Neil M Campbell
on June 9, 2014 :
With The Cannibal's Prayer, PW Cooper pulls off a breathtaking, accomplished, experimental, audacious, high wire act. This is nothing less than a study in the theory of the novel, of the role of aesthetics in the creative process, by a mature writer, passionately in love with words in a disciplined way. In love with love, but non-sentimentally, with clear eyed humanity and compassion.
Emotionally literate, intensely literary, this paean to writing, holds one in thrall throughout, this reviewer wept at the end at the sheer beauty evoked by the words, a rare experience nowadays. Probably the one phrase that sums up the book is Beauty of Language. At all times PW Cooper respects the reader.
Discipline is the spine of the book, discipline and the extraordinary emotional vocabulary which makes it throb like a live thing - it is live, it lives, palpable in one's hands and continues to live in one's imagination.
Beautifully written as one has come to expect from this writer, PW Cooper makes experimental forays in two directions - passages of stream of consciousness so craftily rendered they flow clearly without punctuation of any kind, even more so as the book progresses, and the rendering of dialogue into verse, Christopher Fry style. This latter experiment I wasn't so sure about, at least in Kindle format, might work better in print. But that's a detail, both experiments are technically accomplished in the execution.
Please read this book - it will remind you of what writing is about and that the novel, when executed as superbly as this one, is an art form second to none.
(review of free book)
Joshua S. Friedman
on Oct. 20, 2013 :
"Bradley never understood. It frustrated him..."
I feel his pain.
The writer employed confusing, run-on sentences. Often, a sentence lacked capitalization of the first word. I never knew who was talking and there were no descriptions of the characters. The writer used - to mark dialogue instead of proper quotation marks.
Nearly ever sentence began with, "There was a woman", "They were driving", "I felt angry", or some other reasonable facsimile. Then the author drops in a name like David, Joanna, Gary, Vanessa. Who are these people? The only details were smut. Which leads me to another point, clearly this is adult reading material and should be properly labeled as such.
In the end, I couldn't even follow the story-line (I'm not even sure if there was one), and ended up skimming through it.
One out of five stars.
(review of free book)