One-Eyed Jack, The Girl in the Road, and Harley Loco – quick reviews

Remember how I was all gung-ho about reading this book?

One-Eyed Jack

Yeah. Not so much.

Apparently, this book is part of a series. Had I known that, I would have started from the beginning. As it stands, this book was much too confusing for me to follow. The premise sounds good: the “anima” of great cities, personifications that walk and talk and interact with people, plus ghosts, a 30 year old mystery, and some good, old-fashioned lovin’ between men. I just couldn’t follow it. This book was not for me. Sorry, Elizabeth Bear.

So, then I picked up this book, The Girl in the Road, by Monica Byrne.

The Girl in the Road

It had been read by other speculative fiction fans that I trust, so I gave it a shot. On Goodreads, my review states: “The surreal story about losing yourself, and finding yourself. Meena and Mariama, two young women from opposite ends of the world and experience tell an interesting, intertwined tale that begins, for both, with a snakebite. I had the major plot twist figured out about midway through the book, but it was handled well. This book deals with loss, sexuality, futurism, religion, culture, and mental health.” I gave it 4/5 stars. Honestly, the story had me sucked me in by page 8. Good imagery, good language, and appears to be well-researched.

Just recently, I finished reading,

Harley Loco: A Memoir of Hard Living, Hair, and Post-Punk, from the Middle East to the Lower East Side

which is the memoir of Rayya Elias.

Rayya Elias bares her soul in this tale of immigration, fitting in, drug abuse, and trying to stay alive. Born in Syria, Rayya and her family moved to Michigan when she was a child to escape war. She found a different war, however, in the form of cruel bullying and a confusing, emerging sexuality. Discovering that she loved women, she hid her true self from her family for years. Thanks to a co-dependent, convoluted relationship with a certain woman, Rayya experimented with drugs, which lead to addiction, homelessness, jail time, and near-death experiences. Friend and fellow musician Kory Clarke of Warrior Soul features prominently in her early days in New York, when she was making music, and almost scored a major record deal. “Harley Loco” is a journey that will leave you knowing much more than you probably ever wanted to know about addiction and the street-level drug trade.

Currently, I am mesmerized by the cascade autobiography of Elissa Washuta, titled “My Body Is A Book Of Rules,” but more on that later.




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