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How to Kill Your Boyfriend (in 10 Easy Steps) Paperback – June 20, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Bernard's wacky but wit-deficient story revolves around Dr. Vera Alexander, a radio talk-show psychologist who specializes in sexual ennui, and her bizarre friendship with the woman who kidnaps her. Vera's captor, Stacy, has sought Vera out for her expertise, objectivity and because her voice "helped Stacy to feel better somehow" in the troubling turn her love life has taken: after Stacy's boyfriend pluges to his death on a mountain hike, he somehow comes back to life. Stranger still, Stacy has taken it upon herself to kill him-twice-with the same results. Complications set in as these Mulder and Scully-meets-Thelma and Louise types repeatedly murder Stacy's boyfriend, trying to uncover "more loopholes in reality." . Bernard (God in the Image of Woman) aspires to cross the gore of Chuck Palahniuk with the irreverence of Christopher Moore, but flat dialogue and a clunky, exposition-heavy resolution make this novel feel like little more than a mordant premise wrought three hundred pages long.
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"A stunning, imaginative walk along the wild side, with a deliciously twisted premise that you won't soon forget. Readers tired of the same old-same old would do well to pick up this book."
-- Brandon Massey, author of The Other Brother
"This story will leave you howling, 'Oh no he didn't!'"
-- Tina Brooks McKinney, Author of All That Drama and Lawd, Mo' Drama
"This ain't your mama's chick-lit. But it's sisterhood, all right -- with an edge -- and D.V. Bernard has cleverly combined the feminine mystique of Diabolique with the wit of Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys." -- Christopher Chambers, author of Sympathy for the Devil and A Prayer for Deliverance
"This is the most humorous book of the decade and D.V. Bernard is destined for greatness!"
-- Zane, NY Times Bestselling Author of Afterburn
Top customer reviews
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This book begins when a young woman, Stacy, who claims to have killed her boy friend. She abducts Dr. Vera, a famous radio call-in host and psychologist. Like anyone with good sense, Vera tries to get away but Stacy forces her to get into a van where her boyfriend's nude corpse is. Vera is shocked by the events taking place, but she is even more undone when the boyfriend comes back to life. She almost completely loses it when she realizes this is not the first time Stacy has killed him.
After the initial insanity of it all, like a true psychologist, Vera becomes fascinated with this phenomenon and soon is under Stacy's influence. We find that every time Stacy kills her boyfriend, when he is brought back she is able to shape his memories because he only remembers what they tell him. With each death and life situation, bizarre adventures and mishaps happen and both women seem to lose a bit of themselves.
Talk about a book that comes from another place. The concept of this book is completely unique in comparison to anything I have read. Mr. Bernard does not just throw an idea at his readers and leave them to put it together for themselves, he painstakingly walks you through this alternate reality. While this is completely needed, this reader grew anxious for him to just get to the point. His use of dark comedy is done well and the comic absurdity of some things that happen kept this reader from being completely disturbed by other events.
Mr. Bernard is also very gifted in challenging social mores, which I believe comes from his sociological background. There is a section in the book where Stacy and Vera discuss morality. The basic premise is "need usurps morality." Whether you agree with that or not you will think about your belief structures and that is not a bad thing. Stacy also makes Vera question everything she knows about herself personally and the knowledge she has gained academically through random thoughts and stories. There honestly could be a development of anthology of sorts with just these "Stacy stories". At the very end of the book, Mr. Bernard gives the reader a look at one of Stacy's stories that he edited from the completed manuscript. It was wild.
Bernard is a true "wordsmith" however as with most who have this gift they can get a bit "long in the tooth." I found myself in some cases scanning through it but having to go back to fully understand. Also the resolution of the story was reminiscent of the end of a rollercoaster ride where you felt like you should have had one more loop to make it a totally awesome experience
This book is a definite read for someone who is ready for something different, has a bit of patience and open to a new way of thinking.
D. V. Bernard is quickly establishing himself as a highly creative writer who can create compelling stories across genres. His use of dark comedy is effective, yet, HOW TO KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND IN TEN EASY STEPS is the kind of story readers will most likely either love or hate. There are moments when the plot stalls slightly, but throughout, the author is setting the stage for future unpredictable scenes. As the story unfolded, there were many times I felt as if I was missing some clue that would suddenly make me understand the characters more clearly, but it wasn't until the very end that I had my "Aha!" moment and I completely understood what was happening. Love it or hate it, HOW TO KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND IN TEN EASY STEPS is not a book that will easily be forgotten--if you are looking for a story that is totally fresh and unique, this is one to consider because I can pretty much promise it won't be what you expect. And as a hint, when you read, pay close attention to character names, they add to the humor because some of them share the names of other Strebor authors and staff. I liken reading this tale to going on a treasure hunt with only part of the map, as you find pieces along the way the journey seems clearer, but it isn't until you reach the treasure that everything makes sense.
Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers