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Black as Snow by [Nolan, Nick]
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Black as Snow Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Length: 393 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jaime Flores Interviews Author Nick Nolan

Jaime Flores: So will you finally tell your readers about this new book? You’ve been driving me crazy with it for years, but you’ve kept everyone else in the dark.

Nick Nolan: Black as Snow is a deconstruction of Snow White--only it isn’t for kids; Black as Snow is violent and sexy and dark and funny…and it’s sure to stir some controversy--especially where I mash up sex with religion in one unforgettable scene.

Jaime Flores: That scene’s going to raise some hackles.

Nick Nolan: Yep.

Jaime Flores: Which elements from Snow White did you include?

Nick Nolan: Just about all, but only after standing them on their heads: Sebastian Black--he plays Snow White--is the messianic figurehead of a new "green" religion that celebrates evolution and the coming of the next species of Man; the dwarfs are people who’ve been marginalized by our society but who teach Sebastian what really matters; Sebastian’s "evil" mother is a religious prophet... although I’ve also sketched her with humor and pathos; there’s a love story and some straight sex and gay sex and Christian militants and drug addiction and tragedy. And there are scenes where you’ll laugh.

Jaime Flores: What about the poisoned apple?

Nick Nolan: Let’s just say there’s a poisoned Apple in the story.

Jaime Flores: So Sebastian’s supposed to be the "next species of Man?" Can you elaborate?

Nick Nolan: I think the emergence of the next human species is inevitable--if we don’t destroy the earth in the meantime. So I imagined what this evolved species might be like and created Sebastian as clairvoyant--in specific circumstances--and gave him enviable physical attributes... in other words, he’s clever and hot and gorgeous. But what I love about "perfect" Sebastian is how imperfect he really is: he’s arrogant and tender and selfish and vulnerable... just like we all are.

Jaime Flores: Why did you choose a religious movement as the backdrop for your story?

Nick Nolan: I think most of us are looking for spirituality that feels authentic. But I loathe those who prey upon people’s spiritual yearnings for their own benefit, and I show the explosive consequences that come from pig-headed, extremist views. But Black as Snow is not a book about religion, just as it’s not a book about what it’s like to be famous and beautiful…it’s really a story about love, and celebrating the golden magic of each day—even the boring, frustrating days.

Jaime Flores: So what’s the one thing you’d like readers to come away with after reading Black as Snow?

Nick Nolan: Mostly, I’d like my readers to have been entertained. But I’d also like people to read Tess’s words in the final scene and to consider their own sweet ghosts--those beloved people whom they’ve lost to fate and eternity... and then perhaps they might even look at their own spouses and partners and friends with "new eyes." And although I’ve written Black as Snow as a page-turner, it’s basically the story of how love thrills, transforms, and comforts--and ultimately unites us all.

Nick Nolan and Jaime Flores have been together since 1987. They live in Los Angeles with their two retrievers.


Review

From NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS: A mad dash to a surprising conclusion that even Sebastian couldn't predict, including a murder or two, a brutal hate crime, an unexpected love affair, an epic revenge plot, and an extremely controversial sex scene you won't soon forget....Bottom line: A skillfully paced and plotted adult thriller (for readers who aren't afraid of open discussions of sex, religion, and politics) written by an up-and-coming author whose career this booklover will now be watching with keen interest. --Frank Mundo

From EDGE MEDIA: "An absorbing and compassionate thriller that ultimately ties all its strands together with dexterity and ease...Nolan is an obvious talent. His prose is articulate and cultivated..." --Kyle Thomas Smith

From READER VIEWS: "Nolan's writing skills are so refined that he is able to bring each character to full life and there is no forgetting who each one is or what they depict in the story. The character development is well beyond any I've seen and Nolan's wordsmithing is incredible...It is difficult to place a genre on "Black as Snow" because it covers so many different aspects but don't let that fool you, it's a story that you would not forget very soon because, although fiction, it streams of reality of everyday life." --Irene Watson, Managing Editor

From BOOKLIST: The author of STRINGS ATTACHED (2007) and DOUBLE BOUND (2008) has reimagined Snow White as a modern and suspenseful saga of religious fanaticism, greed, and retribution. The preternaturally alluring and charismatic Sebastian Black has been groomed for the duration of his young adulthood to be the messiah of a new religion, a tiny spiritual movement that quickly finds its foothold and gains surprising popularity. When a sudden tragedy threatens the safety of the group's core, Sebastian flees his overbearing mother and comes face-to-face with the ordinary people from whom he's been sheltered. With these extra influences and new information about his origins, he is forced to decide how much faith he has in his future. Nolan's ambitious tale revolves around the slickly handsome Sebastian, a perfectly drawn villainess of a mother, and a surprisingly nuanced cast of supporting characters. Nolan takes some fairly wide liberties with the traditional Snow White story, but the basic themes are examined in a new and original way. BLACK AS SNOW is a charming, thrilling take on a classic tale. --Stephanie Turza

Praise for STRINGS ATTACHED and DOUBLE BOUND by Nick Nolan:

"...ingenious, modern, and utterly mesmerizing, STRINGS ATTACHED transcends genre and is simply a great story. --KATHLEEN McGOWAN, New York Times Bestselling Author

"The combination of intrigue, corruption and betrayal, coupled with desire and romance, makes [DOUBLE BOUND] a quintessential page-turner." --CHRISTOPHER VERLEGER, Lambda Literary

Product Details

  • File Size: 2415 KB
  • Print Length: 393 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (August 30, 2011)
  • Publication Date: August 30, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00546IDXG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kindle Customer VINE VOICE on August 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Being protected and adored can be fun.

The fun stops, though, when you try to help someone and, instead, you cause incredible damage.

This is the situation that Sebastian finds himself in. Suddenly his safe world starts to feel like a prison. Sebastian leaves and discovers that the world outside his sanctuary is different from what he expects--in both good and bad ways. His journey is complicated by a possessive mother who warns him about people wanting to harm him and people who really do want to harm him.

Sebastian's discovery is like a lot of classic stories: The protected child runs away and is amazed/shocked at what they find in the world. They are transformed, because their basic humanity and decency have a chance to grow.

Nolan's storyline is a unique invention for this classic storyline. The characters and action are interesting. Unfortunately, some of the characters are a little too stereotypical: It would have been nice to learn what makes them special. Sebastian feels fully developed (for a person his age) and held my interest as I read about his adventure.

Nolan's writing is clear and interesting, but there are times that he seems to be giving us a condensed version. In many ways, the writing seems to be directed at the young adult level (ages 18-25).

Overall, an interesting book, but a little too lightweight. As an early novel, it is OK, but it leaves me looking forward to later, more developed novels that this author will write.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For those who haven't read it, "The God Virus" is a seminarian's take on what makes religion so addictive. The author is particularly persuasive about the spiral of dependency where religion imposes taboos and requirements around basic human needs like food, sex and emotion which everyone inevitably breaks and for which absolution can only be obtained from the very organization that labeled these things bad in the first place.

This book reads, in part, like a practical and very topical morality play in which these elements are allowed to have free play. The venal cynicism of the mother who decides to exploit her son's gifts to create a new religion sound a bit like the late L R(edacted-because-they'd-probably-sue-me). The "bad guy" is completely believable as he exploits his adherents' weaknesses. (The hyper-Christian conspirator and her "demon-possessed" gay husband aren't a million miles away from a prominent political figure, either). Yet none of these reads like a parody; the characters are distinct, fully formed, and enmeshed in a plot that moves with the elegance and inevitability of a Greek tragedy. None of the human elements is in the slightest bit implausible, and each reaction proceeds from a perfectly logical action or decision. A clever operator can use our weaknesses to make us do "God's work," which different people have come to see as anything from adopting a stray dog to joining a militia in defence of the faith. "Black as Snow" is a chillingly low-key, well-plotted exploration of the way that can happen.

While comparisons can be drawn to everything from Snow White to Dan Brown's blockbusters, it never feels deeply derivative. On its own terms, it's a satisfying, well-plotted suspense novel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished this book a few hours ago, and that's how long it's taken me to write this review. Not because I don't have the words, but once I finished it, I still felt a rollercoaster of emotions. I could tell within the first few pages of Black As Snow, this would be a story unlike anything I've ever read.
Sebastian Black, a young, handsome telepathic evangelist, escapes his controlling mother Kitty and their spiritual movement Evo-Love in order to find peace -and to escape from religious groups threatening to kill him. Along the way, he meets a variety of characters (few of them you may remember from Strings Attached and Double Bound) that play a big role in the story, and in Sebastian's life. He realizes how much he wants his life to change -just as his life is put in danger.
I can't tell you more without spoiling the novel, but this is no ordinary tale of love, friendship, betrayal, and suspense. I was on the edge of my seat, needing to read what happens next to Sebastian. I was furious with Kitty and shocked in her role of things...let's just say she is no Mother of the Year! I was sick over the religious group, of how they believe God supports them to do such horrid acts of hate. My heart warmed with each character Sebastian met along his travels and the lessons accompanied with them. I cried over what happened to Mateo and the communication between him and Sebastian. I was in awe of Sebastian's telepathic/psychic abilities. The ending made me so proud of Sebastian, and the last paragraph of the story- it opened my heart and shed some light on my own grief. I love Nick's notes and acknowledgements at the end; reading his inspiration for the story had me smiling through tears. What an amazing journey Black As Snow took me through, and it will stay with me for a long time <3
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