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Shades of Luz Paperback – August 31, 2009

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"A coming of age story... refreshing to read because it is empty of dysfunctional characters."
-- Weam Namou, author of The Feminine Art and The Mismatched Braid

"With a happy facility for words... John Gorman shapes Shades of Luz into an antic, frantic, cockeyed search for love and meaning. This wonderfully odd story introduces us to a marvelously inventive universe with tough guys, loony broads, jazz-playing monkeys and surprises that can change our lives."
-- Karen Heuler, author of The Soft Room

About the Author

John Gorman's stories have been published in Mississippi Review, Writer's Digest, The Helix, Quarterly Literary Review of Singapore, Word Riot, Monkeybicycle, and elsewhere. He won the 2003 NY Int'l Indie Film and Video Festival screenplay competition with "For the Love of Auntie". He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. He lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: All Things That Matter Press (August 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098409847X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984098477
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,190,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Before his stories made their way into print John snapped the Eyesore of the Week Photos for the Queens Ledger. Now he spits wine for a living. Some of his his recent work has appeared in Monkeybicycle, Twisted Vine, Gravel, Turk's Head Review, The Vehicle, Newtown Literary, The Helix, and Writer's Digest. In 2003, his screenplay "For the Love of Auntie" won the NY International Independent Film and Video Festival writing competition. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NY Book Cafe on November 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Title: Shades of Luz
Author: John Gorman
ISBN: 978-0-9840984-7-7
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press

Shades of Luz is a whimsical love story with a touch of comedy. Gorman's quirky little novel is certainly entertaining for those with a sense a humor. Packed with suprises, Gorman displays his skill as a writer with this refreshing, yet somewhat unusual coming of age story. I would say Gorman's writing is compatible with Ben Winters and his quirky novels, Pride, Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

This story centers around Benny, a graduate school dropout. Without his graduate degree, times are tough. While he is selling stuffed animals on the street, he comes to meet Luz. Benny falls for Luz and falls hard. Luz, although periodically in and out of Benny's life, attempts to persuade him to go back to school and finish his thesis. Then there is Mungo. Through a strange series of circumstances, these two become a big part of each other's life, as Benny is forced to work for Mungo, who is an underworld bookie. We are then thrown into the bizarre world of thumb-wrestling, however, with Gorman's descriptiveness, one would think it was an MMA competition. Nevertheless, through it all, Benny's heart is set on Luz. Benny and Luz are subsequently reunited at his family's house, as the two of them share a memorable holiday dinner that neither of them will soon forget.

Gorman manages to keep this story going. Although many of the themes in this novel are a bit peculiar, and at times, a little eccentric, he does a fine job in keeping the interest of the reader. The characters are certainly rich while Benny is on his quest to get his girl. For a quick humorous fiction fix, Shades of Luz delivers!

[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debra Tenney on September 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Brute vulnerability emerges through the voice of Benny Fluke, a young street vendor exploited by an underground stock market operation that mistreats monkeys and geniuses alike. Beneath the surface of Benny's comme ci, comme ca disposition is a man yearning to break from his swirling patterns of dependence in order to venture into the dangerous adult world of survival. Gorman seamlessly weaves several unexpected plot threads together, creating a tapestry of unscrupulous industry and inimitable romance. A novel of exploitation, remorse, and hunger; it leaves its reader pleasantly unsettled.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jen Knox on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shades of Luz pulled me in with vivid, outlandish scenes and an engaging narrative voice. Full of passages that are equal parts innocent and strange, vivid and experimental, I found myself intrigued from the get and absorbed until the end. As a writer, I was left wondering, just how did an emerging author pull this off? As a reader, I was left wondering, when's Gorman's next book coming?
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