- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Caradeloca Press; 2nd Print Edition edition (April 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615336817
- ISBN-13: 978-0615336817
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,941,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Loisaida -- A New York Story Paperback – April 3, 2015
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About the Author
Marion Stein is a New York based fiction writer and blogger.
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Top customer reviews
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As a work of literary or general fiction, "Loisaida" is excellent. Written from the point of view of different characters and constantly switching from one character to another is an approach that can be difficult for the reader to follow, but I didn't find this to be a problem because Stein's characters are finely drawn when first introduced. Despite having a large cast, keeping track of the current point of view and how each character connects with the others was rather easy. Although this approach is hard to execute well, Stein did just that. The characters, their stories, and the flavor of the place and time were entertaining and held my interest.
As the story progresses one person emerges as the central character. Peter, an actor turned journalist sees a possible book deal if he can uncover the full story behind the murder and dismemberment of Ingrid, an aspiring dancer. The mentally unstable suspect in custody was almost certainly involved, but rumors that indicate others were involved swirl around. The mystery of who was involved in Ingrid's murder and exactly what happened ties most of the characters together. While there are other significant plot threads, solving the murder was the most significant.
It is the mystery, central to the plot, where evaluating "Loisaida" gets tricky. Avoiding spoilers while explaining is also difficult. The book description doesn't imply you're reading a mystery. Yet, to the reader, there is a point where it will begin feeling like a mystery. How the story ends and the way the mystery is resolved may be disconcerting for some readers. It was for me. Yet, there is nothing inherently wrong with the ending. Given the story arc, it is more realistic than the ending you might anticipate. That my preconceptions were shaken up when the story took an unexpected turn was a good thing. Understanding why the ending felt wrong ... well, that was tricky.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog.**
Marion has full mastery of all of the literary techniques of the Twentieth century -- modernist, post-modernist, beat, punk. And here she unobtrusively applies all of these techniques to achieve her goals, elevating the noir thriller to an art form, revealing the depth of human frailty and self-conceit, and above all painting the mural of an urban region as diverse as it is dirty.
You'll be picking the grit out of your teeth for a long time after reading this one. And you will find yourself unable to put it down, unless it is to applaud the author on a job well done.
Based on a true murder, Loisaida follows an actor-cum-journalist, Peter Teller, who sets out on a quest to solve the murder of Ingrid Hess, a beautiful woman whom he almost picked up just weeks before her death. As Peter's investigation pulls him further into the underworld of late-80's New York, this reader could almost feel the hot water starting to boil under Peter's feet - though Peter, of course, could not.
Ms. Stein's writing style is, in turns, staccato, lyrical, and enthralling. She switches between points of view with ease and clarity and her use of present-tense prose was particularly compelling. I found very little wrong with the novel as a whole, despite the author's somewhat idiosyncratic use of commas. There were a few typos and misspellings as well, but not enough to cause irritation.
With plenty of savory scenes and meaty characters, this gritty-city novel deserves more attention than it has gotten thus far. I truly admire this author's skill with the written word and can only hope that she will cook up another novel soon.
I don't remember how I came across this book on Amazon but I recall that the cover caught my eye. After reading through the storyline I decided to take a risk. Wow. I have not been able to put this book down. Broadly speaking it takes place in the 80s in the Lower East Side and there is a murder and a collection of some very interesting folks who are intertwined in it. The characters are so well developed and the story does not miss a beat or get boring in any places. I found myself in bed saying, "Okay, just one more chapter and then I'll go to sleep." The most challenging part of this book is that it had to end!
I also appreciated all of the bohemian flavor that came out of the writing. I could picture each character and the settings. There is a good dose of drug use (including Ibogaine, which doesn't show-up often), sex, black magic / satanism, strippers, runaways, high society and skid row, late nights and early mornings at diners, and each person trying to make sense of his/her reality. One thing that may have been nice would have been to include references to some 80s music to enhance some of the scenes.
As an academic who reads a lot of professional journals mixed-in with various spiritual books, "Loisaida" was an absolute treat! Go treat yourself and buy this book.
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