Title: Crazy in Love: The Story of a Gay Demon
Author: Perie Wolford; Narrator: Maxwell Palmer
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 23, 2017
Genre(s): Gay Contemporary Fantasy
Page Count: 86 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A black comedy story based on a horror painting and vastly inspired by Stephen King’s “Needful Things”
When 17-year-old Dale Stevens comes to spend his summer at his aunt’s house in the desolate woods upstate California, he expects the most boring 90 days of his life. But his expectations change rapidly after he meets a mysterious stranger in the woods and discovers things about himself, his body, and his soul that he knew nothing about.
Described as a black comedy, it is hard to see where the humour is here. The story begins with an extensive background that includes characters that are irrelevant to the plot and add nothing to the understanding of the lead character. The story doesn’t really begin until the location has changed. The lead character is not at all likeable. He displays all of the clichéd angst of a hormonally driven teen whilst still remaining a good boy at heart.
The introduction of the demonic character does little to improve the poor characteristics of the central character. Wrapped in so much schmaltz it is unpleasant to listen to, the behaviour of the central character deteriorates and becomes surreal in its violence.
The narrator does not provide the strongest performance. The characterisation is poorly defined and there is little to distinguish each of the characters voices. Similarly the pace and emphasis is largely lacking. The story is read rather than performed. There is also a noticeable change in pitch around chapter 10.
The cover art bears no relationship to the book. The central character is a young skinny teen and the demon is a beautiful youth.
The relationship between the two central characters is passionate but clearly one-sided. At first naïve and fairy tale in its presentation, lust starts to dominate. The demonic character reflects the changes occurring in the lead and as such the reader is at first unsure what to make of the demon and who is leading whom. Hints are dropped by the demon as to what is going on but these are misread and easy missed by the reader. It is only on reflection that the relationship becomes clear and that the behaviours are largely irrelevant to the reality of the situation.
There isn’t a lot to the story and so there is quite a bit of repetition, however with a novella format this does not prove to be too distracting to the plot.
This is a morality tale. Once you have got to the end, passed the overly endearing transformation of the lead character and the forgiveness all round, there is the opportunity to reflect on what actually happened and what it implies. This redeems the book as much as the lead character.