March 5, 2013

Book review: "Confessions of an Eccentric Old Man," by Sholder Greye

(CCLaP is dedicated to reviewing as many contemporary books as possible, including self-published volumes; click here to learn how to submit your own book for possible review, although be warned that it needs to have been published within the last 18 months to be considered. For the complete list of all books reviewed here, as well as the next books scheduled to be read, click here.)

Confessions of an Eccentric Old Man, by Sholder Greye

Confessions of an Eccentric Old Man
By Sholder Greye
Self-published

This is a short but highly entertaining alt-history thriller in the style of steampunk, but actually set during the time of the alchemists and "natural philosophers" of the 1600s and 1700s; specifically, it's the memoirs of one of these alchemists, who as his "confessions" continue we learn got himself into just more and more trouble with the supernatural, as his magic-induced long life continued for decade after decade. As such, then, this is a pleasant read done in a very convincing retro voice, nothing mind-blowing but certainly worth the single afternoon and evening it takes to read it all; but perhaps this is even more important now as a cultural artifact, in that Confessions actually started life as one of the daring first e-text experiments on the web back in the mid-1990s, when author Sholder Greye (the pseudonym of author Yarrow Paisley, which I believe is a pseudonym unto itself) first offered this up for free download and invited people to make derivative stories out of the original, long before the concepts of Creative Commons or mashups had been invented. In fact, about the only complaint I have is merely a design one, which is that the generic and badly done cover doesn't give even a clue about the fussily complex Hellboy-worthy story found within; but if you can overlook this, you'll find a book well worth the time of any fan of outrageous supernaturalism. It comes recommended to that specific type of reader.

Out of 10: 8.4

Filed by Jason Pettus at 5:47 PM, March 5, 2013. Filed under: Literature | Literature:Fiction | Reviews |