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A Book of Revelations Paperback – June 13, 2016
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Drag performers, detectives, and community moguls meet in Burch's (The Homeport Journals, 2015, etc.) collection, which features coming-out stories with a twist. All the stories in this collection have the feel of cautionary tales... Burch weaves a collection of crackerjack plot twists in which unlikely heroes seize the day.
A colorful topography of mostly LGBT-related outings, forays, and adventures.
While distinctly different, each story is inhabited by characters who exist on the fringes until they're flung into storylines where they're forced to collide with other people and previously unknown facets of themselves.
A maestro delivers his final, electrifying performance; a college dean's valediction doesn't quite go according to plan; a femme fatale's true identity is exposed.
Secrets and surprises come tumbling out of this engaging collection of short stories. Here, the reader will encounter boisterous broads and bejeweled dowagers, acerbic turns of phrase and irreverent outbursts.
Capturing the salty sea breezes of Cape Cod and the Caribbean along with the heady buzz of Boston and the pretense of Palm Beach, these tales of the unexpected convey wit, joie de vivre, humanity, and gaiety. Readers will relish A Book of Revelations, long after their secrets have been revealed.
James Carson, contributor, Berlin Stories.
Extremely well written, both in style and form, these short stories examine the variety within the Community, for there is such a rainbow of diversity within the rainbow of queer life. It can be read all at once or each story can be savored in its own right. For fans of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series, this is reminiscent of these books with the intriguing characters and numerous plot lines, albeit in short story form instead of novels. For younger readers or those not familiar with Maupin's work, it is a lesson in queer and trans life, with all the ups and downs of humanity. Sometimes raw and painful, sometimes sweet and loving, it encompasses the living and the dying.
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Top Customer Reviews
When considered alongside Mr. Burch's debut novel, The Homeport Journals, these two very different offerings demonstrate his flexibility and creativity as a writer. I look forward to his future works.
This is an eclectic collection of stories emanating from the periphery of society, from characters who have been marginalized, sometimes by choice, too often by circumstance, but who manage to find their voices within the oddest of constructs—accidents of fate, of consanguinity, of shared passion and understanding.
There are mysteries to solve, heroic acts to perform under the radar, tales to tell—tall or otherwise—and always, at the core, we discover how our humanity creates touchstones and opportunities to be more than we ever thought possible.
No doubt each tale will resonate differently for each reader, but for me there were three that stood out, touching me in ways I have difficulty expressing…
“Curtain Call” sliced away the artifice created for players on a stage mimicking life, the narrative so incisive you never question, yet at the end you always knew. Wearing that skin, that persona was a revelation.
“Götterdämmerung” is a homage to a beauty one can only understand at a visceral level, when magic and the muses, talent and desire, coalesce in transient perfection so powerful it stuns all to silence. It bears witness to respect at many levels: for the music, for the vision of the composer, for the instruments and their humble servants who lift the notes and elevate them to art. And passion, passion so intense, so intimate and perfect and fleeting… I wept.
“Last Chance” was nominally a mystery, yet it unfolded as a character study and a challenge, with no safety net and few guideposts to point the way forward. The author dazzles the reader with subterfuge, then strips away the mask, revealing harsh choices that touch on every level of who and what that character is.
A Book of Revelations delivers on its promise. It will surprise, sadden, delight, shock, and most likely bring you to tears more than once. It is a tour de force of masterful storytelling, exquisite wordsmithing and penetrating insights into those forced to live out their lives on the periphery of acceptance, never quite measuring up. It also offers hope and those gentle lessons that remind us we are all more than we seem, to others, but mostly to ourselves.
I give A Book of Revelations my highest regard and recommendation. An enthusiastic FIVE STARS. I already have the print copy on order for my permanent collection.
This book was given to GGR-Reviews for a fair and honest review.
Boy are they worth reading. Sometimes I wonder where authors get their inspiration from, what it is that makes them come up with such exquisite, delicious stories. Some moved me more than others, and I'd like to call out a couple, who really had my imagination run amok, and my mind do double flips backwards in order to wrap what little mind I have to around the content and the message they convey.
The first story is Curtain Call, and boy did that pull a number on me. I can't really talk much about it without giving away the twist, which resembles the sort of sixth sense ending. Read that story, it's going to undo you. It sure did work a number on me, and still does.
The second number is Götterdämmerung, a story where I think we get a glimpse of the author himself, a trained professional musician, and the story about an orchestra and its maestro. It's sublime, and as someone who really loves the opera and classical music, this oeuvre was totally down my alley.
My favorite though, and I think that has to do with my story, Alex, in Shorts, is called Last Chance, and it's about a murder investigation. The detective reminded me a bit about the detective in The Slasher, but naturally, he's very different, but boy, that story? Wow!
Now, A Book of Revelations is a very different book, and I love it for it. A.C has a way with words, I already found that to be the case in The Home Port Journals. There, it all plays out in Provincetown. In this book, we move leisurely between there, Florida and the cities of New York and Boston in between. I've been thinking how to put into words what it is that makes A.C.'s books so special, without sounding like a prick. Several of the stories, and the Home Port Journals, play out in what I can only describe as "high society", for lack of a better term. The members of that society are often a bit older, some have money, some very old money, others have not. There are lush gatherings, soirées, dinners, dances and concerts, large ones and small recitals. What A.C. conjures up is a world to which I do not belong, never have nor had a desire to. The mere mention of "can you do a black tie in an hour?" would have me run the other way, not because of the timing, I love an impromptu soirée (who doesn't?), but I hate black tie.
Instead I get to enjoy it all from the safe distance of the book's pages. And not only that, the writing is as beautiful as the gatherings they depict, and A.C. is an exquisite painter of settings, locales. I know from my own writing just how difficult it is to paint a scene, and I often choose to forgo lengthy descriptions, simply because I can't, and rather than boring readers with my inept attempts, I go for the action. Here you read about cleavage in so many colors you think you're looking at a Renoir, and you get to observe the abyss of human emotion as if you're staring at Munch's "Skriet" or one of Dalí's limp watches. Let me say this as plainly as I can: very few authors I've ever read are capable of such beauty with words, no matter whether the scene he describes is a house being burned to the ground by homophobes or a lonely funeral at one of those awful funeral homes. A.C. transports you right into that spot.
Now one can always try to wonder why we write the books we write, and I've been known to do that. And I have, on occasion, done that reading this book. However, A Book of Revelations is not getting any better if I knew if and where A.C. the person was, nor why he's drawn to write some of the strongest and quirkiest female characters in the history of literature. No matter why or how, I'm very grateful for every chance he gets to paint another one of those stories, and I'll make sure to hang at the door knob, wanting to read it!
All of the stories have an element of slightly dark humor to them. Aside from a certain sense of humor, the tales vary widely, although you'll sense some common themes, and while some have happy endings, others do not. Some of the main characters aren't very likable, although all of them come across as people you might recognize.
By the time you get to the longest story, Last Chance, you'll probably have a good idea within the first few pages what the main plot twist will be, but chances are you won't be too sure about which way things will go from there.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Things are not always what they seem and the stories told within this amazing collection will provide you with insights to different...Read more