Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Coup' of Sorts

A short review, because I'm off to clean the unused fourth bedroom and turn it into my personal desk/bookshelf space!
PEOPLE - I am going to have my own bookshelf
Share in my ineffable glee
Me:


Anyway, on to A Coup' of Sorts by Howard Rosenzweig.

Summary:
A Coup' of Sorts is a fast paced political thriller with elements of both the supernatural and of horror. It takes place in January 1979 in South America, with flashbacks to the Vietnam War, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and to the Auschwitz death camp in 1944. Les Cohen, a former American assassin during the Vietnam War, now a mercenary, has been enlisted by a Catholic priest to overturn the South American dictatorship he had helped to install. With the help of his wife, he must find the compassion he has so long suppressed, in order to follow through and not betray the priest, who himself has sought supernatural help from a rabbi friend in case the American fails him.

Can I please say that I think this book would be better as a film than as a novella?
Reasons:
- It's written in a very straightforward style and rarely describes things in very close detail.
- It feels like a screenplay, just the way that the actions and dialogue are written.
- There is way too much content for such a short book. So much content, so many flashbacks to so many different times. It's hard to keep track of when the scenes are so short.

This last point also is a reason why I think that for this story, novella isn't the best format. As a novella, there is minimal room for expansion of such an intricate plot.

My absolute favorite part was that Howard Rosenzweig inserted two songs into the book, that I think he wrote himself. They are excellently written lyrics!

So:

A Coup' of Sorts is a complexly plotted story with the main flaw that it was told in the wrong format. I could see it being so much better as a film, or even a longer novel. But mostly a film.

And I'm off! To clean out my new space. :-)

~Sophia

4 comments:

  1. YAY FOR OWN BOOKSHELVES. I got my very first own bookshelf this year. It's now...um, full. #awkward. I honestly thought it'd take me a bit longer. But whatever. I love my books. ^-^ Your drop down menus look amazing, btw. That's a great tutorial, right? Keep a bookmark on Nose Graze because she does a heap of easy tutorials, although they're mostly for Wordpress which sucks if you're a blog-blogger. XD

    I haven't heard of this book, but I know what you mean when you read something and you're like, "Why is this not a movie?" I've done that a few times. Particularly with The Young World. ;)

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    1. I AM SO EXCITED. I am going to Ikea on Tuesday to buy a nice new desk and then some other time this week I will have to descend on Barnes and Noble and buy ALL THE BOOKS.
      I will post pictures of my new space soon...

      YES thank you for pointing me towards Nose Graze! Definitely bookmarking it.

      I haven't read The Young World. Should I?

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  2. Dear Sophia,

    Thank you so very much for your thoughtful and insightful review of my book. As I may have told you, A Coup' of Sorts was originally a screenplay of mine. Due to the frustration of trying to sell it as a movie led me to convert it to a novella, since I wanted people to be able to read my original story and hopefully enjoy it. I appreciate that you enjoyed my song lyrics. Did you also enjoy the poem in it as well ["As sea gulls glide over a wind swept shore..."] on pages 27-28? I wrote that when I was a senior in high school.

    Thank you again for reading my book and sharing your thoughts about it. Take care!

    Sincerely,

    Howard

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure you told me that it was originally a screenplay and I just forgot. It definitely shows through.

      Yes, I also enjoyed the poem! That's very impressive that you were so young when you wrote it.

      Delete

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