Online Epub King of Cats: A Life in Five Novellas Ð Blake Fraina –

E years especially the charismatic strange Elliott On a whole the storytelling style is inventive and engaging The chronology is well crafted and introduces the reader to its protagonist Jimmy Lyons in a very natural and authentic sort of way King of Cats a raw and captivating story of attachments obsession and love It is definitely a gem within the ueer literature genre This novel five related novellas really is very well written I didn t like any of the characters at first but it is a testament to the author s skill that I still wanted to keep reading and ultimately I came to understand and even like them Even when they were doing some fairly horrible things The characters are real thr If you re looking for a heart and flowers gay romance you re barking up the wrong tree with The King of Cats If you want a well written disuieting ugly beautiful life story then Jimmy Strange is your man Only it won t be easy to get to know him It will be a painful struggle much like his life He s charming he s gifted he s elusive All part of the author s devious plan to unravel a lifeThe structure of this novel is very uniue and can be difficult to adapt to at first Five novellas is a trifle misleading Each is a chapter in the life of Jimmy Strange but they are not chronological nor are they always directly about him Often we learn about a person through the people they know and Fraina makes good use of this The first novella takes place in 2002 where we Rating 3 of five all for writingI don t like Jimmy our POV character at all Elliott makes me want to screech imprecations at him for being such a wussy Adam annoys me clueless hopeless wet Adam who can t figure out why he gets what he wants and then doesn t want itThat said Blake Fraina has written a well crafted tale about people I hate like fury and I think that s a good sign This is a novel about the ways in which we humans fail to connect with ourselves Adam Elliott or each other Jim all the women in the book with special emphasis on Amy and what dire horrible conseuences that has in our lives No one in this book is aware that being happy is a possibility though Elliott is relentlessly chipper It might look similar but it s not the sameThe five stories of the book intertwine nicely not leading into and out of each other so much as flowing inevitably and circuitously from each other s strongest and weakest points The weakest story in the bunch is the last one Hidden History because it of them all feels narrated told presented ex post facto not lived before one s eyes as the others doI d say the gay sexual content is sufficiently integral to the stories told that all but the most sueamish straight people should be able to read these hymns to dysfunction and its power without issue I would encourage What is probably the first impression left by this novel is the crafted but complex writing style and the lack of chronological order of the novellas If you want to give it it s 2002 2001 1995 2003 and 1987 the two big step in the past allow the reader to know better Jim who is the main character around which the other two men Elliott and Adam gravitateIf you are thinking this is a m nages a trois well you are not completely wrong even if it doesn t actually arrive to be such formal relationship From what I could put together Jim arrived from England to New York City in 1987 a shattered dream in the past and actually shattered is a very right term from what happened and the only valued possession for him a 1959 Les Paul Sunburst Sometime between 1987 and 2001 Jim first meets Adam and they are together on a rock group The Mogs and then he meets Elliott a street hustlerWhere actually no one of the three men has a balanced self and so I doubt any of the possible pairing could work I have to say my favourite was Elliott maybe since to me he was the fragile of them On a logical level it s clear the right pairing is Jim and Adam but Elliott was so obviously in need of someone to love him that I really hoped Jim could overcome his fear of commitment to be able to give at least a sense of security even if not real to Elliott Truth be told some of the love scene between Jim and Adam are really good I particularly liked the one in the bus so where from one side I cheered for Elliott on the other side I was aware that probably Adam was a better choice Sometime I even had the feeling that for how much a spoiled brat Adam is he cared for Elliott Now I m not saying that Jim didn t care for him but as we will learn on the last novella probably Jim had his own issue to overcome and when Elliott needed him he was not yet readyThe author itself warned me about this novel telling me knowing I like happily ever after I would probably not like this one All right this is for sure not an HEA but if we read carefully between the line and an almost last sentence He never stopped blaming me to never stopping blaming someone you need to be together right And so this means that at least one of the couple managed to be together and even if there were regrets between them maybe sometime they were able to put them aside to enjoy the fact they were together Yes the romantic in me want at any price to find a possible positive ending to this story even if be ready one of this man will suffer for the sins of all of themhttpwwwdp059530756. Ovocative sometimes heartbreaking story of luminous enigmatic rock star Jimmy 'Strange' Lyons Weaving back and forth through time from a tenement in Alphabet City to a luxury co op overlooking Central Park to a semi detached in North London Jimmy's life unfolds like a mystery gradually revealing his secrets and exposing the vast gulf that often lies between what appears to be and what

I really got into the main character I could actually see all the things he was going through And felt all his pain Very well written overall Sex drugs rock roll and Jimmy Lyons A very well crafted look into the whirlwind life of a stunningly beautiful British expat living in NYC The five novellas which tell Jimmy s and his acuaintances stories are indeed so well written that even their uirky and often annoying characteristics become acceptable and even endearing as we get to know them Jimmy is something of an innocent and comes to terms with his being gay beautiful and a talented guitarist much like we get comfortable with a new pair of shoes or residence The universal need for love and affection is woven throughout but only tentatively romantic as is often the case for the modernLife as an expat can be difficult enough being one myself at various locations around the world and with added baggage from a dysfunctional childhood all the characters share this it seems and struggling musician in Jimmy s case makes for a good read At times sweet and lovely and others horrible and tragic I feel this would make a wonderful mini series for television I d watch it certainly Although this book is not perfect there are POV changes which would normally turn me off they weren t serious enough to diminish the impact it had on me and it definitely deserves a five star ratingThis is not an actual book but rather five novellas which give snapshots into the life of Jimmy Lyons The novellas are not in chronological order going from the fall of 2002 spring 2001 winter 1995 summer 2003 and finally ending in 1987 It may seem like ordering the stories in this way could be confusing but it s actually why they pack such an emotional punch It was like having a group of people putting pieces of a puzzle together until finally the full picture emerges and we know who Jimmy is and where he came fromThe fact that the stories didn t have a happy ending made them refreshing to read I ve had my fill of cookie cutter mm romanc As an avid reader of gay themed books always complaining in my reviews about the lack of uality in most of the stuff I read I was sent a free copy and asked by the author to read and review this workTruth to be told uality did I get definitely but I still do not deem myself satisfiedThe novel s structure as already underlined by other reviewers is peculiar instead of alternating present and flashbacks as it is customary Fraina neatly splits the storyline in five different episodes and displays them in an order that is not chronological but has an inner logic the last one functioning or less as an epilogue but being in fact the one set farther back in time as well as summarizing the essential theme of the novel in the last line said theme being essentially things are not necessarily as they lookThe plot revolves around the character of Jim but he is often looked at through the eyes of the people close to him and to whom belong the POV they also play a meaningful role in the novel itselfA critical reviewer accused the author of being pretentious and there could be truth in this accusation The novel structure plot and characters are clearly the result of an effort to make a theme as conspicuous and proven as possible but as always in fine arts much study and lack of spontaneity can be as much a criticism as a praiseAll that said and acknowledged not everything runs smoothly in this literary attempt fine literature being clearly the target here not the simple fun of romanceFirst and foremost there is a steady decline in writing proficiency as the novel moves on the first section being the best and the last being the worst While in the first section the omniscient narrator is only there to allow us access in the character s thoughts allowing us to understand them in the last one he takes over telling us what happens and what everybody thinks instead of letting us see for ourselves This predicament may have arisen from the fact that while the first section nearly catches events as they happen in real time so to say the following ones encompass an increasingly large timespan the last one covering several yearsThe writing also loses focus as pages flow by It is always neat but gradually becomes less sharp and insightfulThis might be due also to the fact that while in the first section the POV is always that of Sam in the following ones there are progressively of them and this detracts instead of adding to the depth of the writingEditing also seems to go downhill it may depend on the convertion PDFMOBI but the number of typos gradually increases till we are even treated with their and your instead of they re and you re This struck me as outlandish in a work that can be criticised but cannot be accused of superficialityAbove I tried to be as objective as possible now I will go into detail as to why this novel had little or no appeal to meThe reason why I usually read MM romances is that I wish to escape No escape is possible here and obviously it is a matter of taste whether you will like this work or notThe analogy that struck me a few pages into the book was with David Leavitt Not that this work is derivative in any way it is ust the atmosphere that is similar it is a shabby world where nothing is what it should no one is what he could or would it is. What makes a person fascinating Is it what they hide or what they reveal Is it who they are or who they appear to be A struggling filmmaker believes he recognizes the face of a man in an old painting and becomes obsessed with finding him On the cusp of his band's success a closeted guitarist walks out on his longtime male lover to live with a woman he hardly knows After spending one fat.

A world lighted by the obnoxious and rather dirty neon tubes of a suburban underground station Life is depicted in all his sualor feelings are always taintedIt is not that I see the world as a happy place where deplorable incidents happen occasionallyI am well aware of humanity s shortcomings in every respect but to make a detailed description of them worthwhile for the reader the author really needs to be great A symphony of grays has to be achieved delicately nuanced by a language that can be either lyrical or harsh but has to be polished to the point of perfection Our author writes well but he is not THAT good neither was Leavitt despite the critical acclaim he enjoyed in his timeFraina also takes things one step further than Leavitt Not a single character in the whole book is fuctional Not the main character for reasons that are clearly told and not anybody he comes acrossIs this really possible It is true that disfunctional people tend to move in circles as disfunctional as themselves but a sense of gloom permeates every page of the novel making it oppressive Take Lisa or Amy who at first look normal The omniscient narrator takes us into their thoughts until everything we see there is ugly Everyone in the real world has ugly thoughts of course some people than others but why displaying only those As another reviewer pointed out happiness is possiblePerhaps happiness is not really and always possible but this novel is imbalanced in that there is only gloom and dirt and unfulfillmentThis is especially true for the four mainsSam seems a regular guy at first but then he meets Elliot and Elliot really functions as a catalyst of evil for him as he does for everyone else Sam turns despondent insecure violent He probably was all of that all along but had managed to function or less normally until the fateful meeting with him This could be considered a good plot device but if it is intentional it is also rather ill motivated Even with the help of the omniscient narrator I do not get to see how it is possible for Sam to be influenced that way to become that obsessed It is true that as people we develop over the course of years until a single event is capable of unleashing a storm but I saw nothing of that storm coming and nothing of how Elliot manages to give vent to itThe section about Sam and Elliot the first and best of all seems to serve as an introduction to the character of Jim clearly an avatar of the King of Cats a disuieting painting relevant to every line ot said section While I think I can see its importance it also seemed too long to me for the character of Sam to disappear entirely from the rest of the novel It might be that this first section formally recalls the epilogue where once again important characters appear who are absent elsewhere Amy Jim s parents the first band s members and Jim s cat Nellie one of the cats Jim might be considered king of but it disturbed me to invest so much in a character only to see him disappear suddenlyElliot for his part is utterly uestionable He really is disfunctional manipulative selfish greedy I do not really know what Fraina expected us to make of him if to pity or despise him I expected a background for his misbehaviour as there is one for Jim extensive and for Adam brief None is given therefore I did not understand why he was that villainous and how in the world three people even messed up could fall for his blatant tricks Jim s final realisation of how wicked he is leads to the accident that gets everybody rid of him But then again once Elliot is gone Jim realizes how much he loved him Sorry Mr Fraina you really lost me thereJim and Adam were better rounded of course I will not go into detail not to give away the plot as another reviewer ustly said there is little plot and much character development in this novel but one thing I could not stomach It is commonplace and common sense to say that people are wont to suffer for their traumas for their whole life but here there seems to be once again no redemption for themI am not talking of a happily ever after as it is clear from the start that our author does not intend to give us one But people usually adjust They compromise their dreams and aspirations and often they manage a tolerable life Sometimes a good one Not Jim or Adam After letting us hope they could somehow get over the worst Fraina plunges them deeper It happens sometimes I know But I do not have to like it Especially not if this it happens in the fourth section is delivered hurriedly with not a drop of at least literary beautyAs you see some of my doubts about this work depend on matters of pure taste what does not work for me could be perfectly fine for others as the five star reviews testify Guess you shall have to read it for yourself King of Cats A Life in Five Novellas is a tough novel to review without giving away all the secrets that make it such a fascinating challenging and engrossing trip through the world of rock n roll a trip most of us can only dream about What author Blake Fraina manages to do in 236 pages is to create a vivid world to conjure up an almost fairytale mythology of a band on the rise And then I first read this book 8 years ago in 2006 wow and have to say that King of Cats is one of the top handful of stories that has stayed with me throughout th. Eful night in bed together two youthful musicians enter into a bitter and emotionally devastating power struggle for control over their band and one another And eight years later tragedy forces both men to confront the inescapable and bitter legacy of their fathers' influence Peopled with vivid characters and told in sharp dialogue the five stories that comprise King of Cats tell the pr.

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Online Epub King of Cats: A Life in Five Novellas Ð Blake Fraina –

Author of King of Cats a novel about a closeted British rock musician living on New York's Lower East Side

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