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Archive for January 8th, 2018

The Automation

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The Automation (Circo del Herrero Series – 1) by G.B. Gabbler

The capital-A Automatons of Greco-Roman myth aren’t clockwork. Their design is much more divine. They’re more intricate than robots or androids or anything else mortal humans could invent. Their windup keys are their human Masters. They aren’t mindless; they have infinite storage space. And, because they have more than one form, they’re more versatile and portable than, say, your cell phone—and much more useful too. The only thing these god-forged beings share in common with those lowercase-A automatons is their pre-programmed existence. They have a function—a function their creator put into place—a function that was questionable from the start…

Odys (no, not short for Odysseus, thank you) finds his hermetic lifestyle falling apart after a stranger commits suicide to free his soul-attached Automaton slave. The humanoid Automaton uses Odys’s soul to “reactivate” herself. Odys must learn to accept that the female Automaton is an extension of his body—that they are the same person—and that her creator-god is forging a new purpose for all with Automatons…

The novel calls itself a “Prose Epic,” but is otherwise a purposeful implosion of literary clichés and gimmicks: A Narrator and an Editor (named Gabbler) frame the novel. Gabbler’s pompous commentary (as footnotes) on the nameless Narrator’s story grounds the novel in reality. Gabbler is a stereotypical academic who likes the story only for its so-called “literary” qualities, but otherwise contradicts the Narrator’s claim that the story is true.

THE AUTOMATION is a this-world fantasy that reboots mythical characters and alchemical concepts. Its ideal place would be on the same bookshelf as Wilson’s ALIF THE UNSEEN and Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS—though it wouldn’t mind bookending Homer, Virgil, and Milton, to be specific.

And, yes, “B.L.A. and G.B. Gabbler” are really just a pen name.

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 Author’s Bio

Editor of THE AUTOMATION, Vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. Spouse/partner/babysitter to The Narrator of said series (B.L.A.).

[Gabbler is the second half (maybe the better half, who knows?) of the pen name for The Author – singular – of the CIRCO series.]

This is technically a joint account for B.L.A and G.B. Gabbler because B.L.A doesn’t really do the whole on-the-grid thing and would rather make Gabbler DO ALL THE WORK.

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My Review

DNF

Ody and his twin sister are hermits. While Ody is out an old man gives him a coin then promptly commits suicide. Although odd, Ody doesn’t think much of this until a strange, naked, gold woman said that she is an Automation created for a specific purpose. We learn that Ody is now the youngest person to be in control of an Automation and he is now getting a crash course in the power struggle between the other owners, one of which is his own father. Ody is now part of this insane world whether he is ready or not.

I have tried and tried to read this book. I’m sorry but it has sat on my headboard for months and it’s time I post some kind of review. I am sorry but I had a hard time with this book. There were some parts of the story that I liked, I found it humorous the other people that had the Automations. There were some quips added in but overall I was bored and irritated at the footnotes. It was ridiculous and pointless and I was about done with everyone. I had to call it quits at the middle of the book.

I have seen that several people just loved this book. By all means I would say to check it out. Just because I couldn’t get into doesn’t mean that it won’t be someone else’s favorite book.

I received The Automation from SOB Publishing for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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World Chase Me Down

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World, Chase Me Down by Andrew Hilleman

A rousing, suspenseful debut novel True Grit meets Catch Me If You Can based on the forgotten true story of a Robin Hood of the American frontier who pulls off the first successful kidnapping for ransom in U.S. history.

Once the most wanted man in America, Pat Crowe is a forgotten folk hero who captivated the nation as an outlaw for economic justice. World, Chase Me Down resurrects him, telling the electrifying story of the first great crime of the last century: how in 1900 the out-of-work former butcher kidnapped the teenage son of Omaha’s wealthiest meatpacking tycoon for a ransom of $25,000 in gold, and then burgled, safe-cracked, and bond-jumped his way across the country and beyond, inciting a manhunt that was dubbed the thrill of the nation and a showdown in the court of public opinion between the haves and have-nots all the while plotting a return to the woman he never stopped loving.

As if channeling Mark Twain and Charles Portis, Andrew Hilleman has given us a character who is bawdy and soulful, grizzled, salty, and hard-drinking, and with a voice as unforgettable as that of Lucy Marsden in Alan Gurganus’s Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All an anti-hero you can’t help rooting for.

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Author’s Bio

Andrew Hilleman was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in English at Creighton University and his M.F.A. in Fiction from Northern Michigan University.

During his time in graduate school, he taught creative writing, composition, and technical writing. He has been published in Fiddlehead magazine and was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s short fiction award.

His debut novel, WORLD, CHASE ME DOWN will be published by Penguin on Jauary 24, 2017. He lives in Omaha with his wife and daughter. he enjoys back-and-white movies, jogging, cooking, single-malt scotch, college football, and 1980’s sitcoms.

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My Review

5 stars

Pat Crowe was a notorious criminal during the 1900. He was known for bank and rain robberies, homicide attempts, and a visit to and escape from the Joilet prison. World, Chase Me Down is the story of Pat and his friend Billy Cavanaugh. Both had a little butcher shop that was run out of business by a meatpacking tycoon. To get their revenge, Pat kidnaps the tycoon’s son and holds him for a $25,000 ransom. But this leads to Pat being on the run robbing, stealing, and even making a visit and escaping from Joilet prison.

I had never heard of Pat Crowe before reading this book but I have to say that he was one heck of a man. This may be the fictionalized account of his life but you have to tip your hat to a man that is willing to step up and not be bullied by someone with money. The years following the kidnapping had him all over the country having all kinds of adventures with diamonds, robberies, and even becoming a soldier of fortune.

If you are looking for an adventure with a real life robber look no further. This is not your typical wild, west story. Pat is one heck of a man and this is a great ride following along with him. This may be outside your normal reads but you will not be disappointed.

I received World, Chase Me Down from Penguin Books for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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