Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review – Elysiana by Chris Knopf



Chris Knopf

Permanent Press


Bound Galley

208 pages

ISBN: 1579621988

Jersey Shore, summer, 1969, villains, parties, a conspiracy, and drugs… what’s not to like? Okay, so the counter-culture of the 60’s is in full swing, small town politics has taken a turn for the worse, and the Lifeguards are, well, the life of the party. Elysiana, a small island off the coast of New Jersey and south of Atlantic City, is the setting for this quick paced, off-the-wall drama/comedy.

Gwendalynn Anders, a drifter who wakes up in Elysiana after a drug-induced road trip, serves as the catalyst between the fun-loving Lifeguards and the stiff-necked, scheming politico’s. The story unfolds as Gwen wakes up on the beach to the ministrations of six year old Sweetie who has wandered away from home. Gwen delivers the little girl home and Borough Council President Norm Harlan, Sweeties father, immediately enlists Gwen as a nanny. Later Gwen meets Jack Halcyon, a lifeguard who once lost years in a coma because of a car accident and the two strike-up an unlikely friendship/love affair. With a turf war being fought between the Beach Guards and the Local Police the entire situation comes to a head during one of the worst hurricanes on record.

Elysiana is a fast-paced quick read and there is much to enjoy about this book and, in retrospect, I can’t seem to think of a single flaw. The characters are believable, the sex gratuitous, the drugs abundant, the villains skanky, and the heroes noncommittal, which in my humble estimation makes for one enjoyable read. But then, I’m thoroughly warped, just ask my counselor.

Solid story! Lots of fun!

4 out of 5 stars

4 stars

The Alternative

Southeast Wisconsin

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