it on sale or not. You'll want to revisit this madman time and time again. Buy it. Love it.

Welcome to the Velvet.
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Format: Paperback
There are some authors who, when you read them, can crush your confidence in your own writing. They are so perfectly in control of their craft, their prose so utterly devastating in its perfect beauty, that you put down the book and say, "Well, crap. I'll never be THAT good." Will Christopher Baer is one such author.

That his prose is not only beautiful, but can also be dark, witty, and down right violent, only heightens the pleasure for me.

There are sentences in this collection that will make a fellow writer stop to catch their breath. It's the equivalent of going to MoMA and standing in front of a masterpiece.

I await Godspeed with the utmost of anticipation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phineas Poe keeps losing things. His kidney. His wife. His way. But, not his hope. In a downward spiral of language and plotting that combines the senses and rhythym of Thomas Cook, James Crumley, and Jack Kerouac, Poe confirms that love is the bottom line in a final sentence that several years after I first read it still has the power to force open a bottle of scotch and drive me to this entry.

I haven't read the rest. The rest will follow. Like Phineas, I know better than to count on more than what is in front of me. What is here is enough to comprehend.
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Format: Paperback
I found all three books fun to read, intellectually fascinating, and a bit addictive. A must read for any noir fan, and an intrigue for any reader. Unusual storyline, characters, and plot twists. Will Baer has a unique writing style that adds to the flavor of the novels. Excellent service on the part of Amazon, aswell.
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Format: Paperback
When you buy "Phineas Poe" you are buying the full set of f Poe books written by Will Christopher Baer, and for the affordable price of 19 bucks, this is a good enough price for a good chunk of modern noir literature.

This is like no noir I've read before, though. To be shockingly sincere, the three stories contained in this volume, at their core, are pretty simplistic and other than the first book ("Kiss my, Judas") they really don't seem to go anywhere. This is not a bad thing, by any means, but fast passed action readers are better off away from this one brick.

"Kiss me, Judas" opens with ex-cop and suspected wife killer turned junkie, Phineas Poe, fresh out of a mental institution and enjoying himself some drinks in a bar. The very first paragraph sets the tone not only of this book, but the whole trilogy, and they carry the same cold, sharp as a scalpel, feel of William Gibson's opening words in "Neuromancer". The plot begins as a revenge story but then it gives an unexpected turn and before you know it you are reading a story with a whole different intent and a twisted take on a familiar genre.

"Penny Dreadful", although the second book in the trilogy, is not exactly a sequel. You could easily skip it out and go to the next book, but I wouldn't recommend that. Personally, I think this is the weakest of the three books, although I have a friend who is a James Joyce fan and is madly in love with this book for obvious reasons. It is also the weirdest one and Phineas Poe finds himself surrounded by a troupe of grade A freaks who had played a little bit too much Dungeons and Dragons while at the S&M club.

"Hell's Half Acre", is the true sequel to the first book.
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Format: Paperback
I realize that I've been reading "Kiss Me, Judas" and its sequels for about a decade now. The first copy of the first book is now held together solely by tape, which seems fitting. I would advise anyone who comes across this collection to buy it.

The books to me are Phineas Poe's submissive exploration of other folks' pleasures. I don't mean sex. There is enough of that, but it's hardly inspiring - after organ theft, object rape, and blood-borne disease, one could walk away from the trilogy a little suspicious of the entire endeavor. Rather, we are exposed to a variety of alternative indulgences.

One of the major themes as I read it, in fact, is that it's safer to sublimate the sexual impulse. Self-destructive Phineas seems safest at the end of a gun, scalpel, fist or boot, or muling drugs, or drinking whatever's put in front of him. He's never in more peril than with a woman. (I note that the books are as misogynistic as Jude is representative; i.e. not at all.)

I'm not sure why I like the books so much. You never forget your first, I suppose, and I hadn't read anything from the genre. Never mind that I still haven't read anything like it.
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