Praise for The California Quartet, Blood, and Gabriela and The Widow. Shock, reviews and WTF wonderment

TRIO OF LOST SOULS

“Remick knows California, its people and landscapes…. Like all good road novels, there is a very strong sense of place, and as I turned pages, I came to know California, began to experience it through the eyes of Bill Vincent. Which brings me to another aspect I particularly enjoyed: the protagonist. In the hands of a lesser writer, Vincent could have easily come across as a caricature, but he doesn’t, and that is a testament to Remick’s powers as a novelist. Through some type of alchemy that most writers simply do not possess, Remick manages to portray Bill Vincent as an often-talked-about-but-rarely-realized well-rounded character, and I think he achieves this, partially, with another skill a lot of writers don’t have: restraint. Adhering closely to Hemingway’s iceberg principle of character development, the reader sees only a small portion of who and what Bill Vincent is, and the rest is left up to the imagination…. Bottom line, the still waters of Trio of Lost Souls run deep. If you’re a fan of Jim Harrison, Ron Rash, or even Cormac McCarthy this book is definitely worth a read. Recommended.”

—Max Everhart, author of the Eli Sharpe Mystery series

THE BOOK OF CHANGES

“Remick’s mastery of the narrative craft infuses a common story line— college kid faces challenges and grows up—with an intimate sense of character and setting …. The Book of Changes shines in the crowded genre of coming-of-age narratives.”

—Melissa Wuske, ForeWord Magazine

“Covering much the same cultural terrain as Jack Kerouac’s classic On the Road, The Book of Changes follows a young narrator’s coming-of-age in Berkeley. Yet Jack Remick’s take on the cultural revolution humanizes familiar material. Beast, the narrator, starts off eager for initiation into the Berkeley scene: the university, the drugs, the ‘broads,’ the art. But unlike Kerouac’s protagonist who rides from town to town, indifferent to and unaccountable for the consequences of his choices, Remick gives us a conscientious young man. Beast sticks around long enough to see the aftermath of drug addiction and free love. And the trail of wreckage deeply affects him. As the deaths and broken relationships tally up in his friends’ lives, Beast develops a more honest, compassionate perspective than Kerouac’s characters ever achieved. A moving tale of one young man’s struggle to carve out his own dignity and truth in the midst of radical turbulence.”

—M.C. Easton, author of The Gods of Kittitas County

“A great read. Jack Remick has the amazing ability to transport readers to another era and not allow them to return until the end of the final chapter.” —Marie Romero Cash, author of the Jemimah Hodge Mysteries

GABRIELA AND THE WIDOW

“I was, I admit, somewhat astounded that a man could write with such insight into the private thoughts of women, particularly about their bodies and how it feels to be in a woman’s body—especially as she comes of age physically. However he accomplished this, he was successful, and we are brought into the worlds of the maiden, mother, and crone, as we see Woman in all her aspects through the story of these two mysterious women, who come together to begin a new life—the one that we finally come to believe Gabriela will experience, even as she finds a young girl to become her handmaiden as the book concludes.”

—Nancy Roberts, writer, actor, video and website producer

“Remick laces Spanish and English dialogue, crusted agéd skin and voluptuous beauty, bloody violence and exquisite tenderness. As he blurs boundaries we are sucked into this story, chapter by chapter, until we too transform, we too feel we have glimpsed the answer to immortality’s riddles. Gabriela and The Widow is sure to hook readers who enjoy a well told and fascinating story where all the gem-like details fall together to form a rich and satisfying puzzle.”

—Paula Lowe, Publisher, Big Yes Press, former editor Solo Novo Magazine

“A lyrical treasure that paints a magical mysterious world of two women, so close they inhabit each others’ dreams and relive each others’ experiences …. This is a beautiful, horrific, captivating read full of the lights and colors, the smells and music of southern Mexico and central California.”

—Arleen Williams, author of The Thirty-Ninth Victim

“The plot is complex and filled with revenge, sometimes sadness, and a level of mystery and intrigue that only a well versed and experienced author could accomplish …. A master tale by a master talent.”

—Terri Forehand, Writing and Others Ways into the Heart

“Riveting…. This is not a neat morality tale. Remick’s novel invites us to taste the blood and to roll in the sweat. It also invites us to enjoy one subordinated woman’s payback.”

—Scott Driscoll, author of Better You Go Home

“Jack Remick’s words forces the reader to keep turning the pages. The plot is complex and filled with sadness, regret, and a level of mystery and intrigue.” —Blogcritics

“A gripping read…. Jack Remick has a gift with character creation. He portrays everyone sharply, even minor characters that we only meet in passing. We know exactly what makes them tick and whether we like them or not within a sentence or two. There is plenty of action, an intriguing plot and a lot of enjoyment to be drawn from this novel.”

—Stephanie, BooksAreCool.com

5 Stars: “A wonderfully-crafted novel that will be very hard for readers of all ages to put down for long. It is a book about pain, hardship, and emancipation. It is mesmerizingly written, just like a well-crafted musical piece.”

—Irene S. Roth, author and writer

“A book that is deep and more than just a story is a book that will stay in your head for many years. I think I found such a book…. Extremely captivating…. More than a simple story, this is a detailed examination of life.” —Rebecca Graf, A Book Lover’s Library

“His characters (from the main characters Gabriela and La Viuda to supporting/walk-ons) are vivid and bring their own background, even if we never learn what it is. The narrative captivates you and plays on all the emotions of each character.”

—Alexandra Michele, Family Matters Blog

VALLEY BOY

“Once in a while, an author mesmerizes me with his/her writing. It is as though I have stepped back in time to the days when writing was truly an art form and not a scientific venture into so much of a percentage of dialogue versus action versus narrative. No worries as to whether or not an agent or editor or some ‘god’ of the publishing world will approve or not approve…. just raw, exquisite writing talent splashed onto the page with such audacity and nerve that it gives you a heartache that burns a hole right through your spirit…. That’s what I have just experienced reading Jack Remick’s Valley Boy.”

—Jody Lea Stewart, author of Summer of the Ancient

Valley Boy is the story of every kid who wandered out of the Valley into Baghdad by the Bay with dreams, imagination, curiosity and a mind that admitted stuff besides cars and girls…. The story is witty, tense and true.” —Frank Araujo, anthropologist, linguist, and author of The Secrets of Don Pedro Miguel

Valley Boy is a teeming amalgam of allegory, pathos, and stark language, all wrapped in a blend of dark humor and strangely relatable characters …. Remick writes with a fresh voice in prose as raw as the open wounds his subjects are apt to suffer. An unrelenting literary experiment that is also a terrific read.”

—Cole Alpaugh, author of The Bear in a Muddy Tutu and The Turtle Girl from East Pukapuka

Valley Boy is Remick at full power. Valley Boy is a non-stop read.” —Robert J. Ray, author of Murdock Cracks Ice, and The Weekend Novelist Series.

THE DEIFICATION

“If American literature produces one On the Road per century, then The Deification by Jack Remick is it for the twenty-first century. This road trip saga of would-be poet Eddie Iturbi from Sanger to San Francisco, from innocence to art, is fast, hot, thick, mythic, erudite, erotic, and intense. The prose is lush, the story, irresistible. Remick inscribes these vivid, gender-morphing characters on the California landscape as if they’d always been there. I believe The Deification will be passed from hand to hand for a long time to come.” —Priscilla Long, author of The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life and Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America’s Bloody Coal Industry

“Eddie skids along a twisted road of mind-bending drama where characters reek of the human condition in an era featuring drugs, sex and jazz. Remick’s main character starts out as a naïve and hopeful young man who wants to be a poet like Jack Kerouac more than anything else in his life. We watch his transformation as he maneuvers his way through the underbelly of street life, a desperate yet cunning survivor.”

—Marie Romero Cash, author of the Jemimah Hodge Mysteries

“This is a whirligig of a story. After finishing Remick’s Blood, I remember blinking and wondering ‘How in the hell is he gonna top that?’ He has… Keep writing, Remick.”

—Frank Araujo, anthropologist, linguist, and author

“What a ride! I haven’t read another story that so well encompasses, portrays the creative pursuits, artistic, journey in all its cultural, personal struggles, battles, conflicts us humans have following our true nature…. Damn good writing, story-telling, and so much more.”

—Gordon Wood, visual artist

BLOOD

“What words could possibly describe Blood? It was an experience, it was a reaction, it was a journey, it was a nightmare, though its opening pages read like a dream. It is harsh, it is real, it is vivid, ugly, erotic and brutal. Though the book is set in a prison, all the elements of a rich life are represented here: justice, literature, salvation, art, loss, hatred, love, guilt, innocence and carnage. Physical carnage. Spiritual carnage. Emotional carnage.”

Sarah Martinez, author of Sex and Death in the American Novel

“For an author to choose as his explicit models Camus’s L’Etranger, Genet’s Notre Dame des Fleurs, and Sade’s Les 120 Journées de Sodom (all of which he has obviously read in French) and to earn the right to be mentioned in their company is quite a goal to strive for: one that only time will verify but that perhaps Jack Remick has indeed achieved.”

—Wayne Gunn, LambdaLiterary.org

“The narrative is rhythmic, almost hypnotic, with a cadence like a relentless drum beat or at times a turbulent raging river. All of this combines to result in one of the best books I’ve ever read.”

—San Francisco Book Review

“The prose style crackles. The insights bite deep. The story surges forward with a rush of blood. … A powerful tale written with total intensity. You won’t be able to put it down.”

—Robert J. Ray, author of the Matt Murdock mysteries

“A fascinating novel of a truly unusual character, Blood is a novel that will be hard to put down.

—Midwest Book Review

“Wow! What a ride…. In Mitch, [Jack Remick] successfully created a character that I loathed and empathized with at the same time. It’s a delicate balance…. I cannot wait to read Jack’s next novel.”

—Mindy Halleck, travel writer and author of Return to Sender

“Jack Remick is an original. Blood is delightful to read. It has heart and honesty—fun, too. Full of surprise and the heat and throb of human life.—Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones and Old Friend From Far Away

“The reader gets lost in Mitch’s mind, experiencing everything he is thinking and feeling …. Powerful.”

—Susan Canavarro, artist and author

Blood does not read so much as it pours forth, lava-hot, like a force of nature. Mitch the killer, collector of ears, Mitch the lover, writing in prison on toilet paper, opens an artery in the American psyche. Jack Remick may be the Jean Genet of the 21st Century.”

—Priscilla Long

“I have never read a book remotely akin to Blood before. The sustained intensity leaves me gasping for air.”

—Pamela Hobart Carter, playwright, Rondo, It’s Not in the P-I, The Ventriloquist

“Once you experience Remick’s gorgeous prose you will be stunned. His descriptions are amazing, his characters are wonderfully drawn and the book cannot be put aside until the covers are closed. Even then it will haunt you. It is raw and poetic at the same time and the images mesmerize the reader.” —Amos Lassen

 

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