The Mind is a Razor Blade (Book Review)

the mind is a razor bladeOver the last couple years, I’ve seen Max Booth III’s name floating around the writing community and I’ve been meaning to check out one of his novels especially after reading his excellent short story Fish.

I chose his second novel The Mind is a Razor Blade simply cause the cover was badass (covers are mad important) and the book was praised by the likes of Adam Cesare and Jonathan Mayberry so it had to be worth a read.

A man wakes up in the pouring rain with a couple dead corpses and a helluva memory loss. He struggles to recollect his identity and find some solid footing in a world that has gone to shit. He discovers a cult that harvests organs for a demon known as Conundrae who has the entire city shaking in fear.

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The protagonist finds out he has done some terrible things in his past and attempts to piece together his fragile memory without killing too many people.

This first novel could’ve easily become a hot mess in a lesser writer’s hands and I give Booth kudos for attempting this and coming out successful. The first person point of view allows the reader to crawl deeper into the protagonist’s frazzled psyche and try to put it all together.

There are portions of the book where certain people or events trigger pivotal flashbacks. These sections are written in a disjointed sort of prose that works pretty well and gives the reader a break from the main narrative.

It’s hard to go too deep into the book’s plot, but rest assured this is well worth your time. There’s plenty of weird elements such as the spiders, but I won’t go into that. Another point that should be touched on is the humor. Even thought there are some heavy moments in this novel, Booth knows how to lighten the mood. For example, the protagonist is forced to run around in bunny slippers.

Sidenote: good characterization. I didn’t realize how much I cared about the main characters until the last couple chapters. They had me super stressed out.

The Mind is a Razor Blade is a tense, hella dark noir that will keep you on your toes and looking out for spiders well after the last page.

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Tarot Spreads & Ish

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Since the new year, I’ve been getting accustomed to my Wild Unknown tarot deck. The art is art is loose, dark, and beautiful. It’s kind of overwhelming trying to get a handle on the cards meanings and using my intuition to get clear readings, but it’s been worth it so far.

I did a few simple readings for friends over the weekend and they seemed to enjoy it. I tested out a new spread focusing on asking for guidance on getting closer to certain people. I practiced on myself and the results were scary accurate for a few situations. It’s a good sign because that means my intuition is getting stronger and I’m becoming more confident with the deck.

The other crazy moment happened when I drew cards. I’ve shuffled the deck multiple times but I went out of my way to make sure the cards faced the same way. Still, some cards came out reversed (they’re supposed to) and this made me pause.

Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know I’m making progress with my deck. Don’t worry, I’m still working on some fiction projects and slinging books.

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Empire Episode One Review

timbaland-empire-foxI’ve been hearing a lot of good stuff surrounding Fox’s new television series Empire and after I watched an interview with Timbaland who scores the show, I decided to check it out. It stars Terrance Howard who plays a hiphop mogul known as a Lucious Lyon whose rise from the bottom resembles that of Master P and Diddy. He finds out that is diagnosed with ALS and his ass is going to die pretty soon. So he needs to figure out which son is good enough to be the new face of his record label and most importantly his growing empire. However, his ex-wifey Cookie played by Taraji Henson gets out of jail and plans to get her cut by any means and shit begins to hit the fan.

The first episode was entertaining but at times certain plot elements seemed a little forced. For example, we have a gay son, and an interracial relationship. I’m all for diversity, but I feel like the writers came together and tried to check a whole bunch of boxes.

The acting was okay all the way around and this episode did a nice job of setting the tone and introducing characters all within the space of 45 minutes. The funny thing is I could see Terrance Howard’s character from Hustle and Flow getting out jail and building an empire in a parallel universe.

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So far Empire comes across as a hood version of King Lear meets Game of Thrones which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I’m interested to see what kind of drama pops off in this week’s episode and if the show will be able to keep my attention.

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Hippos and Lightbulbs Featured on The Daily

Shoutout to Foster Bamford for featuring my books on his new show/video blog The Daily. I feel exclusive, but also check out some of the other episodes. They’re pretty entertaining, personal, and informative.

 

 

 

 

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New Year, New Escapades

2015 suited upNew Year’s Eve was dope. This was my second celebration in Spain. The first one was lame and quite frankly I don’t even remember what I did last year. That was far from the case this year.

I went to dinner at Shamrocks, a popular Irish joint, with a big group of friends and had 9 course meal (I think it was 9 courses). The first three courses were more so appetizers rather than courses. It was a little costly and I don’t think it was really worth it. My salmon was on point though. The company made up for the 48 euros that went down the drain. Conversations about ghosts, football, butt sex, facebook posts, red underwear, and other ish went down.

I had to dip out a little early and sped home to change into something a little more dapper. I don’t know what the hell happened to the time, but an hour to midnight quickly changed to twenty minutes. My friend was waiting for me in the plaza in Rota. All I could think about were those grapes that I had to eat before the clock struck midnight. Good thing I had my red underwear on for good luck (Spanish traditions bruh; get hip).

I parked my car and a raggedy gypsy man held his hand out asking for change for his non-existent services. I apologized and ran like a madman. I vaulted over stairs and followed the loud music until I found myself in the plaza. There was a ton of people looking warm and classy.

“Where are you at?” I texted my friend. I stared upwards at the clock and realized I had a few minutes to spare.  She told me she was in the middle right section of the large crowd. I weaved through a bunch of people, but she was nowhere in sight. Next thing you know, everyone’s eating their grapes and I’m standing there grape-less.

Luckily, I found her after that and she whipped out the wine and we clinked our plastic glasses to a new year. Two of my other friends found me and explained how everything was closed in Rota. We agreed to go to Mangos, a club in Puerto de Santa Maria.

When we arrived, the doorman held out ten fingers–ten minutes and the doors will be open. We tried a couple of other clubs down the street but they were closed as well. Of course Mangos wasn’t poppin when we stepped inside since we were the first people there. We took a few shots to kill time and an hour later the trap, sorry I mean the discoteca was jumpin.

Fast forward a couple hours and multiple shots later, I receive a text informing me that Ninos, another club, is the place to be. It takes me a few minutes but gather up my dudes and a couple Spanish girls I’m cool with and we get a cab together. Along the way I realize my phone is missing. No one has it and it’s not on the floor. I tell em I’ll be back in a few. The cab driver takes me back to Mangos. I scour the club for my phone, but I can’t find it. I picture a dim future where I’m temporarily phoneless and my international network of contacts is severely lacking (never get caught lacking). Luckily, this future never came to fruition because I found my phone on the side of the passenger seat in the cab.

I made it back to Ninos with a newfound appreciation for my phone and found my spanish friends waiting outside. One of them needed five euros for the cover charge so I hooked her up. When it was my turn to pay I realized I ran out of euro. I asked to pay with tarjeta but apparently they didn’t take card. I got a little pissed and stood off to the side. A couple of my friends came back outside looking for me. I told one of them to go in the club and grab the cute bartender since she knows me. I’m too exclusive to be paying a cover charge anyway. The bartender came out with a quickness and brought me inside. I felt mad love.

The club wasn’t as poppin as I thought it should be but it was past 4 am and people were trickling out. I had a some more drinks and according to another friend’s observations I was dancing my ass off. I went outside and smoked a cigarette (And no, I never smoke) with some girls. At this point it dawned on me that my american friends had disappeared into the night. I called one of them and he said he was at rotunda which was no help to me. I told him to wait and I’d scoop him up in a cab. I said bye to my spanish friends and went on my way.

Every cab seemed occupied or bent on not picking me up. I was freezing to death, but I eventually found a long line for cabs. I hopped in it and waited for a couple centuries and finally it was my turn to get a cab. I slipped inside and called my friend, but he didn’t pick up. He later told me that he had run away from dogs, jumped some fences, and his clothes were covered in mud. Quite a story, right?

Anyway, the cab driver dropped me up and I stumbled home as the sun rose over the horizon and I welcomed the comfort of my bed and 2015.

Happy new year! Lets get it!

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One-Eyed Bullfighters

The lovely folks over at Entropy published my non-fiction piece “A Bloody Affair.” It explores my first experience watching a bullfight in Spain and I’m hyped my story found a home. I don’t submit much non-fiction so this is pretty cool. I might do this more often; I just have to do a little more traveling.

Don’t worry, I’m still whipping up hot fiction. Master chef in the kitchen.

Also, photos by your’s truly.

Read it here.

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New Music: Jacque Mirage-Hustlin’

I dropped a new track over the weekend called “Hustlin” prod. by the Tay. I rap about the trials and tribulations of slinging books. Listen and download below.

We’re back in the lab and ish.

 

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