Greetings. The good news today is that I had my first review on Amazon.com for “How to Make Ghosts”
What I liked so much about the review was that the reader was able to see far beyond the erotica side of the book and see so many references to the artistic sense of it. I actually thought it would be years before anyone “Got it” when in fact it took less than six weeks to get into the right kinds of hands, which is wonderful. To my mind, I know I will write books that only certain types of people will want to read. To me it’s not just about the fact it was one of the first reviews or a good review, it was the intellectual content of the reviewer that made me happy about it.
So here it is. You can also check it out on amazon.com… but for now. I have added it to this post.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Mistress Elena Hexthorn’s superb ‘How To Make Ghosts.’
By Mr. D. G. on August 29, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
OMG, how to ‘pigeonhole’ this SUPERNOVA of a novella? Dark and erotic, without being at all pornographic, witty, vibrantly and outrageously funny, horny, filthy, passionately spiritual and yet with a massive undertow of compassion- a mighty river of empathy for all creation, and to this gynophilic reviewer, something drenched with a delicious femininity, literally almost, as the graphically described bodily emissions evince!
There’s a whimsy, and surrealistic imagination at work here, reminiscent of the great Russian, Bougakovs’ ‘Master and Margarita’, and the late Angela Carter in her best moments-and something else!
Despite being a magical realist, she starts the novel in an almost conventional naturalistic vein; one could be reading Scott Fitzgerald or our own contemporary London-based Scot-Alan Warner as Elena (Isobel in the novel) describes sensitively and compassionately her dying relationship with the computer-obsessed and narcissistic Sam,an anti-hero of our time,and her sometimes elliptical but atmospheric evocation of a near contemporary and Dystopian London,while betraying a painter’s eye for detail (her sketches of Hampstead Heath have the freshness and poetry of Constable of Turner!) She evokes also the the excitement and loneliness of living in London,the great sprawling city,as she glides into her zany psycho-erotic world seamlessly, being a mightily sympathetic archaeologist of the ancient pagan soul of London, and in this respect,highly reminiscent of fellow-Londoner, Peter Ackroyd.
I won’t spoil the story by going into too much detail, but there are ‘portals’ to an adjacent world, and she falls in love with a son of Anubis no less, there are two dogs, though aliens,’Watchers’, masquerading as ‘pets’, and here-that delightfully feminine touch again, exquisitely sketched images of two little kittens, earthly and real.
Despite the whacky humour and earthly sexuality, there is an overarching metaphysic-that ‘something else’ I hinted at earlier; a hint of ancient Egypt, as well as Jung and the Gnostics, but all done with that light feminine touch(And a superior one!) and the flick of an artist’s sable brush thought provoking without being pompous-there is one delightful scene in the Old City, in a sequestered bar that could have come out of the London of De Quincey or Wilde, or the lower depths described so vividly by her fellow-American, Jack London.
Her canvas is broad, even if her touch is light.
Though in the three small chapters central to the book, for my tastes, the action gets a bit too frenetic (Elena’s American background showing?) and almost slapstick in the humour and action,the later scenes in the old City bar, introducing us to Lou (The Gnostic Demiurge?) and the humorously erotic Giselle(The Great Goddess?) continue where the magic of the earlier Hampstead Heath scenes left off.
Contrasting with the anarchic Parliament Square scenes(Thankfully off-screen!) Giselle’s sensuality and sheer ‘joie-de-vivre’ in the closing pages complements a kind of fantasy religious metaphysic that is really quite profound, anthropology as well as an almost ‘Dadaist’ Dystopia.
I expect great things from this highly promising author, this gem of a book, being a mere tyro’s prelude to even greater novels!
Here are some other books I have always liked.