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A lovely review of Asia Unbound:
Review by: Johanna Goldenberg on Jan. 19, 2012 :
Asia Minor’s past and present collide after her uncle’s funeral in the small town she thought she had escaped years ago. Her high school sweetheart, Marcus (who still thinks of her as Betty Jane Minor), is now a member of the local media. Asia is a moderately successful Hollywood actress; Marcus has never left Poeticule Bay. This is the same town “the Dangerous Kind” is set in, and in this story, Chute once again skillfully evokes the claustrophobic feel of the town; this time physically as well, since “Asia Unbound” is set entirely in the living room of Asia’s uncle’s house.
Though the physical setting is limited, the cathartic conversation encompasses many years, emotions and flashbacks and the reader is swept up in a tale of secrets and surprises, some of which, even Marcus is unaware. Their encounter takes place the afternoon after the funeral, at which Asia has made a dramatic gesture, and the eve of the inevitable media frenzy whipped up by her actions that afternoon. The stakes are high for both Asia and Marcus; she, trusting that he is still on her side and Marcus, torn between loyalty to Betty Jane and his job.
Asia Unbound is a taut, deceptively benign short story that keeps the reader guessing until the last sentence. This story is highly recommended for lovers of masterfully written, evocative tales with “real” conversations. The end, and indeed the entire story, will linger with the reader long after its revealing finish.
A four-star review of Corrective Measures from Smashwords:
Review by: d somers on Jan. 14, 2012 :
Thoroughly enjoyed this short story–very relatable! (sp?)
I am sure we have all had similar experiences to the main character. And the psychologist in the story feels very familiar. I look forward to reading more stories by this author.
Latest review for Self-help for Stoners (by Mark Young on Amazon): I was halfway through the third story in this e-book collection before I realized my mistake: this would make an excellent bathroom book. Tons of short, funny or suspenseful pieces. Easy to pick up or put down. This brings up the next great challenge for the electronic reading revolution… who’s going to leave their e-reader in the can? Will there be special versions of the Kindle or Nook which are waterproof and easily clean up with a squirt of “Toilet Duck?”
Luckily for those of you hearing of this book for the first time, there is now a print version, so we can solve that other problem some other day.
This collection of scalpel-sharp stories, vicious vignettes or bits of stoner wisdom is brilliant. It is a great read, first of all–makes you think, keeps you guessing and all that. But it’s also great writing, something you don’t always find in an “indie” book. Chute is a real pro who shows he is in top form with an altogether rare amount of second person narration, perfectly executed. Last time I read this much 2P was in Thomas Harris’s “Hannibal” or Jay McInerney’s “Bright Lights, Big City”.
The stories and story fragments in this collection seem like they would be of great value to stoners. Topics covered include how to deal with paranoia, the munchies, illicit bong purchases, stealth baked goods and other weird stuff to think about when you’re high. Like first love, skunk transportation, a cold as ice assassin and a gay teen on the run from repressive parents. Okay, so not all of it is a perfect fit, but it is never boring.
The author is dedicated to the concept of indie publishing and those with reservations about this branch of the medium with no literary “gatekeepers” might imagine that this means the material is unpublishable by any other means. That is certainly not the case here. Both the writing and the packaging are professional all the way.
I have read plenty of “traditionally published” schlock which was given the green light by said gatekeepers (maybe when they were high) that was nowhere close to being as well written, edited or presented as “Self-Help for Stoners.” This is the real deal, folks. The future of publishing is in our hands. To paraphrase Karl Marx, the workers have taken over the means of production. Publishing establishment take heed: notice has been served.
Each story transported me from my immediate surroundings to be immersed in the setting of the story, thoroughly enjoying the descriptiveness or banter between characters. There were more than a few times I reached the end of a story, looked up from my eReader and was surprised to find myself in surroundings other than the characters’ I’d just read. For me, that is “a good read”. Many times I wished there was more beyond just the short story and I look forward to reading longer writings by this author (Novellas? Full Length Novels?); I actually hadn’t realized this was a collection of stories when purchased.
The stories range from serious, light, reflective, homorous, rant-ish…really quite an array. There are a number of Canadianisms which are a bit fun (- descriptive references so good that I could ‘hear’ Rex Murphy in my head) – but I believe that readers unfamiliar with them will enjoy this read every bit as much as a seasoned Canuck.
A recommended read; 4 stars for quality, entertainment, value, however I felt some stories ended prematurely. Hope to see longer content in future.
I first heard of Robert Chazz Chute when I went to see “Kevin Smith: Left From Behind” simulcast to theatres far and wide from Toronto. Chute thanked Smith for giving him the inspiration to chase his writing dream, to quit chasing the puck, but be where the puck will be. Chute’s only regret was waiting until 46 to pursue his dreams, but Smith said it’s only too late if you’re dead in the ground and the stone tablet has your name on it with the caption “he waited too long”.
Even though the title was off-putting to me, Chute’s tale inspired me to seek out and read his tales. I downloaded this book on my Kindle and devoured it. I can’t say there was a tale I didn’t like in the whole collection. But on the off chance you encounter one; don’t worry, they’re like buses: you don’t like this one, you won’t have to wait long for the next one. Humorous, interesting, and leaving you wanting to read the next one.
And hey, check out my blog at www dot mahtwocents dot com (hey, I’ve got my own puck-chasing thing going on, too ^_^)
How Ex Parte Press started:
Instead of waiting for life to happen to me, I decided I was going to happen to my life and remake it. Here’s how that came about:
In November 2010, I saw Kevin Smith onstage in Kitchener, Ontario. I came home and wrote a blog post about what I learned. The key point? Don’t chase the puck. Go where the puck is going to be. Mr. Smith read the post and tweeted his encouragement, which meant the world to me. After years as a freelance journalist and columnist, writing part-time, I had seen where the puck was going but I hadn’t committed to real change. That night I decided to make my move.
Flash forward to November 2011: I retired from my healthcare job of 20 years to write and publish my books. It’s the fulfillment of a childhood dream and a promise I made to myself at age eight. On the day I retired, rum was imbibed and Ex Parte Press was born. (Ex parte is Latin for “From one.”)
I had been writing novels for years but I hadn’t submitted them anywhere. I had won seven writing awards, worked as an editor and a journalist for newspapers and magazines. I worked in the Canadian publishing industry in various capacities. Now it’s my time and my turn. Look for the novels, coming soon in 2012.
Click the cover below to see all the books available on Amazon.