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Jazz by Cristian Mihai
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At its most basic this book tells the story of a man moving from New York to Paris to see a girl. However, as with jazz music, it takes the basic refrain and gives it back in a new order focussing more on the feeling behind events than their actual facts.

Although it is only 52 pages all of the locations are fully developed and have distinct characters. I was especially drawn in by the feelings of insularity and claustrophobia evoked by the descriptions of Paris.

With a plot based on a man's attraction to another man's girlfriend and many scenes set in the brittle world of parties and clubs, this story has invites comparison with the Great Gatsby. However, whereas I found Fitzgerald's characters unengaging and the romance unsatisfying, Mihai has created a protagonist I wished to succeed.

Apart from the protagonist I found most of the characters objectionable. Mihai has possibly been too successful at creating a world of glitter coated rot; had the characters seemed less like base humanity I would probably reread this sooner.

Therefore I feel this is not a story for those who prefer to like most of the characters or to have happy endings. It is however a story for those who enjoy seeing each word build on the last without wasted effort or over ornamentation.

I received a free copy of this book. ( )
  Tyrshundr | Feb 6, 2014 |
3 1/2 stars...

This book had a very Gastby-esque feel to it. So if you like The Great Gastby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, you'll love this book. I'm not a huge fan of Gatsby, which was why I am giving it 3 1/2 stars. The author did an exceptional job of portraying the way the main character's emotions towards Amber devolved from a pure idealistic love, down towards a physical obsession.
Though the author got pretty close to Fitzgerald's style of writing, he was never really able to get the depth of character that The Great Gatsby has. But, ultimately, this was a good, quick read. ( )
  Ravenaier | Sep 8, 2012 |
For a short story, this is very, very good. It is nothing like what I usually read, and that’s one of the reasons I requested the author let me read it. The book blurb intrigued the mind and once read, the story within fully satisfied it.

This is a well told tale of a painful unrequited love of Chris for Amber, his cousin’s girlfriend. The story starts of gently, with the relationship between all protagonists slowly flushing out, picking up steam with Chris traveling to Paris to face not just Amber, but his feelings for her.

There’s a lot to like about this psychological thought-provoking short story that is filled with picture painted prose.

I liked Chris because he was so real and in touch with his inner thoughts and feelings. He was one of those very likable characters that we want to smother with hugs.

Amber was another story altogether. I felt sorry for this lost soul and hoped that by the time I reached the end, she would have grown up. In the end, I appreciated the author letting my imagination fly on the ending of this story.

If you’re in a mood for a short story with substance in which the author masterfully crafts his characters with a wonderful prose, I highly recommend you pick this one up. It is a great poolside, beach side or just plain at home read.

Here are some excerpts that impressed me and I hope will give you a glimpse of the writing style of this author:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"A blistering wind blew off from every direction, and the quiet light that came from lamps and enclosed the grey skin of the sidewalk couldn’t stop darkness from wrapping itself around glass and concrete and flesh in what resembled a tight and desperate embrace. I could feel the harsh air painfully playing inside my lungs. It hurt to even blink."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"We never perceive the passage of time in the same mechanical manner the ticking of a watch implies. For us time is subjective, a sinuous river, sometimes viscous, almost grinding to a halt as we zigzag our way among pedestrians wearing heavy jackets, and sometimes fast and turbulent, leading our lives with indescribable fury.

Fragments of a wild and bizarre beauty would appear and disappear fast, never settling for more than what felt as a second. My mind couldn’t put together all the glints that my past kept throwing at me. But then the incessant moan of the city night faded away into silence, and my mind began to weave an intricate web of memories. What had started off as a waffling and erratic cocktail of images, condensed to such a degree that I could barely discern Amber’s face, had now grown into a fascinating and yet frightening labyrinth.

I took pleasure in building Amber, piece by piece, until my mind contained a fully fleshed version of a thin and gracious young woman, a white dress sculpted around her body and her black hair falling down to her waist. It was a two year old memory, but it felt as real as the people I was walking around with."

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"It’s a shame actually that certain depths of the human spirit cannot be explained using conventional words. Those who have dealt with words for some time know it better than anyone else. For them moments of extreme clarity, of powerful inspiration, are rare, and they approach them with fear and respect, the same way you’d approach an ancient relic."

Melanie for b2b ( )
  bookworm2bookworm | Aug 2, 2012 |
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