Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors

Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors

by Benjamin X. Wretlind
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Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MKROSE More than 1 year ago
I honestly don't know how to write this review. I don't know what I can say about Castles that will be informative to the reader without exposing something that the reader really has to find out for him or herself. I can't tell you the emotions I felt while reading it because I felt all of them, often many of them at the same time. I can't even tell you what kind of a book this is: literary, horror, psychological, supernatural, allegorical, because it is all of those things and more. But I suppose I can tell you what Castles isn't. It isn't a book you will be able to put down. It isn't a book you will be able to forget. And, most of all, it isn't a book that you will read without spending nearly as much time thinking about it as you spent reading it. I suppose the best thing I can say, perhaps the only thing I should have said, is this: Castles is a work of true brilliance. If you read it you will not regret it. If you don't read it, know that you will be missing one of the great literary achievements of the 21st century. I know that sounds a bit much, but that it truly how I feel about this novel. If there is any justice in the literary world the name of Benjamin X. Wretlind will be spoken alongside those of Steinbeck and Hemingway as a truly great American novelist.
Ashley_BOTB More than 1 year ago
When I read the description for this book, I was very intrigued because it isn't a normal book one would read. I was intrigued about the bodies, and this castle Maggie was trying to built. The story starts out about a little girl in the trailer park. I have to say, I'm glad this is a fictional memoir and not a real one, to think that anyone would have to go through a childhood like Maggie's is just painful to think about. It does however read like a true memoir and I had to remind myself that this didn't happen. During the story you can start to see why Maggie might be insane, but you can also see how this may just be her fantasies to deal with the life she has been given. She is obsessed with this rusted Volkswagen Bus, and the things that she dreams of and the things that she sees in the bus and when the storms come is very odd and freaky. The detail about her pain and suffering is very well written, but I was constantly waiting to hear about these dismembered bodies that she places inside the bus. It wasn't until close to the end for me that it all started to get a little horror story-ish. The things she dreams about doing with her boyfriends tongue will have you squeamish for a very long time. I won't spoil it though. Aside from waiting for different things in the story to finally appear, this book was very emotional and very compelling and you will not want to put this book down. Make sure you check it out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Castles is a book that reads like a memoir. When you read it you believe it is true. The book is filled with believable characters that have lots of problems that they are unwilling to face. It's hard to read because you believe it is true even though the author says it is fiction. The writing is excellent. It is set in a desert town. It is set up as several distinct stories but with the same characters. The first story involves the main character Maggie and her grandmother. Her mother and abusive boyfriends also people the story. What is so beautiful about this first story is the contrast between the mother and the grandmother. The mother has a foul mouth and abusive manner. Her choice of men reveal her low character. She abuses Maggie, blames her and calls her names. The grandmother is very kind and protective of Maggie. She inspires Maggie and the reader. She is a lifeline for Maggie. We as readers realize this, so when she dies we realize how devastating it is for Maggie. It sets her on a downward spiral that leads to the ultimate deadly end. Castles is a dark story of abuse, rape, victimization and revenge; however it is REAL LIFE. In our darkest moments we are alone, with a voice, the voice of someone who loved us. If we listen to that voice are we "mad" or just wise? I loved this book! I really loved it!
bconvisdmd More than 1 year ago
Castles is one of those books that is tough to read. Not because of the writing, which is tight and professional, but because of the subject matter. Castles is, at its core, a coming of age story that follows a girl, Maggie, from childhood to young adulthood. It is a visceral tale on many levels, one that makes you squirm because what you are reading is so horrible, yet prevalent in the world today. It is a stark story of abuse, rape, victimization and revenge, and there isn't necessarily a happy ending, depending on how you read the story. The only person Maggie trusted as a child, her grandmother, dies while she is still young, leaving her to the mercies of her mother, whose mood changes as the wheels of her own life turn, and the men she brings home to fill the hole in her own life. As she grows older and watches as everything that was good thing in her life dies (the boy she loses her virginity to and the dog they shared), she follows the same path as her mother, choosing relationships that are self-destructive. The difference between her and her mother, though, is that she finally listens to the words that the ghost of her grandmother (or memory, depending on how you read it) share with her. Instructions on how to clean up the mess she has made of her life. The end of the story is open ended in my opinion. Is Maggie going mad after what she has done? Is she going to continue getting into destructive situations just so she has messes to clean up? Or, now that she has cleaned up the mess that was her childhood, is she going to try and close that chapter in her life and live on? Castles in an interesting story about abuse and family cycles and how they affect the mindset of the people involved. People on the outside looking in may say, "It's over, grow up, make something or your life." But it's never that easy, is it? Once abuse and death and murder become staples of your life, is it possible to become "normal"? Or does that way of life warp the mind enough that there is no coming back? I enjoyed my time reading Castles (as much as anyone can enjoy reading something of this subject matter). Ben could have been more descriptive in many of his scenes, could have turned the reader's stomach more,but thankfully, he found a nice balance between giving us enough but not too much. Just because there is rape and assault doesn't mean every second has to be described in all of its violent, ugly glory. As for typos, if there were any, I didn't notice them. So pick up Castles. It is a well written tale designed to make you feel uncomfortable. And isn't that what good horror is supposed to do? Bradley Convissar- author of "Dogs of War"