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Book ReviewerCURSED is:
2. Wonderfully original
3. At times, hysterical
4. Highly recommended if you're thirsting for something truly different.
Posted February 26, 2014
Posted February 7, 2013
Posted October 10, 2011
This is a quirky story with a crisp, humorous, clever writing style. The characters are unique and endearing in a dysfunctional sort of way. This is not a formulaic novel and Jeremy C. Shipp is a uniquely marvelous writer.
The story centers around a group of friends dealing with, of course, being CURSED. There are flashes of humor but there is still the underlying darkness of being outside the norm, people dealing with and bonded by their curse, and who, or what, cursed them. The characters are not flat, one-dimensional characters, and the story overall is satisfying.
If you are yearning for something different, tired of the same-old, same-old, than you will enjoy this novel. I don't usually write reviews but this book was so good, so different, so unique I felt compelled to write one to tell more people to READ THIS BOOK!
Posted July 22, 2010
I Also Recommend:
After reading this book I want to read all of Jeremy C. Shipp's books! 'Cursed' is funny, weird, original, compelling and in my opinion a MUST read.
Nick and Cicely are friends and they are both 'cursed' on the same day with ridiculously odd curses. Nick's curse means he will be slapped every day, whilst Cicely is forced to hold a tennis ball in her hand for ever; if she drops it the world will come to an end. They meet Abby, who is also cursed, and become friends with her through their common problem. Nick used to be an alcoholic, so when his behaviour is called into question his friends and family assume he has started drinking again. In fact, the person or thing that has cursed him is ruining his life along with the lives of his friends.
We follow Nick, Cicely and Abby through some strangely wonderful scenes as they try to put their lives back together and find out who or what has cursed them.
I was hooked on this book from the start. It is very entertaining and well written. I like the way the narrator thinks in lists; this makes the prose move quickly, adding to the feeling of fast-moving action.
Although this book is a fun read, it does seem to contain a deeper more complex element. The curses are ridiculous, but at a deeper level, they can be interpreted as reflections of the problems people face in their lives (such as the real problems faced by the characters including alcoholism/addiction, bereavement, and divorce), and the way people try to deal with those problems emotionally. In fact, the way the main character makes lists of things all the time, shows an addictive side to his personality.
The characters were all very realistic, if slightly eccentric. If you are looking for a book that will keep you interested, make you smile, and surprise you with its twists and turns, 'Cursed' is the book for you.
Posted January 3, 2010
I was given this book for consideration for review by the author.
Some books are easy reads, some are emotionally harrowing, and some make you work to take the experience imbued by the author away when you close it at the end. Cursed by Jeremy C. Shipp falls very definitely into this last category.
Nick is an odd, but easy to relate to man who has reason to believe he's been cursed as strange things start to happen in his life. By chance (or maybe not) he meets Cicely and Abby, who also seem to be cursed, and it all started on the same day. Are they cursed by the same man? And how do they stop it and get their loved ones back when they might just be the playthings of a god?
But that barely touches the surface of the story in this book. Shipp is an excellent writer, there's no doubt, but this is neither and easy book nor one for everyone. As the story progresses a disturbing sense of complete imbalance surfaces, as the reader realizes they know almost everything about the secondary characters and nothing about Nick himself, coupled with the suspicious that these people are just completely nuts.
The difficulty of the read is in Shipp's absolute close-mouthed approach, telling the reader what is happening in precise, list like detail, but also never allowing character nor reader a moment to guess why this is all happening, or if, indeed the character are sharing some psychosis or privy to some deeper truth. There is a divide between how the three main characters experience things and how the rest of the story world experiences them, but Shipp seems unwilling to lend "right" to one or the other or both. He chooses instead to push the story on, maintaining a sense of "what the hell" from the reader. We know, as we experience the story (because despite it's simplistic writing approach it is experiencing it more than reading it) that both sides cannot be correct. Yet Shipp maintains proof that they are, forcing the reader to let go of their preconceived notions of storytelling and trust in him.
I was left with a feeling that in their skewed, possibly psychotic mental workings the three leads were free to somehow confront life itself, in a bodily form, particularly when they finally meet their curser and he has this to say: "I'm interested in your mind, your emotions, the whole enchilada. Your suffering is a valuable asset to me, and I don't relish the thought of you finding a sort of nihilistic peace in oblivion."
Shipp has, in my opinion, formed a story of life's battering of the living, of being a brutal lover who gives and takes away with the same hand. Of kissing and smacking at the simultaneously, and for the same reason.
Cursed is not an easy read on any level (save for that it is written almost entirely as a series of lists, meta lists and listed occurrences, so technically two hundred plus pages of one to two line "paragraphs" might be considered an easy read, word count wise) but the right readers will find it worth the work.