Moxie Mezcal lives under an assumed name in San Jose, California.
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Smashwords book reviews by Moxie Mezcal
- Brief Objects of Beauty and Despair
on Nov. 17, 2009
Year Zero is a collective of independent writers, and the Brief Objects anthology is a perfect introduction to their work. Each writer had their own unique thematic focus and style, but they all share a tendency toward gritty, hard-edged urban realism. Theirs are stories about artists, junkies, seekers, and other imperfect souls who stay out too late, wake up with morning-after regrets, dig themselves in too deep - in short, people like the rest of us.
on Nov. 21, 2009
Dead(ish) is a quick read, written in a playful, conversational style that shifts between several characters’ first-person points-of-view. What makes it special is the way that it crackles with exuberant creative energy from start to finish, never dragging or dwelling on the kind of inconsequential minutiae that tends to trip up less-assured, more pretentious authors. Part mystery, part ghost story, part revenge fantasy, Naomi’s work stampedes over genre conventions and thumbs her nose at outdated notions of literary propriety. She doesn’t care if it’s a sentence fragment or not, she’s not worried if her potty-mouth offends you, she’s just telling the story she wants to tell, the way she wants to tell it.
- This Unhappy Planet
on May 23, 2010
This Unhappy Planet, is a satirical dramedy about two guys who hatch a scheme to open a chain of spiritual fitness clubs, hoping to get rich quick off of bored yoga moms and affluent New Age seekers. Its brilliance is in Marc's ability to lampoon both the main characters' cynicism as well as the distinctly SoCal brand of pseudo-spiritualism without veering into the realm of mean-spirited caricatures. The characters are imbued with such depth and shading, they are rendered so completely believable, that you can't help but empathize with them even while laughing at their foibles.
- #VSS Anthology Volume 01
on May 28, 2010
VSS stands for very short story, and at their best, that's exactly what these pieces are. They have all the same elements you'd expect to find in a traditional short, like conflict, plot, engaging characters, atmosphere, themes; they just accomplish it really quickly. More than anything else, these pieces demonstrate that obstruction can spur creativity. In this case, there's something liberating about being forced to stay under 140 characters. There's a built-in focus, you don't have to be all things to all people, you just have to make them smile, make them empathize, make them think, even if for only the briefest moment in time.
- Broken Bulbs
on June 06, 2010
Broken Bulbs is either about a junkie trying to write a screenplay or a writer who thinks he needs to fix in order to create. Either way, it's a compelling meditation about the intersection of art and addiction and the way that both are essentially born of our need to feel like our life has meaning. Narratively, the book plays out like a bad trip, existing in a world that's all blood and puke and festering wounds and desperation. But often it's the worst trips that are the most revealing, showing us the parts of our souls that are ugly and petty, tearing down the barriers between the stories we tell ourselves and the truths we try to evade. It's gritty, it's ugly, it's brazenly experimental in both form and style, it's allegorical, it's satirical, it's as darkly engrossing as staring at someone's disfiguring wounds, and yet it also manages to be profoundly cathartic.