Friday, May 1, 2009

5-star Amazon Review of BASHED

Woke up this morning to this Amazon review of BASHED and my head, like the Grinch's heart, has swollen to three times its normal size. I don't know if I will be able to pull a shirt over it today. I don't know if I'm worthy of such effusive praise, but was so tickled I just had to share it with you guys:

Abashed by Bashed, April 30, 2009
By Jeffrey Erno (Oxford, MI USA) - See all my reviews

I treated myself to Rick Reed this weekend, and truly I was not disappointed. In all honesty his book Bashed was one of the best-written stories that I've ever seen within this genre, and it is also perhaps one of the best stories I've read in my lifetime. Certainly I'm not qualified to offer a critique of his work, but due to the fact that I have only positive feedback to offer, I will go ahead and do it anyway.

Reed possess an expansive vocabulary and uses it expertly. His sentence structure is varied and flows like a river, carrying the reader effortlessly through the pages. In spite of his advanced intellect, his writing does not convey an air of condescension and pretentiousness as does that of many prolific authors. In other words, I do not get the sense that he's merely trying to impress people by using big words. His inclusion of minute, seemingly insignificant detail within his descriptions paints very graphic mental images that connect the reader to the setting and to his characters. Each character is fully fleshed out and is presented realistically in a manner that helps the reader develop an intimacy with them, regardless if they are the protagonist or the nemesis.

Can you tell I am in awe of his talent?

As for the story itself, what can I say? WOW! I was blown away. It is timely and poignant. It is deep. It is interesting and captivating and seductive. It is fresh and original. It is clever. (No, I'm not just trying to make use of every adjective I know--they're all true!) The story drew me into itself. The opening chapter snagged me and then once I was hooked it just kept reeling me in. I bought it. I believed it. I felt it.

The most deeply moving scene within the story involves the confession of one of the gay-bashing attackers. I gasped and sobbed as I forced myself to continue reading through my tears. It truly surprised me that I felt as much sympathy for the assailant as I did. This is due to how craftily Reed delved into the psyche of each character,be they good or bad.

And of course I loved the relationship of the central characters Donald and Mark. This relationship was the foundation of the story. It WAS the story. Oh don't we all long for such a relationship that transcends the limitations of life and death? How utterly beautiful.

Well, what do I know? I'm just a reader, and I know an author such as Reed surely receives an enormous amount of feedback. Take mine for what it's worth--not much. But I had to share what an impact his story had upon my soul. It was magnificent, to say the least.

Thank you Mr. Reed for sharing your talent. You're amazing.

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