Freak Parade by Marilyn Jaye Lewis LIMITED COLLECTOR'S EDITION Available for a limited print run of 200 copies
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)
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In Freak Parade Marilyn Jaye Lewis takes the reader on an exciting romp through a Manhattan of the very recent past that is surely as extinct as the days of trolley cars and vaudeville. The action starts in a posh Central Park West penthouse where retired rock star Eugenia (Genie) Sharpe has just discovered that her partner, music-industry mogul Daryl, for whom she has given up her career, has been two-timing her with a wide assortment of freaky wannabe starlets. This discovery propels Genie back into the downtown world from which she emerged - a world that is on the cusp of changing from the dangerous, gritty place she remembered into the fashionable, gentrified, and less-edgy destination of young, middle-class fun-seekers it has since become. Genie is a character in search of both emotional intimacy and sexual fulfillment. Her old downtown life, which she slips back into after leaving Daryl's apartment, provides the latter in spades, in encounters with male and female lovers, both old and new. As in her other books, Lewis is a master at creating achingly intense scenes of erotic abandon in which pain and pleasure collide in an alchemical quest for the philosopher's stone of unbounded ecstasy. Readers who are looking to further their own explorations into this realm will be happily surprised by the places Freak Parade takes them to. But emotional intimacy is a lot harder to find. Genie thought she had found it with Daryl, and she accepted a reduced sexual-bliss quotient as an acceptable trade-off. The dive bars of downtown Manhattan might seem to be an unlikely place to find a relationship in which emotional intimacy combines with mind-blowing sexual pyrotechnics. Much of the tension in Freak Parade revolves around whether this quest will prove to be successful. But there are many other reasons to read and enjoy this novel. It is a complex, literary novel, and yet one that is a real page-turner in the best sense. Lewis knows how to create compelling minor characters without wasting the reader's time with descriptive prose that is too elaborate. Her dialogue is focused and believable, and it fairly sparkles off the page as one reads it. Perhaps best of all, her portrayal of the downtown Manhattan demimonde reveals her knowledge of and love for one of the most exciting periods in the history of the city, and it will appeal to everyone who was there or who wishes they had been there.
I have been a loyal reader of Marilyn Jaye Lewis's work for a long time and am always enraptured by her stories, their tremendous readability factor with razor sharp wit and wisdom, and naturally, the highly charged erotic weave. Yet, I have never been as compelled to write a book review as I was the moment I (reluctantly) closed her latest masterpiece, Freak Parade. My first thought was "She has to write a sequel!" Lewis's reigning lead character, Eugenia Sharpe ("That's right, I used to be famous.") draws the reader right into her decidedly "cool" but also unaffected persona from page 1. With charm and grit, "Genie" takes you where she's been, where she stands (in the penthouse suite of her soon to be former lover and producer, Darryl) and then, fasten your seat belts folks, on her transformative Manhattan voyage of challenge and adventure in page after page of her dark, and ultimately, enlightening discovery of herself and unimaginable future. Eugenia Sharpe is a heroine we adore. She is smart, unabashedly feisty and tenacious. Lewis does a superb job of narrating from the perspective of Genie. The reader glides through this fascinating character's wonderful streams of consciousness. I found myself sincerely caring about and rooting for Genie throughout the entire book. All of the characters in Freak Parade are keenly developed, that goes without saying, but each one is so fascinating, unique and authentic that I felt like I was hanging out with a really groovy group of New Yorkers. In fact, when I was not reading Freak Parade, I missed these colorful folks and wished I had friends like them. The banter between Genie and her friends (Wanda, Chas and Frankie) is splendid. They spin one clever remark after another. The reader has little time to appreciate the verbal choreography of one colorful character before it's followed up with something even more hysterical or intriguing from another. I could not wait to see what would happen, or be said, next. This story has so much literary merit on it's own that one could forget it is erotica (though not easily). The erotica in Freak Parade is edgy and raw, leaving even the most stoic reader writhing. But unlike a lot of erotica, Freak Parade can easily stand on its own as a intriguing, page-turning smart, sassy and sexy novel. That said the erotic scenes Lewis treats us to are heated and highly charged. The steamy adventures Genie hedonistically enjoys merge seamlessly into strong story lines. I was on edge page after page following Genie's blazing hot love story with Latino hero "Eddie". I pride myself on being fairly fluent in Spanish, but thanks to Eddie's taunting dialogue with Genie, I have learned that "hinchado" means swollen. A great book is one I can't wait to pick up again, stay up way too late reading and when I get down to the last twenty pages I slow down to hasten the inevitable ending of what had been a captivating escape into a new horizon. Such was the case with Marilyn Jaye Lewis's new erotic novel, Freak Parade. I did not want it to end. Hence, I will be looking for Freak Parade II.