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on Jan. 14, 2011 :
The introduction draws the reader in but the climax is not well-developed.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on June 14, 2010 :
The Las Vegas Seagull by D.S. Renzulli is an interesting story that works on several levels, or perhaps, it's better to say that it works as more than one kind of story. I've read it four different times, now, and in each of those lovely journeys, I ended up reading a very different thing.
On my first reading, I enjoyed a charming and humorous set piece about a long term marriage subtly going through one of the many, small renaissances any long-term relationship encounters and negotiates if it is to continue.
On my second reading, I found myself perhaps naturally associating with the husband's point of view, appreciating his sense of longing for a lost time and lost youth [which Las Vegas seems to represent for him]. I was struck deeply by his encounter with a luscious woman, much younger than his wife--or indeed himself. Renzulli crafts this potentially-cliched encounter in such a way that the sheer humanity of longing it represents makes it humorous, heartfelt and new.
On my third reading, I found myself paying more attention to the portrayal of the wife, given by way of the husband's perspective mainly. As the husband comes through his momentary crisis of perception, his wife comes more strongly into focus as well. Thus, I found myself in the same revelatory moment as the husband.
And on my fourth reading, all of my prior reactions seemed to merge into a single sense that what Renzulli had treated me to was a deeply-felt parable about the difference between fantasy and hope. In the end, fantasy is not only an escape, but a rejection in some sense, of what is. Abd one may go to Las Vegas for that if one desires. But on the other hand, hope is the promise of engagement, even renewal. And for some, Las Vegas is that. Once I got that about the story, I understood where I had been taken.
There really are seagulls in Las Vegas. You just have to know where to look.
A charming and marvelous story. I can't wait to find out what it tells me on my next reading.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on May 23, 2010 :
To me, this is what Smashwords is all about--a way that new and talented authors can connect with the reading public.
D.S. Renzulli is just such a voice. The Las Vegas Seagull (great title, by the way--that's what lured me in) is a story full of telling details and knowing glances. The author has a way with humor and a gift for shaping character. Among her many descriptive turns of phrase is this: "I leaned over and kissed her cheek. She smelled of greasy suntan lotion, stale cigarettes and the talcum powder she dusts all over herself after every shower."
Which leads me to ask myself: when did D.S. Renzulli meet my mother?
I hope that this is just the first of many stories that Renzulli will share with us here at Smashwords and that Smashwords will do its best to give authors like Renzulli the wide audience that they deserve.
(reviewed the day of purchase)