Saturday, May 29, 2010

Book Review: Brine by Adrienne Jones

Title: Brine

Author: Adrienne Jones

Pages: 205

Received from: publisher


Meet Elliot, respected Cape Cod painter. Unbeknownst to his admirers, Elliot's got some demons in his past. When he tries to paint them out of his system, his plan backfires. Now Elliot's got some demons in his present and future as well. Spawned by a power of both mind and matter, Elliot's demons are very real, very weird, and very, very pissed off.

Have ya'll ever read a book so fascinating, it doesn't even have to technically be good? That's how I would describe brine (lowercase, apparently). The whole sordid tale(s) is in three parts, each connected by a main character, Elliot, tortured artist inexplicably successful with his countless serene lighthouse paintings, a setting, Cape Cod, and a haunted land, a cottage that also houses Elliot's muse. There lies the products of his tortured past and the past of the land itself, bringing about grotesque creatures that terrorize him throughout the book.

Say what you will about brine, but it is creative, something you don't often see in modern times, where everything has been done. The writing, the dialogue, is all very contrived. And, it should be noted, the last two chapters end with Elliot saying "Rest in peace. For the love of all that is holy. Please. Rest in peace." Make of that what you will.

Nevertheless, it's kinda engrossing. It kind of runs on weird fuel, everything coated in ocean water and seaweed, it would appear. The characters were forgettable at best, just points of view for the story to bounce off of. Even our noble hero, Elliot, just kind of sits around and be moody, before warning people shit is going down. Yet, the story itself, you want to know what happens next. Which, again, is a rarity.

Of course, this depends on your tolerance for, let's admit, somewhat shit writing. On the cover, and two pages inside, there are rave reviews about how the author is the funniest, most visionary writer ever. Hyperbolic, anyway, but the book, aside from a few humorous throwaway lines, it's not very funny. Visionary may be closer, but not to the extent that the hysterical jacket reviews boast.

Course, it certainly is disturbing. The creatures this chick comes up with, the graphic description, you get the feel that if they made this into a movie, it would resonate greater. The Horse-Thing, Man-Thing, the Cod women of the first part, skulk around, never fully developed, but the ties to Elliot's past make them even more horrifying.

Rating: 7 out of 10


Emma said...

Awesome critical review! This certainly looks interesting.

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