Friday, September 2, 2011

Black as Snow by Nick Nolan

Black as Snow 

Black as Snow by Nick Nolan was released earlier this week in both paper and ebook formats. The ebook is discounted to $2.99 for the moment while the paper is $9.85. I'll admit this one doesn't appear to be to my personal taste or preferences, but it is fascinating all the same to read what the author does with the story.

Here's the description that explains why it would be of interest here and also prepares you to see the plot devices for what they are in the longer description that follows. (This paragraph is actually the last on the book's page, but I am moving it to the top.)

Black as Snow—from two-time winner of ForeWord's Book of the Year Award, author Nick Nolan—twists the beloved fairy tale of Snow White into a suspense-filled story of darkness, subterfuge and greed...and the unstoppable power of everyday love.

And the rest of the description:

A charismatic young luminary. Thousands gathered to hear his words. A single rifle shot. Black as Snow begins at the end—but then the story rewinds.

Sebastian Black is not only handsome and in possession of "…a sex-drive befitting a satyr on Viagra," but he’s also telepathic—especially when his life’s in danger or when someone's hungry for his bedtime companionship. And Black as Snow is crawling with people who are out to get him—in both respects.

Because Sebastian’s mother—prophetess Kitty Black—touts him as the "next species of man" and crowns him figurehead of their "green" religious cult, some Apocalypse-minded Christian militants chase the young man from his gleaming penthouse in Century City into the California wilderness. Then a frenetic cat-and-mouse ensues as Sebastian flees into the savage coastline of Big Sur and then hides in the tony marinas of Sausalito.

During his journey Sebastian is befriended by seven "everyday" people who obliterate his privileged worldview: an aging lesbian couple, one of whom is terminally ill; a methamphetamine addict; an elderly Mexican handyman; a vulnerable gay teenager; a less-than-brilliant college jock; and finally a lonely woman who’s battling bulimia. But during Sebastian’s absence Kitty’s cash starts dwindling, so she schemes to lure him home…even if it means conspiring with his enemies—in particular, a dashing Spaniard who darkly mirrors Sebastian's preternatural talents and beauty. And as the clock ticks backward to the beginning of the story, it's a race to see if Sebastian can save himself and those he has grown to love.

And more from the author interview about the fairy tale usage:

Jaime Flores: So will you finally tell your readers about this new book? You’ve been driving me crazy with it for years, but you’ve kept everyone else in the dark.

Nick Nolan: Black as Snow is a deconstruction of Snow White--only it isn’t for kids; Black as Snow is violent and sexy and dark and funny…and it’s sure to stir some controversy--especially where I mash up sex with religion in one unforgettable scene.

Jaime Flores: That scene’s going to raise some hackles.

Nick Nolan: Yep.

Jaime Flores: Which elements from Snow White did you include?

Nick Nolan: Just about all, but only after standing them on their heads: Sebastian Black--he plays Snow White--is the messianic figurehead of a new "green" religion that celebrates evolution and the coming of the next species of Man; the dwarfs are people who’ve been marginalized by our society but who teach Sebastian what really matters; Sebastian’s "evil" mother is a religious prophet... although I’ve also sketched her with humor and pathos; there’s a love story and some straight sex and gay sex and Christian militants and drug addiction and tragedy. And there are scenes where you’ll laugh.

Jaime Flores: What about the poisoned apple?

Nick Nolan: Let’s just say there’s a poisoned Apple in the story.

So you've been informed and warned and the decision to read it is up to you! The exact things that might spark your interest are the opposite of compelling to me, but I admit it sounds clever. The reader reviews rather confirm my suspicions, but I will be interested if any readers here are interested...

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