Archive for August 25th, 2017

the Epiphany Machine


The Epiphany Machine by David Burr Gerrard

A searing alternative history of New York city, from the 60s to the near future, in which a tattoo machine is rumored to inscribe insightful assessments on its users’ forearms—with irreversible consequences.

Everyone else knows the truth about you, now you can know it, too.

That’s the promise of Adam Lyon’s epiphany machine, or at least the headline of an original promotional flyer he uses in the 1960s. At that point, Adam is already hosting regular salon nights in his tiny New York City apartment, where his guests can offer up their forearms to his junky old contraption and receive important, personal revelations in the form of a tattoo.

Over the decades, Adam’s apparatus teaches John Lennon to love The Beatles, takes early blame for the spread of HIV, and predicts several violent crimes. But most significant to Adam may be the days on which he marks the arm of Venter Lowood’s mother, and then his father, and then Venter himself.

It’s Venter, a bright but lost young man, who becomes Adam’s protégé. It’s Venter who records the testimonials from epiphany machine users, who studies another writer’s history of the machine. And it’s Venter who reads Adam’s pamphlet, distributed into the 90s and aughts, that adds to his original oath:

There are absolutely no circumstances under which your epiphanies or any other personal information will be shared with law enforcement.

It’s Venter who will be forced to reconcile himself to this important caveat, when the government begins asking questions about a very specific tattoo that marks the arm of his best friend.

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David Burr Gerrard 

Author’s Bio

David Burr Gerrard is the author of THE EPIPHANY MACHINE (Putnam, July 2017) and SHORT CENTURY (Rare Bird, 2014). He teaches creative writing at the 92nd Street Y, The New School, and the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop.


My Review

4 stars

Adam Lyon acquired a tattoo machine in the 1960’s that tattoos epiphanies on people. Usually it is the one thing that you don’t want to admit to yourself. The story is told by Venter Lowood who has become fascinated by the machine when his mother left him to help Adam. Venter begins chronicling people, their reactions to their tattoos, and how they change because of them along with how the world changes around them all.

This is an interesting look into ourselves. We all have that secret though that we don’t really want to admit but what happens when you have a truth tattooed on your skin in jest. How are you to live with that truth? What are you to do about it? How are you to change?

This book will having you thinking about yourself and if you were in the same position. But I have to say that the ending left things open for me. It was interesting the famous and regular people that get the tattoo.

This is a good story and I think that it will become popular although it has not really been advertised that much. It’s one to check out.

I received The Epiphany Machine from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Love, Death and Other Lies
By Jerome Sparks
Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Thriller, Occult

During an ill-fated girls’ night out, still reeling from the loss of her husband, Liv Bestte meets a mysterious, old woman who promises to return her husband to her – for a price. It isn’t until the reanimated corpse of her late husband has begun terrorizing the hills and hollows around Julian, West Virginia, tearing flesh from bone, that Liv learns the price is her soul.

Now Liv is racing against time to find a way to satisfy this debt without sacrificing herself. And she soon learns that the only way she might escape her grisly fate is by offering up her daughter, Tegan, in her place.

But is it already too late for Liv? Is Liv’s fate sealed by family history? When Liv is about to make an ill-fated decision, it is Liv’s younger sister, Abby, who stands in her way, despite the fact that Abby was the first victim of the resurrected thing that was once Conner Bestte.

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Author’s Bio

Jerome Sparks is a native of West Virginia.  He majored in the highly unprofitable and nonspecific field of Creative Productions while attending the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia.  Hoping to become a college professor, Sparks went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Humanities, with a concentration in literary theory from the West Virginia Graduate College located in Institute, West Virginia.  But, after an unsuccessful attempt to teach English at the college level (for which he offers his most sincere apologies to his former students), Sparks took the easy out and pursued a J.D. from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Sparks called New Orleans home for several years, haunting the bars and bistros of the French Quarter, before finally following a girl back to West Virginia where he is currently practicing law.  (Yes, he married the girl.)  Sparks and his family now live happily in the West Virginia hills.

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My Review

5 stars

Liv Bestte was married to the perfect man and he died. She can’t get over him and when she meets a strange old lady that promises to bring Conner back Liv jumps at the opportunity. But in classic style, Liv doesn’t exactly get what she wishes for. Conner doesn’t remember what happened, he just wakes up buried in a small box knowing that he was buried alive. When he gets free he has this strong desire to kill a beautiful woman and is not going to let anything get in his way. Liv is on a race against time to try and stop Conner but it is starting to look like the only way that can happen is if she sacrifices her daughter in her place.

Liv can’t get over losing Conner and we start the story with her lamenting his death. Of course she is going to jump at the opportunity to get him back. Conner on the other hand deserves his fate, what a jerk!!! Of course we have blood and gore as Conner works his way to Liv and the mad rush as Liv tries to save herself from a gory fate.

This is a great story with the classic saying, “be careful what you wish for.” It was easy to get into the story. The pages flew and I didn’t realize what time it really was when I emerged from this story. Love, Death, and Other Lies is a must have for any horror lover.

I received Love, Death and Other Lies from Sage’s Blog Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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