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Pale Criminal Kindle Edition
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Not only because of the deft presentation of an intricate plot, but also because of the gorgeously evocative images whose description will both awe and disgust you.
PALE CRIMINAL introduces a family of three, smashed into pieces when the protagonist, Joel, is only a young boy. Beginning with the shocking death of his ingenious and loving mother, Joel, who is equally gifted, begins to unravel in a seemingly malevolent world, bereft of clarity and morality. His cold, indefatigable father achieves an omnipresence in Joel's life, in spite of the fact that Joel goes for years without seeing Him. The role of Joel's powerful and irascible father in this symbolic plot addresses the brutal supremacy of "blood" in a world bound by reason, and questions the very existence of a deity.
This creepy and unusual book will challenge you intellectually (lots of 50 cent words that will remind you of Nabokov), philosophically, polemically, and emotionally. There are truly gut-wrenching scenes in PALE CRIMINAL that will leave you verging on tears. There is also a wealth of masterfully executed description in this poignant book that will have the same effect. There is, however, no lack of wit and humor.
Openly inspired by Dostoevsky's masterpiece, DEMONS, this eerie book rivals the greats in all aspects and will stalk you throughout the day like a vivid dream...or nightmare.
Truly astounding. Enjoy.
The story was compelling enough that I had to find out how it ended as fast as I could with my first reading. My second time through was as rewarding as repeated viewings of great movies like The Usual Suspects, Miller's Crossing, Fight Club, and The Royal Tenenbaums. I dig those moments where I realize "wow, I missed that the first time!" There were plenty of those in Pale Criminal.
What I loved about the text is that it offers up so much so succinctly. Here's an example, "A triangle of yesterday's cherry sat bleeding in the pie case." That imagery is so vivid . . . I can see the lumpy, gooey red just oozing out from between the pastry. There are landscape descriptions with a depth that remind me of Blood Meridian. There are believable character descriptions, like the veins in Joel Gasteneau's arm that depress with a touch but pop right back up, that anyone can relate to. Is the dialog occasionally a bit dense? Yes, yes it is, but that also lends a bit of credibility to the character's conversations because the stakes are so high.
And here's the thing, this is a reader's book. If you enjoy reading and consider yourself well read, you'll get many of the references and you'll enjoy the rich vocabulary like the "noctivagant creatures" which wander about the night. I had to look that one up, but thankfully that is one more word in my vocabulary tool chest. And there are more, lots more.
Pale Criminal is an outstanding read.
This is one of the strangest books I have ever read.
My mind is humming around the edges from the ethereal quality of the writing ... and pounding from concentrating on the explicit amount of "philosophy."
The writing was lyric, beautiful even. Anytime I start reading anything which captures my lyric heart, I want to know more about the author. Therein was, perhaps, my first mistake.
I went to his website/blog and while pulling up random blog posts felt like I was watching a superball with ADD bouncing around the room-- one which would stop every so often, show off its stunning striated colors, only to hurl itself against the walls again-- desperate to hit on everything.
The character of Joel Gasteneau is desperately seeking something. Truth? Happiness? Closure? Identity? Family?
One keenly feels Ray Harvey searching for exactly the same thing in his penning of this novel.
In the end, Ray Harvey makes it so crystal clear. Everything that exists is reality. Joel's missing piece to the puzzle.
Look forward to more stories from this author Ray Harvey.
Harvey explores heady themes throughout the book, but lucky for us he's a talented enough writer to keep the story moving and not get bogged down.
It's definitely worth devoting the time towards this ambitious and finely-crafted novel.