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  1. This is an article about my upcoming thriller, Gun Kiss, published in Divine Magazine. The novel will be released by Imajin Books in Canada. Divine Magazine Best wishes, Khaled
  2. So I read this because so many members of the book swapping club I belonged to had requested it and I came across a copy at a thrift store for a dollar so I thought why not? It was hard for me to get into and to try to relate to this woman. It took til about page 200 for me to kind of get into it which is 2/3's of the book already. Some parts were hard to read but I think it was because it was chuck full of brutally honest, no apologies feelings and the vivid sometimes gruesome descriptions of her past. What I will say is that though her writing and what she expresses didn't always agree with me I did appreciate her honesty. I could relate to her wanted to find herself and getting back to herself after what she had been through. Her wanting to find her true self and stick to it. I like to think of myself as someone on the other side of that journey though which is probably why I couldn't really get into the book until she herself felt she had returned to her true self or the true self she felt she should be at that moment in time despite what she went through. Her strength and acceptance of what will be will be is something I can relate to. In the 90s we were all used to a certain kind of life here in the US and when the economy broke and the wars started up again and the WTC bombings happened as we go to the 2000s things just changed. I live in another world than she did at her age and everyday feels like I will make it just by sheer will force and determination. I didn't have to go the woods and then come back. There is no escaping this and like her after a while I began to not even mind. I think maybe that is why the book is popular. So many people have veered off what they thought they should be and want to get back to it, reading her story makes them feel like they could and that things will get better no matter how crappy they seem now. I probably wouldn't have bothered with this book if it hadn't been for the club but at the very least it made me feel like if I just stick to the path I'm going things will work out and be fine. I would recommend this book to anyone who has been through a rough time or anyone who wants to read a cool story about a girl who went hiking in the woods by herself with little money, almost no prep, relying on her instinct, wit and the kindness of strangers.
  3. T Coraghessan Boyle is not as well known on this side of the Atlantic as I believe he deserves to be, and is one of the few modern writers I can think of who seems equally at home with short stories, where he cut his teeth in the 1980s, and longer novels. A little like Steinbeck, Boyle's writing often studies is the regular Joes of California. Inevitably, however, Boyle's characters are very different from Steinbeck; his focus is the baby boom generation of aging hippies. Previous books have been set on communes (Drop City, may favourite from what I've read of his) and dope farms (Budding Prospects), for example. This is also the generation from which the environmentalist movement sprang, and it is this which is the focus of When The Killing's Done. The novel opens startlingly with a shipwreck. Its lone survivor, Beverley, washes up on the island of Anacapa, where invading rats are doing battle with the local fox population. Then, the story leaps forward to its central strand, set in 1980. Park Service Ranger Alma Boyd Takasue, is charged with overseeing the extermination of pigs on neighbouring Santa Cruz Island, as well as the continuing battle of the species on Anacapa. Her nemesis is local electronics store owner Dave La Joy, his musician girlfriend Anise and his band of environmental activists. Anise provides a link to the novel's third strand, as she grew up on Anacapa where her mother worked as a cook on the island's sheep farm. As you might guess from this description, this is a big novel tackling big themes. Who's right: the Rangers exterminating invading species, or La Joy and co. with their desire to prevent the slaughter? Who will come out on top? Boyle provides plenty of detail and colour, resulting in a novel collapsing under the weight of description and back story, smothering what could have been a pacy, yet thought provoking read. The two chief protagonists are vividly drawn, especially Alma, who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant in the course of the novel, providing another sideline. La Joy, perhaps appropriately for a man so devoted to a single issue, seems rather less complex in comparison. This is great writing (Boyle's a Creative Writing professor as well as a prolific novelist) there's just rather too much of it. 2/5
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