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Posted November 16, 2012
Posted January 27, 2012
I just finished the last page of Conquering Venus. It enriched me on every level and gave me such a boost of emotional and intellectual energy. I loved the magic of Collin Kelley's words and imagery. I'm fortunate to have visited Paris several times and it was as though I was there, walking the streets and feeling the personality of the city. He created characters that match perfectly within his ensemble and for the settings and events where he placed them. As an afficianado of mysteries, I loved the intertwining of stories and how he crafted the storylines to send things in divergent directions and then have them skim past each other before they reconnected. Last, and perhaps most importantly, the words were so beautifully woven together. That isn't a surprise, knowing how wonderful Collin Kelley's poetry is -- and I did love the poems that he included in the book. But it's my first experience reading his narrative. Hate to sound like a cliche, but it was pure poetry. It was one of the best written novels I have read in a very long time.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2009
I enjoyed this book overall !! The characters were believable and interesting. The plot was full of intrigue, romance, and thrills. The backdrop of Paris added a world of history and beauty indescribable.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A BOOK OPRAH WILL LOVE! WHY? Because this novel contains broken, damaged people who find intimacy--if not quite redemption--in the surreal world of their dreams--and in the strrets,hotels, and sights of Paris, circa 1995.
COLLIN KELLEY: AUTHOR AS ALCHEMIST.
Many "contemporary novels" are labeled "magical realism" when they are infused with the surreal. Isabel Allende is a master at this. And in "Conquering Venus", Collin Kelley provides us with a novel Ms. Allende herself would enjoy.
As if tapping into some primeval drive, Collin Kelley unearths desire of various types--repressed, taboo, and unrecognized, in nearly every word.
In "Conquering Venus", Kelley's debut novel, protaganist Martin Paige is a man haunted by a death, and a secret.
During a trip from Memphis to London to Paris in which he embarks(ostensibly) to assist his best friend, Diane, Martin disovers that his ability to fall-in-love may be damaged, but not gone. With the deft care of an older, mysterious Frenchwoman, and the intuition his dreams (and hers) provide, Martin is coaxed, pushed, and finally, metaphorically-speaking, held hostage by his own conscience.
Many women readers will connect with Martin's losses and his seeming inability to get past old hurts. Many men will connect with Martin as well.
And both genders will pine for the ever-elusive Frenchwoman, the voyeur (she watches other people, in their hotel rooms) who passes time, from a prison of her own making.
The eventual object of Martin's affection is quite compelling, too: he is one taboo component of this "triangular" love story. And when I say "triangular", it's not what you think. There are three separate "triangles" in this dark, edge-y and oddly spiritual love story; that's because each of them intersect each other's lives in wondrous ways.
The characters here are so well-drawn, you may well forget you're reading a novel, and begin to refer to what you read, as a film you saw.
The novel will ask you many questions, but Kelley does not not hand us easy answers. He lets the characters speak for themselves, and by the end of the novel, he's performed an alchemy of sorts--and we are left with something familiar, something comforting, a sweet scent, like a French perfume. Ethereal, and lovely.
Posted February 19, 2010
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Posted January 12, 2012
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