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MATTHEW ASPREY’s writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Senses of Cinema, PopMatters, Island, Extempore, Nth Degree, and Over My Dead Body! His novellas Red Hills of Africa (2009), Sonny’s Guerrillas (2011), Angelique in San Francisco (2012), and Lewis and Loeb (2013) are available as chapbooks, as is the story collection To Murder My Love Is A Crime!: Stories of Desperate Men (2011). In 2011 Matthew Asprey was awarded a PhD in Media Studies by Macquarie University in Sydney. He lectures in cinema and creative writing at the university and is at work on an academic study of Orson Welles.
on Dec. 30, 2012 :
Very readable, and not amateurish, as I feared it would be because it is a free book. I would have liked more story, and less lists of films... although those lists might have contained clues that I was too lazy to decipher. I was left, at the end, wanting more. "Don't judge a book by its cover" is an axiom that applies here. It was not an account of a lighthearted little adventure with a happy ending.
(review of free book)
on Dec. 02, 2012 :
This is an intriguing development in the author’s oeuvre. It is not quite travel fiction in the sense that it is strictly about travel. Rather, the sites, destinations and intimate yet simultaneously unfamiliar settings act as a peripheral counterpoint to the story. And that story seems to be about one’s identity through heritage, or lack thereof.
The presence of little-known Anthony Burgess pseudonym Joseph Kell, having previously appeared in Asprey’s Red Hills of Africa, adds not only a touch of literary nostalgia but also the kind of historical experimentation that provides depth to an otherwise light-hearted work. The lead character, Angelique, may not be as developed as the meticulous storyline is, yet the breadth of detail in each other facet of the story covers it nicely. Just like Sonny’s Guerrillas, Asprey injects stories of political upheaval to give the work a sinister edge.
Like Asprey’s previous work, the story exists as an amorous example of literary foreplay, with undercurrents of sexual frustration and playful amateurism. As many novellas do, I am left waiting for more, though am given a refreshing taste of ambiguity that sates my curiosity. The work, like Angelique’s ultimate grasp of her history, is somewhat incomplete though satisfying at the same time.
(review of free book)