Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Paint, Present, and Future

Author: Cindy A. Carl
Description: "In a quaint village in Mexico, Dani, a struggling, endearing, and somewhat klutzy artist, sets out in pursuit of her dream. Little did she know that the pursuit would become the dream. One night a Shadow Man appears and sends her on a quest: she must find a mysterious woman, and it can only be done through a series of ten paintings. Each painting is prefaced by bizarre situations; including a hurricane, a yellow-out storm, and an excursion into a curio shop with no doors. Three uncooperative guides: a translucent figure, a troll, and a typist who lives in a tree, hold the key... but to what?"
This was a very wonderful journey. While the book is not in the "normal" bizarro realm (is there such a thing?), it is still far outside of the norm that it really kept me flipping the pages. What is reality? What is a dream? Or is all of this some drug- or sleep-depraved hallucination?
As I read this book, I kept questioning my own place in “modern” society, in the daily chores, the endless trail of electronic paperwork, and the go-go-go world we live in. And, seeing as the lead character has given this all up for a simpler life in Mexico really had me wishing I could just pack up and go. But with it come a host of other problems—getting away from it all doesn’t always make us more creative or inspire us.
The writing is clean and the story is smooth and well-paced. But that is really a sidelight to my real enjoyment of the story: It made me think and question reality as it is. Bizarro (I mean the stuff with pink bunnies toting daisy-shaped machine guns and chewing on lima beans) is unpredictable and strange. This was unpredictable, but also clever enough to stretch the mind and alter perceptions—there are too many cookie-cutter works of fiction out there, and this one really stands out of the crowd with its ambition. The ending was so well done, and unexpected.
This book ranks high up there when it comes to anything I have been asked to review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

4 solid stars.

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