“An ambitious psychological thriller that reads like a fever dream. Tailor-made for fans of Franz Kafka.” –Best Thrillers
Strong ambition drives Beck Blades, an aspiring writer from rural Nebraska, to become obsessed with having big Hollywood studios make movies based on his fiction stories. Taking a heavy toll on his marriage, Beck’s writing ambition soon proves hard to achieve. However, he is not a man to give up, even as rejections trail his efforts.
He continues to write one fiction story after another with no breakthrough, until he writes his eleventh one, the unusual one, which grabs headlines through an unexpected route. Success begins for Beck, but little does he know his female literary agent has an extra plan way beyond representation.
|Publisher:||Black Rose Writing|
|Edition description:||First Printing ed.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I have a problem. And, what would that be, you ask? Well, I am a writer, and I have come to realize that I should not have written my eleventh fiction story, whose success gave birth to the whole mess my life became. My decision to write that story was not an easy one. I was a man truly besieged with the urge to write. I was a man who had a war raging inside his head. Several voices in my head were fighting it out amongst themselves — There were those that urged me to focus on the reasons why I should not go ahead and write my eleventh story, these reasons kept exploding like fireworks, and in many directions, in my head at every hour of the day; there were also those that kept on pressing me that it was a real man that pushes forward in spite of facing numerous downfalls. These paradoxical thoughts argued, they jostled, they fought each other in a struggle to dominate my mind.
Give up on writing!
Keep on trying, and success will come!
You don't have what it takes to be a Shakespeare or Hemingway!
But you have the ability to touch the lives of others!
How many times will you fail to learn from your experiences which show you that you have no future as a writer, even if you decide not to give it up?
This is your purpose. You will shine!
You're only deluding yourself!
It's alright to fail!
My head ached, burning up with the battle that was neither being won, nor lost. I just had to get off the seat and take a walk. I very much had to. I needed to try and get a chance to think clearly, in spite of the rumblings in my disturbed mind.
"You are a writer, Beck," I said to myself,
"And, writers exist to write ... Not writing this story will amount to a denial of the love you have for writing."
And, there was no stopping me from then onwards. The small pep talk proved to be a stronger motivation than anything else since I started off on my eleventh fiction story just as I returned home from the walk.
I had no strand of doubt that I could write excellent stories, which would go on to become foundations for blockbuster movies, though it was a big shame for me that none of my first ten stories impressed the executives of any of the movie studios whom I previously approached. They all had different ways they said my stories were not right for them.
"Your story idea does not seem to go with our branded message."
"It doesn't just seem right for our studio."
"Sorry, this is not good enough." However, all those discouragements did not prove to be enough to dampen my spirits — I was determined to try again, press on, push ahead until I achieved my breakthrough. I could not be more fired up by rejections. "Come on," I said to myself, 'you're not going to take 'no' for an answer. Those studios need my talent! I can do it!"
"Beck! Are you still doing that?" I heard her say.
"Yes. I am, Julie," I replied. Julie was my wife. Julie's impatience could never be caged enough for me to speak more words than she wanted me to.
"Get realistic!" she screamed, and went on to say, "Do you need a palm reader now to let you know that you're not good enough? Do you need God to step down from heaven to tell you, or do you need uncle D to step out of majestic pandemonium to tell it to you?"
"Uncle D?" I asked, confused at who that might be.
"I was talking about the devil!" replied Julie angrily, "Do you need him to let you know that you're not good enough so that you come to your senses?"
"I think I'm a good writer," said I, trying to convince myself more than her.
"But not good enough! Those men want nothing but the best," came her reply.
"I know that, honey."
"But, which you can't produce!" she retorted sharply.
"I think I can," said I, sounding determined.
"Really?" It was her habit to doubt me and put me down.
"I know I can," I said, trying my best to convince her this time.
"Give it all up!" she shouted dismissively.
"I will ... but only after I have tried the big boss at Paramount Pictures with my new story," I informed her.
"You are so crazy, Beck!" she shouted. "Stop building castles in the air."
Julie had these temper tantrums that sometimes belched forth like molten lava from an erupting volcano. She stood tall at just five feet six inches. She was a blonde from Houston, Texas, having a round face. Her smiles, that she would give often, were attractive, but her anger, which exploded once in a while, were terrifying. On a good day, her laughter would give any man, who found it hard to control his groin area, a huge erection. Overall, she was not that bad a personality to me — A woman, who could cook like a Michelin-starred chef, and, well, made by the almighty creator, she was indeed a good asset. Julie and I had more than liked each other right from our seventh grade. Our chemistry had been amazing. The attraction that we felt towards each other was strong, so intense it was that it had this overwhelmingly domineering urge to possess. It was this urge that led us to the thing that lots of people in this world love to call "relationship." I must say that Julie and I only had sex occasionally, and that was because we were not the kind of people who would identify themselves as a pair of promiscuous dogs that could think of nothing else.
"Oh ... Great ... That's so nice....," Julie had responded back in our high school days, when I first shared my dream to become a writer with her. "It would be nice to see you achieve it," she said, being quite excited to hear of the ambition that raged within my soul like a wild fire. This excitement surged into her with the tremendous force with which a very dry desert soil, which has not known wetness for years, can absorb water. A beaming smile stood on her face, exposing her fine set of white teeth, which had not yet been discolored by drinking coffee — a habit that she picked up after her marriage. I must confess that it felt quite nice to have someone so close to me appreciate my dream.
"Do you really believe I can go all the way and achieve it?" I was quick to ask.
"Yes, you can, Beck," she said with a smile, "It would be really nice to see movies based on your stories."
"Are you convinced?" I asked, trying to see whether she truly meant it.
"Sure! What are friends for? I will support you every step of the way. I believe in your dream, Beck." She did sound very convincing back then. I couldn't help but feel flattered and loved.
"Give me a kiss. A gentle one, right at the tip of my nose."
"You are just joking. You will not deny me, will you?"
"You must be joking. Please tell me that you are."
"You're blind, Beck. Can't you see that I am?"
Julie and I always listened to each other. We were so supportive of each other that we shared our burdens, hopes, and dreams of a future which we thought would be flowing with milk and honey. What more could I have longed for? Our relationship was not perfect though. But, I can positively say that it was one of the best around ... well, until I gathered the courage to let her realize that I would go on to write my eleventh fiction story. So, was everything perfectly normal after that? Oh God, no! My decision, very much like a stone thrown into a pond, created a lot of ripples. And, the foundation stone for the mess in my life was only about to be laid.CHAPTER 2
Julie had said that I had gone crazy because I had insisted on not giving up on my pursuit of the movie studios. I was in our living room, reading through the draft of my developing eleventh story, when she came to me with an early morning cup of coffee. It was only a day after I had begun writing my story — a Friday. She was absolutely furious to see what I was doing.
It was clear that she had had enough, as she nearly threw the hot coffee onto my face but managed to check her anger at the right time to prevent herself from doing so. I had been lucky. Julie angrily thumped the cup of coffee on the wooden table that I was sitting on, spilling some on it. I was, to her, the most disgusting thing around — like a thousand flies that kept buzzing around her eyes. I had filled her with an irritation that made every inch of her body itch with infuriation. She was so annoyed with me that she stormed away from my presence into the only bedroom we had and shared in our small rural Nebraska bungalow. It was a bungalow that had one kitchen, one lavatory, and a living room that lacked a rug on its floor and any sort of interior decoration. Our bedroom had a rough floor, two windows and one bed that was not the large type, but was okay for us. All we had in our living room was a wooden dining table with two wooden seats beside it and a green couch. Julie would not just stop there, that I knew very well about the woman I married. But, what I could never have guessed was what she was actually up to. I had always known her to be someone else whenever she got furious.
I vividly remember one day we had an argument — She lost her temper and threw a glass of water at me. We were taking a walk together, when a girl, whom I did not know, waved at me. I raised my right hand and waved back at her. Julie did not make any comment there. There was no way I could see that she had read any meaning into my seemingly harmless gesture. She succeeded in making me feel that there were no qualms. It was only when we got back home that she opened up.
"Who was that?" she queried. I did not understand whom she was talking about at that time. I was hungry and had my mind on grabbing an apple from the fridge.
"Who?" I asked, almost absent-mindedly.
"Beck, don't you get all slippery now!" Julie's tone had changed completely. In fact, she was almost growling. Anger had crept into her. "The girl you waved at! Who's she?" It was only then that I understood what she wanted to know.
"I don't know her," I began, "She waved at me, and I waved back. Just that. I've never seen her before. Please don't tell me that you're not thinking that I've been hitting on her."
"Don't lie to me!" she screamed.
"I'm not lying," I pleaded.
"You fucking liar!"
"I'm not lying! I've never seen her before. I swear!"
"Bloody liar!" she repeated.
"Wait a minute! You think I've been seeing her?"
"Go away from me, you bastard!"
"Stop calling me names, Julie! Believe me! I've never seen her before!"
"What's her name and size of her G-string panties?" "What the hell's this? I don't know! I've got only your own G-string size in my long-term memory. Come on!"
That was it. The glass of water had left her right hand and was flying straight towards my face now. I was so lucky to have got out of the glass's path fast. It had nearly hit my face. I took it that perhaps God still wanted me to keep on having the face He had given me, otherwise the story of my face would have been different today. It was only when the glass had struck the wall and shattered on the floor that Julie realized how stupid she had been in allowing her anger to put her through what she had done.
Julie became misty-eyed and tear drops began to trickle down her eyes. It was almost as if a tap had been turned on at once. She covered her face quickly with her hands, in shame. Her mouth opened, and she cried. I found her more attractive when she cried like that. This ensured that I could not find a way to be angry at her despite her insane act. Believe me, I tried hard to be angry at Julie, but those tears coming from her eyes arrested me. Getting angry with her proved to be tougher than smashing a mountain with bare hands. Those tears just disarmed me. It was as if their cold long hands had extended to caress my whole body, calming me and putting me at ease.
"Beck, I'm sorry," Julie had said to me, her tone so very soft, so very seductive, "I don't know what got over me ... Please, I'm sorry."
I had no choice but to take her in my arms like a loving mother. I am no woman, this I knew well. But, she felt so very tender and calm in my arms. She looked up at my face like a child that needed to suck her mother's breasts. I must confess that I would have offered her mine if only they had not been created to always be tiny, dry, and without the ability to yield even the smallest droplet of milk. One is to love and forgive his wife always, isn't it?
"That's okay," I said to her calmly, "I love you." Then, I began to wipe off the tears on her face which were beginning to roll down her face and drop on the green satin dress that she wore.
"I love you too," she said in between her teary-eyed sniveling.
I did forgive her, but I knew well that she was still a long way from knowing how to keep her anger in check.
But, that day, Julie had just stormed away! What was she really up to?CHAPTER 3
My whole body tickled with fear when Julie stormed into our small-sized bedroom. This move left my mind very active as it tried to make sense of the scenario I would likely face. My instinct suggested lots of things, which I decided to ignore. Julie will come back and hit my face hard with the long heel of one of her shoes! She will return with most of my clothes and burn them right in front of me! I managed to stay calm, ignoring all these strange thoughts that crept into my mind. But, when my gut feeling suggested that Julie might come at me with a knife or a gun, I knew that there was no longer any time for me to just sit and watch. There had actually been a hand-gun somewhere in our bedroom, which I had bought.
It was pure and downright fright that dragged me from my seat and got me up on my feet as fast as it could, which took no more than three seconds. I dashed off to our small kitchen, with the intent of picking up something that I could use to defend myself with. Anything! My heart was pumping as fast as a deer, and it did not want to take it easy. It just kept thumping against my chest so hard that I thought its aim was to tear up my chest and fall off. I could not find anything that made sense to me as far as acquiring a good object that would help me defend myself was concerned.
I finally picked up a fork and a knife. My mind was totally made up: I would have to defend myself as necessary if Julie attacked me, love or no love. I then tiptoed out of the kitchen with my weapons. Upon reaching the kitchen door, I peeped through the door that led to our bedroom to see if Julie would step out of our bedroom, brandishing a weapon. I relaxed a little as I saw that there was no hint of Julie storming out. I decided that it would be best if I waited. After having waited for ten minutes, and still not see Julie stepping out of the bedroom made me wonder what was actually going on. The house was so quiet that I would be able to hear a pin drop. I listened intently for any railing tone that would be hers, but none came.
"Julie," I called out.
But, there was no response.
"Look Julie, doing anything stupid will not help a thing, okay?" I went ahead. "I know you're mad at me. But we can talk it out."
When I still did not get any response, I began to get a feeling that Julie might no longer be in the bedroom. Not wanting to believe that, I shut it out. Julie has murdered herself in the bedroom came a voice in my head. I shut that out as well. But, one thing that I could not help but get seized by was my curiosity — It wrapped me in its arms. I could not resist any bit of it. It ran so strong in me that it urged me on, arming me with the courage to make a move and see what was actually up with my irate wife. It had me make a move to the bedroom, but slowly and still holding my fork and knife in my hands — I had to be careful, Julie could still be somewhere waiting to hit me when I least expected it. That was what my mind told me. And, I had no choice than to pay heed to its well-timed advice.
However, all my preparations amounted to nothing. I was bewildered with what I saw in the bedroom when I got there — Julie was not there. My feelings had been vindicated. Have you seen it now? We told you, and you would not believe us ... my feelings were quick to inform me. My jaws dropped, almost so that I could tell them how sorry I was for not believing them. Then, I quickly realized that my feelings were no humans and would not hear me. But, I did appreciate them by nodding twice, hoping they would be able to see that. I thought they did.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "End It By The Gun"
Copyright © 2018 Kenechukwu Obi.
Excerpted by permission of Black Rose Writing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ken Obi’s latest novel End It By The Gun features charismatic and determined Beck, who’s eagerness to get a top book deal and offer for a screen play, ruins his life. The book delves into Beck’s past, his relationships with women and writing and his latest novel. It is full of dynamic relationships with both women and men, family ordeals and political strife. There’s even a spattering of nature. The novel cannot be simply put into one genre as it ventures into fantasy, political thriller and drama, so there’s bound to be a part that everyone can enjoy. The book can be split into two parts – the first half is about Beck and his life, his dream to become a famous writer and his relationships. The second half is his eleventh novel which features Abdoullah, Farouk, and Murktar and their deadly pathogen V1B6F3. The first half is characterized by tumultuous relationships, between Beck and his family and women. It has a fast-paced style with a masculine tone and lots of underlying energy in the short chapters. There are twists and turns constantly occurring in the chapters that jump around different time periods in Beck’s life. He experiences strange meetings, fame and kidnapping. This style of writing is inviting and leaves the reader wanting more. However, I felt that some parts the book were awkwardly written – “I read that to mean that he must have thought I had given up on dashing away”, and I thought that it could be overly descriptive for a book that means to move quickly. I also felt that there was a lack of sympathy for women in the book – Beck’s wife is made out to be crazy with no explanation, and his agent has no name for most of the narrative. The second part of the book begins in a way reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse. This is the book that makes Beck famous. It has a science versus nature theme which ultimately turns political, alongside this runs the age-old battle between good and evil. The nature aspect of it focuses on an area called Shonga, which is untouched by humans. This part is the gem of the book and where the writing style really works. The vivid descriptions of the forest and way of life offer a rich picture which makes the reader long to be in nature with the characters, away from their urban lifestyles. The characters in the second half of the book are presented in a linear fashion which evokes a level of understanding which is not present in the first half of the text. The characters in this part are all from different walks of life, which goes to show how many people can influence an event. I thought that the tone of the book is inviting, quick and full of energy and I think many people would enjoy the interesting characters and fresh perspectives.
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite In End it By the Gun by Kenechukwu Obi, Beck Blades is an aspiring writer whose first ten stories failed to impress the executives of the movie studios that he approached. Refusing to give up, Beck writes his eleventh story and it brings him the long-awaited success that he deserves. A Spanish movie studio, Crème Pictures, offers him to write a screenplay for a big movie for 100 million dollars. Julie, Beck’s wife, is suspicious of the lucrative job. Despite her warning, Beck goes to the meeting with the people from the studio. Everything goes well until a strange masked woman asks him a weird question, which is the beginning of unexpected trouble. With its fast-paced plot, there are sections of End it By the Gun that are simply chaotic and are head-shaking moments. The protagonist’s rationality is volatile at times. That said, I had to admire Beck and his perseverance in pursuing his ambition, especially what he had to go through with his dysfunctional parents during childhood. Beck’s tenacity is continuously challenged, having two women in his life whose personalities border dangerously on bipolar and psychopath. The narrative could be more concise, but overall the writing is clear and being able to read Beck’s eleventh story is a bonus. All in all, it’s a slightly bizarre yet intriguing story for me. This may be a novel about a kind of craziness, but Kenechukwu Obi’s psychological thriller is entertaining. It lionizes the human spirit and will attract fans of the genre.