Mark Victor Young
Husband, father, writer. Happily married since 1992 and a father since 2003, Mark has been a writer for as long as he can remember. Meat-free since 1995. He was born in Toronto and grew up in London, Ontario. He was the first winner of the Lillian Kroll Prize for Creative Writing at Western University, where he also completed a degree in English Literature.
He has published poetry and short fiction in such publications as CommuterLit, Litro, Chickadee Magazine and Canadian Author & Bookman. His book reviews and comic strips have appeared in SCENE Magazine in London and his feature articles were an early mainstay of the website www.soyouwanna.com. He blogs about Meatless Mondays and also tweets, G-plusses, Pins, tumbles and facebooks on a variety of subjects when time allows.
Where to find Mark Victor Young online
Once Were Friends
If you think it’s hard to win back the one that got away, try doing it while you’re taking over her family's company.
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Smashwords book reviews by Mark Victor Young
- Waterfall Dance
on March 18, 2011
Well-written, intelligent, gripping in parts and quite emotional in others. The book opens with an almost Mike Hammer style of describing the main character's law firm and his participation in an online gaming alter-ego as a private detective. His good-natured banter with his legal assistant, his ex-lover and his prospective clients was quite funny, but also effective at telling us this character is working hard at keeping up a sense of ironic detachment and emotional distance. But then along came the case that broke apart his barriers.
First he falls for his client, then for her chimps, as he takes an unwinnable case and then becomes caught up in the whole thing. The book does an excellent job of portraying the argument for animal sentience and against animal testing and use by humans. The legalese is clear and explained where necessary and the courtroom segments were great. We really come to know the main characters well and even the "villains" in the piece are human and not just all hated, all the time.
Not specifically an animal rights book, nor exclusively a courtroom drama or romantic comedy, this novel is able to blend all these elements in a really great read that keeps you turning pages.
- Marvellous Hairy
on May 11, 2011
A lot of funny, quirky characters in search of a Shakespearean play in a highbrow romp of a sci-fi story. There's an evil megacorp and a devolving humanoid author as well as many minor dramatic players who find themselves caught up in a midsummer night's kidnapping plot. Very witty narration and a lot of action and amusing banter make this a quick read from about a quarter of the way through to the end.
Many of the characters are taken directly from Midsummer Night's Dream. Robin Goodfellow (Puck) becomes Rob Goodman whose good friend Helena works at the megacorp which is doing evil experiments on their other friend Nick Motbot (Really? Bottom just mixed up? What kind of name is that?) who slowly begins turning into a monkey instead of an ass.
The fairies are all here: Peaceblossom is "Blossom," Mustardseed is "Seedy" Besterdson the drug dealer and Mrs. Moth and Starveling are themselves (and what else could they be?). Peter, Francis and Tom of "The Mechanicals" theatre group are mechanical engineers. Poor Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the fairies, are here turned into a weather satellite and laptop computer respectively. Sad, really.
I consider the last three quarters of this book to be five star worthy. But then there's that confusing, scattershot mindf**k of the first quarter. Perhaps it's a necessary dissociation from our world which has to occur to really prepare you for the book's alternate reality. The story opens at a wedding at a rather breakneck pace where madness and monkeys rule the day and we don't know why or who to care about or what's going on.
Despite the really intimate first person narration, we don't really know anything about Rob Goodman or how he relates to the story until several chapters in, despite the fact that he seems omniscient somehow and narrates events in which he took no part. I still don't really get what the crazed wedding scene had to do with the rest of the plot. Maybe it was like a bad dream and I should think but that and all will be mended. Maybe it was just to get us thinking about the destructive power of monkeys, I don't know.
One piece of help the book offers is a list of characters or "Dramatis Personae" in the opening pages to which the reader can refer if confused, as I was. Unfortunately, I read this book on my e-reader and discovered a limitation of the medium: it's not easy to flick back and forth from a map or list in one part of the book to another. I know it can be done and maybe that kind of facility will come with time, but it was a limiting factor for my enjoyment of the book (not the author's fault) in the beginning. Also, I'll just mention copy editing is a problem in a lot of books these days, whether professionally or independently published. Nuff said.
Once I got into it, however, all quibbles aside, this book really moved and was funny and absorbing and a great read overall. I look forward to reading some of Rayner's other books.
- Asia Unbound
on Feb. 25, 2012
Another great chapter in the ongoing saga of Poeticule Bay. A combination of Ridicule and Poetic Justice, Poeticule Bay leaves her stamp on all who grew up here. Coming home is never comfortable for those that got out, as the judgement and the whispers among those who knew you never stop. This is the town to which the author returns again and again in his fiction.
"Parting Shots" is the story of the girl who got out, became famous and the guy she left behind, not to mention what caused her to run away in the first place. It is full of memory and shame and reminiscence, as a drink-fueled meeting between ex-lovers gets out of hand and the press are waiting in the bushes for the fallout.
Great stuff! I love how the town itself becomes almost like a character you know well as you move from story to story. The place leaves an indelible stamp--not only on its inhabitants, but also on readers.
- Parting Shots
on Feb. 27, 2012
The continuing story of Marcus from the story "Asia Unbound" and yet another example of the intrigues going on in tiny Poeticule Bay, Maine. Another great story with intensity and lots of twists and turns. I found myself saying, "I didn't see that coming" about three or four times.
Well written, great dialogue, rueful or damaged characters who say hilarious and terrifying things... you just can't lose with these stories. I look forward to the further adventures of "Legs Gabrielle" in the upcoming series of novels. This author is just warming up - we may have another Stephen King on our hands.
- Vengeance is #1
on March 01, 2012
A tale of whiny teen angst, therapy gone wrong, forced evacuation and then vengeful micturition. The whole situation stinks, but it shows us an unexpected side of Dr. Circe Papua. Lots of fun at other people's expense, but when forgiveness finally comes for Georgie, the lesson she will learn is the value of timing. Priceless.