Saturday, March 5, 2011
George Simeran's Prince of This World chronicles the lives, exploits, and adventures of a libertine and his friends in Los Angeles. It is filled with all of the hallmarks of the debaucherous and unrestrained lifestyle, detailing the sex, drugs, alcohol, affairs, and prostitutes that fill their lives with intrigue and excitement. Prince of This World is an excellent character study, filled with artfully written characters and their motivations, intrigues, and desires. The author describes his early life and career as a dedication to "mainlining the bourgeois lifestyle and anything made by Tom Ford," the designer who is quite possibly the most celebrated and exciting libertine of our times, who sold sexuality at Neiman Marcus, making for an interesting parallel between the things the author seeks and reveres and those of his characters. Prince of This World has been widely compared to the writings of Brett Easton Ellis and Michael Houellebec, and is a riveting story both for readers who enjoy these authors or are new to this genre.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Titan Raines's Sol on Ice: Race and a Taste of Ayahuasca Shamanism, Raines explores "otherness," answering the questions of race that plague him at home by participating in a workshop in the Amazon Basin of Peru. While on his spiritual journey in Peru, Raines participated in five ritual ceremonies of the shamans over the course of nine days, experiencing the hallucinogen, ayahuasca, as part of the ritual. Although he had pre-determined that ayahuasca was part of a "New Age fad" and was "unconvinced" that it could do anything for anybody, including himself; however, it unlocked many of the answers of life for him and proved to be a life-changing experience. Through the teachings of the shamans, Raines is able to achieve a startling clarity and cognizance of the world and gain valuable personal insight, an experience that would irrevocably change him. Raines's journey is an intriguing and insightful one, making for an excellent read and a new perspective on the world from someone who travelled across the globe to find it.