Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse ISBN: 9781491791844 iUniverse, an e-book written and copyright by Peter Quinones.
This is a collection of several short stories, a discussion of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and ruminant discussions on several authors’ books and/or movies. The first two stories, The Fizz Notorio and Rumor People, relate tales of a somewhat nondescript, mismatched man and woman with a relationship that begins nowhere and ends in similar fashion. The third ‘Burn Series’, is another unusual tale of a serious minded woman, her lush but beautiful sister and the two wealthy ‘boys’ she drunkenly brings back to the apartment of her sister whom she is visiting. It also begins from nowhere and ends similarly These three have elements of humor and appear to be provided to present the author’s desire to project underlying thoughts that he sets forth in later discussions in the book. In ‘The Exousia’, fourth of the short stories, characters named Elisabetta De La Real, businessman Hayzahoona and similar are involved in an ironically described police investigation of an unsolvable murder. The fifth, Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse (I) presents a large number of unrelated, often inane and crude remarks. Chap 6, Notes on Macbeth – posthumously left behind by an undistinguished scholar quotes: “The grandmaster of Shakespeareans, Spurgeon – a mean, cruel and petty man (reviewer’s?) very out of his depth” and there follows a most interesting discussion/comments on the play’s acts and scenes one by one. The author then provides pros and cons on Polanski’s film production of Macbeth, Casson’s 1978 Royal Shakespeare Company’s theater-in-the-round production, Jack Gold’s interpretation for BBC Shakespeare series in the 1980’s, Rupert Gold’s 2009 film and sneaks in some comments on Kenneth Branagh’s 1988 production of Twelfth Night for the Thames Shakespeare Collection. These are followed by a statement and comments of why he believes the Bard’s comedies are much stronger than his tragedies before returning to the often referred to as endless discussion of Macbeth’s witches before returning to the Polanski production and still other comparisons. Chapter 7 Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse (II) Self-indulgent metafiction with notes, starts the reader with a story about Monica who has work completed for her PhD in film studies with only the dissertation left, which concerns Sam Peckinpah. She in anorexic, vomits after each meal and is not particularly noteworthy as described before she departs while calling back to her house mate that Nogs Berga, nicknamed “petite conical breasts” after a ‘hilarious remark’ he had made in a gathering, is arriving. This is followed by discussion of various aspects of some well-known and little known movies and delivers pros and cons of what the directors were attempting and whether they did or did not project these ideas, generally speaking. Included are words about the importance of visual images, both as presented and what they might conjure up, AND the need to understand what the author and filmmaker is attempting to say. Included are words with respect to Irwin Shaw’s 1969 Rich Man, Poor Man, another of Ross Macdonald’s Wycherley woman (1961) and more
This is an unusual book with a strange range of subjects. Short stories in which the author presumably has provided hidden thoughts (that regrettably escape this reader) for the reader to ponder are included along with discussions about authors and filmmakers that are quite knowledgeable and interesting. Most prominent are those with respect to Shakespearean plays – these latter particularly enjoyed for this reviewer who many years ago studied the Bard under a former student of George Lyman Kittredge, the celebrated Harvard Shakespearean professor, who along with the above mentioned Caroline Spurgeon, no doubt were the Elizabethan’s most notable scholars.
Conclusion: A somewhat weird collection that provides quite knowledgeable serious discussions along with short stories that some readers may find somewhat distasteful, but containing components of humor along with purported hidden elements that should offer interesting speculation for a certain strata of readers.
3* 5 to 2* range actually, depending, upon reader’s level of interest, as described.