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Love Is the Law Mass Market Paperback – October 15, 2013
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"Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch is a brilliantly plotted, relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy. See more
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About the Author
Nick Mamatas is the author of several novels including Sensation and The Damned Highway (with Brian Keene). His short stories have appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, The New Haven Review, and the anthologies Lovecraft Unbound and Long Island Noir, among many other venues. With Ellen Datlow, he co-edited the Bram Stoker Award-winning anthology Haunted Legends. Nick's fiction and work as an editor and anthologist has been nominated for the Hugo, World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, and four other Bram Stoker Awards. He lives in Berekley, California.
Top Customer Reviews
Now, Trotsky and Communism and worker's revolutions I don't get as much, mostly due to my being Canadian (socialist utopia, I'm told!) and a woeful lack of education in these matters (as well as the disinterest bred into me by capitalist fear-mongering? Mmm possibly...) but I am fine with that, too, because Love Is The Law is a not a book about Thelema or Communism per se; I'll borrow from the alchemy here and say it's a crucible into which Mamatas has tossed those things along with 80s punk aesthetic, family disintegration, drug addiction, murder, conspiracy, a grimoire's worth of black humour and just a smidge of redemption.
On the surface of it, Love Is The Law shouldn't work: the above elements too disparate, the suburban Long Island setting too hermetic, and so on. But it's a crucible, and though the process of reading it is rough in spots -- there are some brutal characters here, Dawn's crack addict father for one, Dawn herself for another -- what comes out the other end of that process is gold.
It all hangs together beautifully, and watching it happen is as close to storytelling magic as I've seen recently.Read more ›
Love is the Law is a Catcher in the Rye updated for modern (but still pre-millennial) times. Dawn Seliger has long shed Holden Caulfield's pre-pubescent hangups with sex and status and replaced them with her own prepossessions: Will, and Communist revolution. These are far weightier subjects, and she is a much more interesting character because of it. Both the Thelema and the Trotskyism seemed accurate to me (an educated layperson but not an initiate), and the novel also very successfully expresses its setting's zeitgeist, which is still in living memory for most of us -- a welcome contrast to the Salinger. All of these are considerations which would justify replacing Catcher with Love in the canon; on the downside, Mamatas's book is far too frank on the subjects of sex and magick to make it past high school censors.
Mamatas successfully ties the disparate elements I mentioned above -- sex, magick, alienation, murder, and the battle (arcane and otherwise) of communism and capitalism -- into a well-told noir thriller. Highly recommended.
Our protagonist is Dawn, the aforementioned punk rock Nancy Drew, and also the ultimate latchkey kid - her entire family has been consumed, one way or another, by various demons, leaving her basically on her own, save for her Bernstein, her mentor and initiator. The novel opens, however, with Bernstein dead of an apparent suicide that Dawn believes was actually murder. Her magical education and initiation not yet complete, she sets out to discover the identity of Bernstein's assassin. Dawn is a jarring character in many ways. Two come particularly to mind: her casual relationship to sex during the height of AIDS, and her vulnerability when faced with Bernstein's fellow initiates as they act out their designs. IMO she's all the more jarring because, in the final analysis, she's realistic, both as an eighties punk rock girl, and as an exemplar of how a neophyte, with her inner cop kept in check but still unaware of her deeper motives, should act.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was really impressed with this book; I had followed Mamatas on Live Journal for awhile before Love Is The Law, & honestly I felt a little obligated to buy something. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Misty Warner
Well written novel with great characters. An overall fun read in a twisted way.Published 18 months ago by Justin
Growing up on the Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound, I had wondered what life was like on the thick swath of gray that blocked the horizon and the Atlantic from our view. Read morePublished 19 months ago by D.T. Griffith
This is Mamatas' first post-science fiction book, following his defection to crime, but its attitude towards its home genre is the same as ever for Mamatas' books. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Seth Ellis
A book about growing up, about learning how to be--in your own skin, & in the world-- & a book about Magick & Punk Rock. A noir novel, a novel of mystery. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Turbosatan
Author and editor Nick Mamatas brings together a lot of disparate elements together in his first long-form mystery. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Harry Connolly
This is a great summer read for someone who is looking for something that is fun, dark, and a little different. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Christopher White
I enjoyed this book immensely. An engrossing, nicely paced, hard to put down thriller. The angsty intellectual punk Marxist/Crowleyite anti-heroine Dawn is really a kick. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Timothy Evans
Mamatas' Love Is the Law earns all five of its stars, and not just the easy-to-get Amazon five stars, but the real deal this-novel-is-one-of-the-best-I've-read-in-years five stars. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Michael Smith