Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blog Tour: A Masque of Infamy: A novel of teenage rebellion and punkrock salvation - Dessaint

*This book was an advanced reading copy sent to me, free of charge, for my honest review and opinion.  All comments in this review are the honest opinion of the blogger.

Book Description:
A Masque of Infamy: A novel of teenage rebellion and punk rock salvation by Kelly Dessaint is a horrific and raucous story of teenage rebellion. But instead of "What d'ya got?" fifteen-year-old Louis Baudrey knows exactly what he's fighting against…
After moving from Los Angeles to small town Alabama in 1987 with his father, his younger brother and this guy Rick, a friend of the family, Louis tries to fit in at the local high school, but the Bible-thumpers and the rednecks don't take too kindly to his outlandish wardrobe and burgeoning punk attitude. At home, he defies the sadistic intentions of Rick, who rules the household with an iron fist. As Louis begins to lose all hope, he stumbles upon indisputable proof that will free him and his brother from Rick's tyranny. But just when he thinks his troubles are over, he's locked up in the adolescent ward of a mental hospital, where he must fight the red tape of the system to realize his dream of being a punk rocker.

My Opinion:
This was a surprisingly good book. Billed as autobiographical novel, it reads extremely entertaining. Louis is a very believable hard-assed, yet naive teenage boy struggling with a crappy family situation. Dad is a pervert, Mom is a basket-case, and "family friend" Rick is a nut-case.  Louis does what he feels will produce the best situation for himself (and in turn his little brother), but also feels guilt at not being able to change the situation and confusion as to how to deal with things that have happened to him in the past. Despite being a bit of a self-centered shit, you can't help but feel for him being stuck in his crazy life.

But after buying into this kid's life, the writer leaves you high and dry with no resolution to any of the situations - and not in a "sequel will be coming soon" sort of way. He just up and leaves...and you are left to wonder, "Seriously, that's it?!" Frustrating, at least to me. 

Otherwise this is a good book, worth a read if you like the young adult genre. The writing is good, the story realistic.

My one major complaint is that the manuscript has more than one (read this "quite a few") errors (spelling, grammatical, or otherwise). Call me the "editing-Nazi" but I HATE THAT! If someone spends months, or years, writing a book...the least they (or their editor) could do is proofread the thing before it's released! 

Seriously, if that drives you as crazy as it does me...you may want to skip this one.

Author Info

Kelly Dessaint was born and raised in Los Angeles. At fifteen, he moved to Alabama, where he ended up in state custody, an experience documented in his autobiographical novel A Masque of Infamy. After graduating from the University of Alabama, he lived and traveled across the country, working odd jobs and gathering material for the stories he has published under various pseudonyms in small press magazines and his zines, Vagabond Review and Piltdownlad. In 1998, he founded the publishing company Phony Lid Books, which released titles by numerous prominent small press authors. He lives in LA with his wife and three cats.


The Phony Lid page for the book:

The FaceBook page for the book: