- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Zumaya Boundless (December 18, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612710689
- ISBN-13: 978-1612710686
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,820,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ebenezer Paperback – December 18, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
JoSelle Vanderhooft is an author, editor, poet, journalist, with a passion for LGBTQ books—especially the LB and T. Her anthology Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in 2012, and her co-edited anthologies Hellebore & Rue (with Catherine Lundoff) and Heiresses of Russ 1 (with Steve Berman) finalists for the Golden Crown Literary Award, given annually for lesbian literature. Her poetry has also been nominated for the Rhysling Award and the 2008 Bram Stoker Award. Her other novel, The Tale of the Miller’s Daughter, was published in 2006 by Papaveria Press and is scheduled to be reprinted soon. Her other anthologies include more installments in the popular Steam-Powered series and the seventh volume of the popular WisCon Chronicles, which is scheduled for publication in 2013 and explores themes related to the con, fandom, and disability. She is currently working on a trilogy of interlocking Cinderella stories tentatively titled Transports of Delight and a poetry collection about death in various world cultures. A consummate fan of artisan perfume, yuri anime and manga, fairy tales, jewelry making, and anything to do with Doctor Who, Jo lives in South Florida with her partner, a beautiful orange tabby named Oscar and a stray cat named Kia who she’d like to adopt. She is a full-time editor and writer and would love to help you with your manuscript, if you’re into that sort of thing.
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Top customer reviews
Unlike Dickens' Scrooge, this Ebenezer doesn't have vast wealth to make everything better for everyone, either; she's an ordinary person who has to live with the consequences of what she's done, and can change the world only by working with other people. That's life too. If Vanderhooft was aiming to use fantasy to show life as it is, with its ups and downs and quirks, I'd say she's succeeded.
It's not the sort of happily-ever-after Dickens wrote, but might be more inspiring for that.
I think the problem with using a classic like "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens that we all know and love as the template for a modern retelling (however loosely) is that we're going to expect a little magic like the original... maybe some strong characterization and an ending that is as fulfilling as Scrooge is flawed.
Technically, this is well-written. It's the storytelling that I take issue with. I didn't even take issue with the subject matter. This is a very bleak story-- only not in a very interesting way. I spent 80% of this book kinda bored and half-engaged in all her darkness... and it ended not with a bang, but a whimper...
Instead of Scrooge, we meet New York lesbian Ebenezer. She is on the cusp of 30 and giving in to what appears to be some level of hereditary mental illness. She's not some greedy old miser rolling in money... she's a poor debt collector wallowing in depression and inertia. She once aspired to be an actress, but somehow she just kinda gave up and found her way into a terrible job where she is forced to harass people over the phone into paying their bills. She doesn't even seem to be very good at it and is barely meeting her quota (I didn't find her to be mean and cruel or Scrooge-like at all-- and I kinda wanted her to be!). In the last year she's sunk deeper than ever into her misery and when she loses her longtime girlfriend Marley, the story really kicks in.
In come the ghosts of her past, present, and future. Unfortunately, none of them show up with a bottle of Prozac. Instead we're dragged through her sad childhood and her disconnection with the present and that ol' inevitable future which is just plain ugly.
There is a lesbian here and the remnants of a relationship past, but DO NOT choose this story with the expectation of romance (or comedy)... not that I needed these things to enjoy it... just sayin' don't expect it. There is little to laugh about in this book. I know we enjoy love being part of our happy endings... but this is a journey of the self and self-awareness. This is about an ordinary person struggling with the hand she's been dealt in life. And there are no magical answers to her misery.
The ideas are certainly interesting and if you identify with this topic or find a fascination with it then maybe it will draw you in more... personally, I just found the characterization of Ebenezer to be much too bland and the overall ride dull and unsatisfying. I don't know... perhaps it takes a certain mood or space to truly appreciate this one.
Most recent customer reviews
What a beautiful, breathtaking, emotionally gripping twist on the A Christmas Carol...Read more