3:53 a.m.: Book 1 Kindle Edition
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- File Size : 222 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 47 pages
- ASIN : B00C3341BG
- Publication Date : January 2, 2014
- Language: : English
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,287,138 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As is my usual style, first the good points: The entire first section - from the character called Fat Boy's point of view - was fast, intriguing and well layered; I felt like I was really getting into this character's mindset, feeling the panic and well-buried self-loathing. The writing was jumbled, crude and vulgar, but in a way that seemed to be intentional; stream of consciousness from a deeply disturbed mind.
The scene where the killer is revealed, their motivation uncovered and the truth of what happened one dark night was handled well and was suitably twisted; perhaps because I've got a family history full of mental disorders and have been in more than my share of abusive relationships, I always enjoy a twisted love story and I felt this delivered on the theme.
Now, the downsides: Past the first section, the jumbled language continues but seems to be less authentic and more of a case of hurrying without going back to edit later. The characters seem too calm for their heads to be so messy - broken and half-psychotic, yes, but manically fractured, no. I think either a little more fleshing out of the characters - to show that the style fits their mindsets - or a good edit job would help significantly; it would also address two of my other concerns, those being the punctuation - which turns spotty halfway through - and the formatting - which has several instances of extra white space, often mid-sentence, a random duplicate and hyperlinked word, and odd "checkboxes" that would seem to be image placeholders of some kind scattered throughout the manuscript.
While I enjoyed the "screenplay" sequence - anything that gets us into a given character's head is good, especially in a brief piece as this one is - the final sequence felt somewhat tacked on and unnecessary; had the overall work been longer, perhaps with more references to the screenplay or the apparent real-life figures it's referring to, it might have had a place, but as it is, it seems to just stick out like a rudimentary tail.
Some folks are going to read this and be disgusted; they probably should be. All these characters are, in their own ways, repulsive human beings. But isn't half the point of fiction the ability to step into someone else's shoes, particularly someone who you could never (and probably wouldn't want to) be? Crawling into the minds of Fat Boy, Dylan, Becky and Sam is an uncomfortable experience... and it should be. To me it's always a good thing if the author can make me feel something for the characters, even if that something isn't exactly nice; Columbus does this admirably.
Overall, for someone looking for a quick read with seriously warped content, this is probably worth at least a poke, but only those with strong stomachs and a willingness to overlook the rules of English for a bit should apply. With a bit of work - cleaning up the punctuation and formatting, maybe some tweaks to the presentation, and dropping the "epilogue" - I'd be willing to give this a slightly higher score... but I honestly think that an overall expansion - going more into these character's psyches, their daily activities without the feeling of being rushed through them, or more about the people in their lives that led them to this point, perhaps with more focus on the screenplay and the ultimate punchline - is probably the best course, and something I'd definitely be interested in seeing.
It was advertised at the end of the book 3:00 am so I assumed it was a continuation and just bought it. I wish I'd read the synopsis 1st. Total waste of time and $.99.
First of all, this author's writing style is definitely unique but solid. The author knows how to tell a good story. Taking into account that this is somewhere between a short story and a novella, the author did a pretty good job at creating characters that are complex while writing within the confines of a small space.
This story starts out strange, but I urge people to stick with it. There are several characters that play a role, revolving around a shared event in their past. What's unique about this story is that the author weaves the tale through the eyes of all characters involved and does so well. No loose ends, and as the storyline progresses, the readers learn more through each character's experiences; all building up to a suspenseful conclusion that I did not expect.
Now as to my title choice. While I understand the need to go into some detail about each individuals 'sexual' escapades and habits insofaras moving the story along, I did find it to be a tad excessive. As the reader, it doesn't take much for me to understand a character's sexuality and how it relates to the story. The repeated references to masturbation and other equally explicit sexual content actually jolted me out of the story on more than one occassion. I found myself saying "Gah! I get it already. The guy likes to play with his own fiddle! A LOT!! Back to the plot please!"
With that said, I'm not naive. Graphic sex often go hand in hand with the horror genre (not always obviously); nor am I a prude when it comes to this, or the book would not be getting a high review from me. The purpose in mentioning this is to let the author know that as a reader, I found it to be a bit overdone, to the point of taking my attention away from the story when the author had the opportunity to pull my attention further into the story. I feel it needs to be scaled back just a bit, but that's just my opinion. Other readers may not feel the same way. The other purpose in mentioning this is to make other potential readers aware of the sexual content so they aren't surprised by it and leave scathing reviews as a result. I've seen that happen many times, which is unfortunate both for the reader that had no idea AND for the author that worked very hard. So I'm hoping this helps avoid that situation. With that said, potential readers, it is not so graphic that an average reader of horror would be offended. To reiterate a previous point, most of the sexual descriptions are necessary to further develop the characters and the plot. I cannot say how, or that would spoil what happens to be a very good read.
Overall, I recommend this book. It's a good book to read if you have 30 minutes to an hour to spare, as its hard to put down once you start. I enjoyed reading it, it's edited quite well (huge plus), and the author is one hell of a story teller, excessive masturbation aside (wink). I will be looking for other books by this author. Well done.
The plot of the actual story was tolerably interesting, though I'm never a fan of amnesia as a plot device. It had potential. Intriguing structures, some clear attempts at structural support of the themes.
But no. Nope. All of the nope. I'm giving the nope to you. Here it is. You can keep it.
This is a that is not written for the reader, but written because they needed telling.
3:53a.m brings to mind the stories of Irvine Welsh. It's just as dark and uncomfortable.
Top reviews from other countries
It's a short read -- I polished it off in an hour -- and best read in one sitting for best effect.
The story and writing deserve 5 stars but I had to penalize it one because of some editing and formatting issues. The story really needs paragaph breaks between dialogue instead of large blocks of text which hamper reading somewhat. Some proofreading is also in order.
Still, the book was FREE and was a good, entertaining read. Dark and gritty. I liked the author's handling of the story and it had some surprising twists and turns.