Caleb J. Ross' booklikes

The official booklikes blog of author Caleb J. Ross.

i poisoned you

i poisoned you - Pablo D'Stair (this review originally appeared at D’Stair writes the kind of fiction I love to read. He is able to consistently take a single point of logic and extrapolate its implications for the length of a full book. In the earlier reviewed, Kaspar Traulhaine, approximate, we follow a character as he descends into all-consuming paranoia. The logic being that the character murdered someone and is afraid of being found out. In the case of i poisoned you, D’Stair allows a seemingly compassionate Aldous Kline to investigate his brother’s supposedly adulterous girlfriend. The magic is that D’Stair doesn’t try to weave artificial plot into such a set-up. He instead works within the immediate effects of the situation, opting for intense examination:I wondered how close, exactly, I could get to her, if I could actually step into the row of books closest her, even there, leaf through something, she never even casually glancing up. I watched her yawn, unaware of anything, throwing her shoulders back, twisting a bit where she sat, using the butt of her palm to cover her mouth while she rubbed hard at one of her eyes with two fingers bent hard for just that purpose, the motion creaking, a moan pulping and circular (pg. 36).i poisoned you ups the ante further by removing as much humanity from the character as possible so that we are left to explore without the weight of specific context. This creates a fragile narrative, constantly reminding the reader that investment in a single character (re: a single mind) means ignoring the remaining infinite possibilities. So, D’Stair instead creates the ultimate blank slate:Bertram hadn’t even given me a reason to keep an eye on [the girlfriend:], as he didn’t recall his conversation with me, that night didn’t exist to him, it was less present than a dream…I nodded, heavy, knowing the logic was sound, knowing I was an absolute anomaly (pg. 30).I feel obligated to mention, in respect to full disclosure, a recent project which brought Pablo and me together. Pablo’s Brown Paper Press recently revived their Predicate journal, which contains a lengthy (and quite interesting, I will say) conversation between the two of us. Having talked with Pablo under those intellectual pretenses may have made me more susceptible to i poisoned you (though I am certain I would have still enjoyed the book otherwise). But, the author-equals-art-equals-author theory (which we discuss in the above linked dialog) would say that such support is unavoidable and should even be embraced.(D’Stair is willing to give FREE copies of his books to anyone willing to provide uncensored reader feedback. Click here for info)