Wednesday 5 December 2012

Review of Green Eyed Monster by Mike Robinson

At the end of October “Green Eyed Monster” by Mike Robinson was released and as part of the blog tour I got my hands on the book and I devoured it in the span of a weekend. I love it so much in fact that I got myself two slots on the blog tour so we’ll be back next week with more. This week, however, you get my review of the book.
Martin Smith and John Becker: bestselling authors with ordinary names and extraordinary minds.
Their words have power — to heal, to kill, to change the lives of their “characters” in shocking and unexpected ways. Famous for their uncanny similarity in both physical manner and literary voice, their childhood rivalry spins out of control into adulhood.
The death of one at the hands of the other brings to light their troubling past — and a mysterious presence, watching on from the shadows — an authorial entity with roots beyond our time or dimension; an entity with far-reaching designs.
The pen is truly mightier than the deadliest sword.

It was 2AM exactly when I when I finally finished reading this novel and I immediately sat down to review it which may account for the rather… interesting flow of words on the page below.
“Green Eyed Monster” in its basic, one-sided roots, indirectly follows the lives of two boys turned bestselling authors, John Becker and Martin Smith, and their dark, mysterious influence on the lives of the people around them, beginning and ending with the death of one of the writers. Really, the entire book is a foreshadowing of last few pages of the cerebral rollercoaster that is this novel – as most novels are – this was just a little more obvious.  
In my mind there are two basic elements of this work: the murder mystery – I can almost say ‘surface’ – aspect and the psychological paranormal aspect. In all honesty, the latter didn’t really appeal to me at all. It was well written; the psychological element had me sitting up in my seat, whispering incredulously to the pages, asking it to tell me its secrets – it was more the philosophical psychobabble of pages upon pages of explaining in no certain terms exactly what is going on that plucked me from the pages and settled me back into reality. For all I know, it was my own blindness that pulled me out but what I do know is that I hate being thrust out of a good book prematurely.
And it was a good book. I devoured every word on the page even if I had no idea what they meant because they created this lyrically beautiful piece of artwork that, if anything, I could appreciate. But more than that, the other element (murder mystery, surface tension) was completely and utterly captivating. Mike Robinson has created an incredible cast of insanely mad characters that just fascinated me from start to finish.
From the teacher who yearned so badly for her fictional son that she allowed the universe to guide the lives of her first grade class and repaid her debt by destroying her sanity in a pool of blood and a box of crayons.
To the high school kid who climbed and fell so many times from the social ladder that he simply knocked the ladder off its hinges with nothing but a fedora and the smothering scent of cigars and gun powder (though in my opinion, the entire being of Henry Zwieg was clich├ęd).
I guess I found the psychological aspect to be rather like lettuce in a salad: essential but rather bland without the extra ingredients.
I realize that it’s starting to sound like I wasn’t that fond of the book but I was. I was…trilled. That’s really the only word I can find to describe it. It was thrilling. I hung on the author’s every word; I just had trouble letting the two elements meld together into the complete story that it was.
The butterfly motif that runs through the entire story was mysterious and insane even with the explanation of why and the style of writing was just fantastic. As I said before it was very lyrically written, nothing had just its singular meaning and every word flowed and ebbed with each scene that was written on to the page. It also happened that as I amerced myself in this tale, I found myself caught with a case of foreign exchange syndrome in which you spend so much time with someone who has a rather thick accent that you start to mimic their accent in order to create a bond or simply to fit in with the person you’re speaking with.
As I was writing this review I caught myself giving in a little to the urge to add flowing prose and quickly set myself in a different direction to keep from overflowing this post with useless prose. I apologize if it still turned out that way.
Of all the things I’ve said so far this may be the strangest yet: I would love to see this as made into a movie. I’m serious. I know it’s become a sort of running joke about writers writing for the sake of the visual arts rather than the written word but I’m serious. Have you ever wanted to see something happen in real life just to confirm that your imagination isn’t completely wrong – or twisted, or whatever – that’s how I feel about this book. There are so many moments that are just so engrained in my mind’s eye that I need to see them played out before my real eyes so I can get them out – like a song that’s stuck in your head. And although there are some great, quotable lines in this book, it’s the images that are keeping me up at night, haunting me. And I can see it so clearly sometimes; like the image a girl and her eyes filled with this fear and resignation and confusion and desperation. And then the whole world takes a breath with her and everything is silent, so still – before she’s blown away in a horrifyingly bloody mess against the bedroom wall. Its images like that which leaves me desperate to get them out of my mind and place them firmly on the screen so I can dispel them from my imagination.
Until that day happens I shall simply have to leave you with the words written on this page and the encouragement to find a copy of this novel yourself. Mike Robinson has written a beautiful piece of work and I recommend it to thrill seekers with a strong stomach and an open mind (I love my gore but I know that’s not for everyone). Really this is a book that you just have to dive into. It’s not something you casually read.
Next week I’m very excited – and honoured to have Mike Robinson doing a guest post on writing Contemporary Horror so tune in next week for part two of my leg of the “Green Eyed Monster” blog tour.
You can purchase your own copy of "Green Eyed Monster" here:
Amazon (Paperback and Kindle)
And make sure you add it on Goodreads