Tag Archives: short fiction

Random Book Reviews Web Blog Reviews Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy Today

I was excited and grateful to learn that my book, Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories, was reviewed today by the Random Book Review Web blog. Check out an excerpt below:

“Hi everyone! This week I’m reviewing Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories by Frank Mundo, which I kindly received from the author and Booktasters. This collection of short stories revolve around a particular character, J.T Glass who works as a security guard at various establishments. The stories are snippets of his life, from his childhood and relationships with his family, to his escapades at work.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. Mundo really captures Glass’ voice, who is our narrator for the majority of the stories, and it never falters. It is very dry, occasionally black humour laced with moments of reflection. As a result, Glass comes across as a very well-fleshed out character. He is relatable even in the most bizarre of scenarios, and you cannot help but laugh at some of the predicaments he finds himself in…”

Read the whole review.

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Two new book reviews by Frank Mundo

Earlier this year, my new book Different was reviewed by Big Al’s Books and Pals, and my short story collection, Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy was reviewed by Indiereader.com; Here’s an excerpt from each:

5-star review for Different / Frank Mundo

Description:

“One morning 12-year-old Gregory Gourde wakes up in his bed with an impossible new feature: his head has become a watermelon. We follow Gregory down a rabbit hole of sorts to a new world and an audacious exploration of what it really means to be different in this dark yet humorous nod to Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.”

Appraisal:

Gregory Gourde certainly does take a trip down the rabbit hole in this dark fantasy; I felt like he was skating on the edge of madness for most of this story. Surely this is not what it is like for most boys going through puberty. But the author’s prose had me convinced that it had been for him. Frank Mundo does not just throw words at the page in hopes that they stick. There is much thought put into the words he chooses and this story will leave you thinking about it long after you have finished the story. This is the sign of a true wordsmith.

The story is told through Gregory’s eyes with an omniscient narrator who pops in occasionally to move the story along or fill in past events of Gregory’s life or other characters that played an important role.

Read the full review at Big Al’s Books and Pals –> http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/2013/12/different-frank-mundo.html

Review: “4-stars: GARY, THE FOUR-EYED FAIRY AND OTHER STORIES is an entertaining romp, full of irreverent humor that leaves you wanting more…chronicling the life and times of J.T. Glass, a security guard armed with a sharp tongue, keen wit and vivid imagination…each story in this collection can stand on its own, but read together, the book feels more like a novel told out of chronological order, or like a puzzle that engages you, the reader, to assemble and experience the transformation from boy to man. The dialogue is crisp, the nuances are rich, most of the stories move at a fast clip, and you’ll be laughing or crying most of the journey.

Mundo knows how to delight and surprise, no holds barred. He has an excellent command of story, and the courage to go dark. Upon discovering some horrible truths about his deceased roommate, J.T. wrestles beautifully with his conscience in “A Friend In Need.” “Remorse” dares to walk that tightrope, balancing comedy and tragedy. The witty banter and innuendo in “A Conversation Piece” sets the tone of for the wild and crazy times defining J.T.’s life.” –Indiereader.com

Read the full review at Indiereader–> http://indiereader.com/2014/01/gary-four-eyed-fairy-stories/


Different
by Frank Mundo at Amazon.
Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories at Amazon.
Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories at Barnes and Noble.
Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories at Smashwords.

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A Favorite Read and a Bestseller…

It’s been an amazing week for me and my books.

My first book, a novel in verse called The Brubury Tales, is now available on kindle. In the first week it made Amazon’s bestselling poetry book list in the UK #81 and #40 in Italy (for books in English).

My second book, Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories was reviewed and name a 2012 favorite read for April by Multi-Story.co.uk and received a 5-star review. It’s available on Kindle today for only 99 cents. Download it now before the price goes up.

Thanks to everyone who has given these books a shot. I really appreciate your support! It’s very exciting and beyond my wildest dreams how well the books are doing.

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Book Review: The Book of Want by Daniel Olivas

I reviewed The Book of Want, the debut novel of Los Angeles writer Daniel Olivas for La Bloga and LA Books Examiner.

Check them out here:

La Bloga –> http://labloga.blogspot.com/2011/07/book-review-of-book-of-want.html 

La Books Examiner–> http://www.examiner.com/books-in-los-angeles/book-review-the-book-of-want-by-daniel-a-olivas

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Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It: an interview with bestselling author Maile Meloy

Maile Meloy, bestselling author of Both Ways is the only Way I Want It, at Frank Mundo's LA Books Examiner/photo courtesy of authorWhen I received a review copy of Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, the latest collection of short fiction by acclaimed author Maile Meloy, now available in paperback, I already knew what to expect. I hadn’t read her first story collection, Half in Love, or her two novels, Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter but I knew. Oh I knew all right. I knew all about it, and I had her pegged.

After all, critics everywhere were drooling all over her work, calling her a natural-born storyteller, praising her sparse but striking prose and her clear-sighted yet deceptive talent for writing realistic stories as both a novelist and a short fiction writer…And I knew.

Of course she was a bestselling author, and her list of awards I knew would be impressive…And I was dead-on right. Even Oprah had her latest book on the list of hot summer reads for 2010, and I knew. I knew!

But then I started reading the first of the eleven short stories In Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It and, before I knew it, I was on page 20 and completely immersed in the story and invested in its characters as if I was reading a novel, a really good novel. The tension was real, and I checked to see how many pages were left. Only five! What was going to happen? How would it end? I didn’t know. I had no idea.

I started over and reread the first 20 pages, thinking I had missed something. I hadn’t. It was all there. All that was left was the conclusion that I both wanted and didn’t want to know.

Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy at Frank Mundo's LA Books ExaminerI repeated this process with most of the stories in this excellent collection of fiction – stories which were mostly about the difficult process of making decisions and the lingering effects left behind (sometimes for life) by the choices we do make.

There’s a broken, lonely, but romantic Montana cowboy whose chance encounter with a young lawyer could be the chance of a lifetime. There’s a father whose 15 year-old daughter’s innocence is the only barrier in possibly securing a witness for his brother’s big legal case. There’s another father who seeks answers about his daughter’s murder straight from the murderer’s girlfriend. There are stories about adultery, about sibling rivalry, and even one about whether or not a friend of a dead colleague should help his girlfriend raffle off her body in order to get the money she needs to get out of town for a chance at a better life.

Bottom line: Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy lives up to the hype. It’s a powerful collection of short stories that you’ll finish long before they’re finished with you.

If you’d like to meet Maile Meloy in person, she’ll be discussing and signing her book at 7 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, July 13, at:

Barnes & Noble Bookstore 
1201 3rd Street, at Wilshire
(On the 3rd Street Promenade).

You can also learn more about Meloy and her work at her official website.

The LA Books Examiner had the great opportunity to interview Maile Meloy about her work and her life. Please take a few more minutes to read the revealing Q & A at Frank Mundo’s LA Books Examiner.

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Pause for poetry: a reading of ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling (video)

Joseph Rudyard Kipling, Pause for Poetry at Frank Mundo's LA Books ExaminerThe first English writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Joseph Rudyard Kipling is probably best known today for his classic story The Jungle Book, which was adapted by Disney in the 1960s and became one of its most beloved animated films. Kipling was a great poet and master short-story writer whose support of English imperialism in his work both helped and harmed his reputation throughout his long career. His enormously popular poem “If” is a great example of this concept, which was inspired by Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, leader of the controversial Jameson Raid in South Africa in 1985.

But politics (and gender bias) aside, “If” is an excellent poem full of pragmatic advice that continues to inspire readers around world today.

With this in mind, let’s all hit the Pause Button on our lives for a few minutes and check out this video reading of Kipling’s “If”.

Watch the video at Frank Mundo’s LA Books Examiner. 

See all videos in the Pause for Poetry Series.

Read poetry by Frank Mundo

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Wild Child: An Interview with Bestselling Author TC Boyle

Photo by Spencer Boyle

Very few writers have had long-term success at writing both novels and collections of short stories. One of these writers is TC Boyle, distinguished professor at the prestigious creative writing program at USC and the prolific and long-renowned author of 12 novels and 9 short story collections.

On January 25th, 2010, both of these worlds will collide with the paperback release of Boyle’s newest bestselling novel, The Women, and the hardcover release of his latest collection of fiction, Wild Child – the perfect opportunity to see for yourself why TC Boyle has earned a solid reputation as one of our nation’s most humorous and entertaining storytellers in both genres.

The Books:
The women by tc boyle la books examinerIn The Women, Boyle offers a mesmerizing fictional account of the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright told in reverse chronology through the eyes of four beautiful, passionate, and tragic women who truly loved him. This is Boyle’s third turn at fictionalizing the life of an enormous historical American figure — a triumvirate of egomaniacal geniuses, including John Harvey Kellogg (The Road to Wellville) and Alfred Kinsey (The Inner Circle), whose passions and accomplishments still affect us all today in one way or another.

wild child by tc boyleIn Wild Child, Nature is the main tool Boyle calls on to showcase his intelligent humor, surreal style, and socially-conscious sensibility, the hallmarks of his best work, in this excellent collection of 14 stories that gleefully remind us, despite our best efforts, that human beings are just animals once-removed by civilization.

In the title story, likely the one that will get the most attention by critics, Boyle shares his unique version of the wild boy raised in the wilderness by animals. But for new readers of Boyle’s work, or his fans in California, there are a few must-read stories that specifically address our own unique relationship with nature: “Ash Monday” (which discusses the California wildfires); “La Conchita” (based on the 1995 mudslide that buried 9 homes in Ventura); and “Question 62” that details the lives of suburban Californians turned upside down by a rogue mountain lion. The rest of the collection displays the amazing range and talent of a storyteller who lives up to the hype and always delivers the goods.

I especially liked the disturbing story “The Lie” in which a man, who has already used up all of his sick and personal days, lies to his boss about his newborn child’s death as an excuse to get out of work. This story alone is worth the price of admission.

The paperback version of The Women and Boyle’s newest collection of short fiction, Wild Child, are available in bookstores on Monday, January 25th. To learn more about TC Boyle, visit his website.  

The Events:
You can meet TC Boyle on January 25th at a special event at the Richard J. Riordan Central Library, 630 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071. I heard, however, that this event is full already, but standby tickets may still be available. Contact The Library Foundation of Los Angelesfor more info.

TC Boyle will also be doing a Word Theatre performance on Sunday Feb 21 at the Edye Theatre in Santa Monica. Order tickets here before this event is full as well. Also be sure to check out the LA Books Examiner’s Books Calendar each week for more great local book events.

The Interview:
I had the great opportunity to interview TC Boyle recently. Please take a few more minutes to read this insightful and revealing discussion about his work and his life (including a bit on his next novel now in the works). 

Read the interview at LA Books Examiner.

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