Zip Vampire Rising Full review on Prism Book Alliance Larry Benjamin s writing gives me a lot to chew on particularly by way of his economical descriptions that manage to say so much Right away
Zip Vampire Rising Full review on Prism Book Alliance®Larry Benjamin’s writing gives me a lot to chew on, particularly by way of his economical descriptions that manage to say so much. Right away, I was brought into this story.Each house had a massive front door of quarter-sawn oak banded with iron. On either side of each door hung old-fashioned gas lanterns whose soft flickering light swatted ineffectually at the dark.Benjamin’s mix of something futuristic with something gothic had me grinning with anticipation.Amidst the societal ills plaguing this time period (more on that in a bit), this is a story about the battle between what Barnabas feels is unrequited love and what Gatsby feels is forbidden love. Who will win? And does anyone actually lose if one of them “wins”? Is immortality the savior, or the one bringing condemnation?This story is both allegorical and filled with social commentary. Part of me appreciates and instinctually responds to this, while part of me feels it’s delivered with a heavy hand. Part of me feels like it helps build the story, while part of me feels it plays more a role of interference than anything else. Either way, it does unavoidably raise the tension level, providing layered context for those questions, and more, that I posed in the previous paragraph. It also makes me angry for Gatsby, and hopeful for Barnabas, no matter the path his life ends up taking. I guess that’s my answer. Despite the obvious comparisons to today’s society, as well as nods to our history, it all adds to the strong emotions within the story.I didn’t at all anticipate the following, but reading this story sent my mind in many directions. The choices we make, the beliefs we hold, the things that change and the things that don’t. I can’t help but smile at the cleverness of it all. Here we are, a tale about a very old Vampire and a rather young man and, instead of just being about their connection and that between Vamp and Man in general, it has me thinking about larger societal issues and individual behavior.This isn’t a romance. It’s an exploration, with Vampires and humans battling it out, that includes one of each of these clans desperate for each other and what they could possibly share together… and to stay alive. They want a future. Don’t we all?As always, I want more of Larry Benjamin’s writing, more of this barely futuristic universe. I definitely want more of Barnabas and Gatsby, and whomever else is coming up on the horizon of the Vampire Rising. ETA: Recommended Read on PBA for July 2015. Vampire Rising is Ebook To be a Vampire is to know your pale skin and red lips offend others Malcolm VIt s the mid twenty first century Anti Semitism, racism, sexism and homophobia have been consigned to the dustbin of history The world is run by the state, and Christian zealots, whose chief governing tools are fear and oppression It s a wonderful time to be alive unless you re a Vampire To be a Vampire is to know your pale skin and red lips offend others Malcolm VIt s the mid twenty first century Anti Semitism, racism, sexism and homophobia have been consigned to the dustbin of history The world is run by the state, and Christian zealots, whose chief governing tools are fear and oppression It s a wonderful time to be alive unless you re a Vampire Vampires are despised, and feared, and subjected to discrimination and unspeakable violence.Considered undead, unholy, without basic human rights, Gatsby Calloway lives on the fringes of society, avoiding humanity Until he meets Barnabas, a young encaustic painter When Barnabas is mortally wounded during an anti Vampire attack, Gatsby must forget everything he has known, and learn to trust.. Writer Wordsmith Author.Words, You See, are the ThingBronx born wordsmith Larry Benjamin is the author of the allegorical novella Vampire Rising, and Unbroken, a gay novel, which is a 2014 Lambda Literary finalist and a 2014 IPPY Gold Medalist His second book, Damaged Angels, a collection of short stories was a 2013 Rainbow Award Runner Up in the Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction category His debut novel, What Binds Us, was published by Carina Press in March 2012 Larry considers himself less a writer than a wordsmith an artist whose chosen medium is the written word rather than clay or paint or bronze He is a writer of stories whose characters are determined to find their place in the world if they cannot find a place, they make a place Even when their lives aren t perfect, it s never because they re gay but because they re human And like all humans they often suffer the consequences of ego and bad judgment.He lives in Philadelphia with his husband and their two rescued dogs.. Good Book Vampire Rising I'm so happy that Larry gifted me with an ARC for his new story that is now available for everyone :D"To be a Vampire is to know your pale skin and red lips offend others."Short stories... Not all authors are able to write them, if you ask me, because to do them right, you have to use a different set of tools and methods than when you are writing a novel. The pacing, the flow, the way of transporting your 'message' to the reader, the amount of detail is different, or rather should be different, because otherwise readers will find the short story lacking. Too short, unsatisfying, overladen, or missing content...I'm not surprised that 'Vampire Rising' is a great short story, because I've already read several of Larry's short stories from his anthology, and he obviously knows what he is doing.'Vampire Rising' is a story that can stand on it's own and is complete exactly as it's written, yet it holds the possibility and promise of a lot more to come, as if it were a prelude to something huge, a part to something whole.It gives us on the one hand the love story between a human and a vampire, but on the other, it's also an allegory that transports hidden or universal meanings.With every chapter Larry reveals a different part of his universe, a different aspect, a different view, so that we can fit them together to get the whole image:There is the irrational fear of humans towards vampires with it's eerie and foreboding atmosphere.There is our tragical vampire Gatsby, who, once outed, is forced to live apart from the world, with the rest of his kind.There is our bold and loving human, Barnabas, who risks everything to be with the man he's fallen in love with.There is the description and our discovery of vampirism, transporting allegorically the tragedy of all marginalised groups.There is oppression and prosecution and hatred of that which people don't know and understand.There is a new life given and hope rising when all seems dark and forlorn.To be a Vampire is to spend your life in hiding—not just from the burning sun but from the stinging enmity of humans.While there is love—and it is a very sweet one—'Vampire Rising' is no fluffy tale, because there is a reason the Vampire nation has to rise from its ashes. The bleak near future, that is presented to us, is so close to our reality it's like we're reading a story of our present and 'Vampires' are but a place holder for marginalised groups today. I feel that the blurb already indicates that maybe, probably, there is and always will be someone, some group, that is seen as less, that is persecuted, that is hated for being different.Vampires have no human rights. They can be killed without prosecution. They can be denied treatment. They lose their jobs.Let's have a look at two quotes:Portraits are a window into the soul of the artist.andThe words written here are less a story than a prophecy. Or maybe they are a prayer.I believe this story is Larry's prayer. A prayer that 'Vampires' will wake up and rise and won't lose hope, even in the darkest hour.I have such a thing for beautiful language—one of the reasons why I'm such a fan of Alexis Hall, too. Larry has a very unique style and it's interesting to see that he calls himself a wordsmith. It's often hard to bring an author's writing style to life within a review, but I couldn't but give you some simple examples. Try to find out what he's doing here and what is different to what you read most of the time.Voices rose and fell on the cool air.Keeping his gaze on Barnabas, Gatsby drifted over bringing with him sepia tones and a martini.A smile, fragile as tissue paper, wrapped around his words.He could hear their mischief like the whispering wind.So, it's not like he's doing this in every sentence, and it took me a bit to find out what I thought so unusual. And, oh my... My literature classes are way in my past, so I can't even remember the right German term for it... But do you see? He gives everything life and a power of its own. And it might be silly, but this way of writing makes me so very happy, because it's smart. It creates so lovely and subtly atmosphere and pictures without using many words.Soooo... There is this name thing going on here, too. And wow, I'm kinda proud of myself that I noticed, but I seriously can't fully get to the bottom of it. So make of this info whatever you want ;-PWe have three important players in this story: Barnabas, Gatsby, and Malcolm. I know Barnabas is a disciple of Jesus, a missionary, and martyr. Malcolm X was an American human rights activist and a courages advocate for the rights of blacks. And Gatsby, well... This Fitzgerald character that I—shame on me—know nothing about.What happens now?I would love to read more about this society and Barnabas and Gatsby. There is this promise of more here, and maybe, hopefully, Larry will keep it.I really loved this short story and thought it to be very well written. If the comparisons to today's grievances had been a bit more subtle and less obvious, I would have loved it even more and given it all the stars. As it is, I'm given 4.5 and highly recommend this beautiful short story.