Who Killed Buster Sparkle?

Rated 3.00/5 based on 1 reviews
A drag queen. A Mississippi ghost. Two lives from two worlds. "Who Killed Buster Sparkle?" moves beyond the contemporary conversation on gender fluidity and into the liminal space that makes us human. More
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About John W. Bateman

John W. Bateman lives in the Deep South, chasing words and finding stories. Influences include comedian and writer Bob Smith, photographer Duane Michals, his fairy godparents, and coffee. His work has appeared in OneNewEngland, The Huffington Post, Glitterwolf Magazine, Nately's, the SFWP Quarterly, and lots of notebooks stacked in a bookcase somewhere. He has won a few awards for screenwriting and received a 2018 Emerging Filmmaker grant from the Mississippi Film Alliance. This is his first novel.

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The Bubblegum Review reviewed on April 30, 2020

This is a cute story. Very heartwarming. Kind of a cross between Ghost, In the Heat of the Night, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.

And so in honor of these "crosses" and cross-gendering and dressing ... I felt like this book was a cross between pretty good, flowy and plausible storytelling and less than stellar writing: there were many word omissions throughout and very awkward sentences that made it difficult to read at times. I grew into the awkwardness of the "slang" as I grew into the comfort of the characters (but I'm not sure, in general, how well slang, or anything less than the Queen's English, translates to the written word). Overall, I think this book could use a lot of structural, line editing.

It's a charming, amusing book, good for the soul, down home tale that does well in the setting of the hot lethargy of the South. I think the author did justice to the characters. I did question the plausibility of J's death and the author's inconsistency in naming Peaches throughout the book: first Peaches/Jasper, then just Peaches ... for me, the inconsistency kind of "involved" the author in a way that I don't want to think about the author (or their motivations or choices) when I read their books.

I'm giving it 3 1/2 stars, but rounding down to 3 (for those that don't honor halfsies), partly because I think this book could be much improved with editing.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
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