Feb 27, 2018

"Oil, oil...!"

And, anything the GREEN EYES have to add to this? Sure, always. Here, Part II (This Is Heaven), CH. 20, The Headless Horseman. Alex and John have left Juliette's hotel room and the scene of a Barbette Bienpensant provoked flagrante, a scene also involving Juliette's new friend, Romeo:

Alex laughs. Chuckles in an old-fashioned way. Slaps my shoulder—even though that’s difficult on account of my head-rest—we’re in the truck, heading to the hospital where Alex needs to be for unclear reasons. “You are contagious dude, yes, you are,” he says.

“The post-coital checkup, this is so you, you could have invented it.”
“Never heard of post-coital checkup.”

He hoots. “Gotcha, gotcha.” He cocks his head (which he will do a lot for the remainder of this episode). “I shouldn’t laugh,” he adds. “I believe.”
“There wasn’t any blood,” I say.
“They’ve possibly changed the sheets in the meantime. ‘Room service, room service, we have a de-hymenation.’ Or there wasn’t anything like a virgin…like in the first StarWars movie or what. They are lost in the desert, and the robot shouts, ‘Water, water.’ And the princess shouts, ‘Room service, room service’.”
“You don’t make sense.”
“No, it was Mel Brooks. A Star Wars parody. The robot shouts ‘Oil, oil.’ Spaceballs was the title.” Alex looks at his watch. “How much time did they have? Eight hours, nine hours. They did it four times. Five times. It hurts the first time. But then—female orgasms aren’t automatic, you know. In this case, however, I’m confident—she looked so otherworldly.” He gives me this look: “This is heaven, John, I told you.”

The sequel to the Green Eyes---available now

Michael Ampersant

Feb 21, 2018

Sogni pensieri parole --- a new review of "This Is Heaven"

Cool, folks, cool. We have a new review of "This Is Heaven," an Italian one. It was originally posted on I mei sogni tra le pagine, but is also available on GoodReads and supposedly on Amazon, and it's by S.M. May, the famed Italian author of oh-so-teasing SM-work. S.M. is actually a full-fledged attorney at law---perhaps not so much of a coincidence. Here she goes:

Like the first book, “This Is Heaven” has a bizarre and crazy plot. John, the narrator, tells us of the volatile relationship with his partner Alex, which is further complicated by a gaggle of new friends.

The scenes are often surreal, the dialogues full of jokes and witty quirks. There’s an initial sense of disorientation, but the reader eventually learns to understand the extremely particular/original---and, at bottom---cynical/sarcastic voice of Michael Ampersant, which hides, and thus reveals, a vast cultural/literary background.

From the famous incipit (“It was a dark and stormy night”) of the cataclysmic Chapter 47 to the numerous quotations and allusions in the text: it’s a real treasure hunt.

Ampersant is a very good author who loves to play with words, and the art of writing. And how can we not appreciate a writer whose author picture is captioned: “The author picture is a bit outdated, but not photoshopped” (?). [LOL]

The sequel to the Green Eyes---available now

Michael Ampersant

This Is Heaven (Green Eyes #2)

Feb 19, 2018

Yesterday --- Lunch at the Excelsior

So, we went for lunch at the Excelsior.

It's a hotel-restaurant located on St. Raphael's boardwalk, right next to the casino. We went there before, numerous times in fact, but only for drinks. Michael had taken notice of the menu-on-display, and observed that (1) it's printed, and (2) dated. And it all came back to him, an article read in DER STERN, a German magazine, more than forty years ago, about a German woman who had married into the Beaune society---Beaune, the capital of the Burgundy region---in order to live the life of the 19th century. And so she did, with price-winning recipes and a husband who owned a press specializing in printing the daily menus for local restaurants. Back then---when France was still living the tradition of "la table"---any decent restaurant would have a daily menu (your produce has to be fresh, fresh, and fresh), and it would be printed. 

Michael then explored the Excelsior a bit more, and concluded that all the vibes were pointing at said tradition---forgotten almost everywhere else in France (menus now being inspired by the specs of over-achieving freezers)---and so he began suggesting that one day (one day) we (we) might have lunch at this place. And eventually Chang consented, and yesterday was the day (Chang is a great lover of oysters):

Make love, not war!

Feb 8, 2018

The yellow parrot --- Green Eyes III --- "Ripley under ground" --- teaser

Cool, folks, cool. We somehow failed to get excited about the interaction between Sarah and her robot (the play we had started), but now, out of nothing, blissfully unprepared, we began writing the first chapter of the next installment of the GREEN EYES saga, "The Yellow Parrot"---yes, the previous part had a chapter about her already, an now we are going full Enid Blyton. (I'm fairly certain that a seasoned agent or publisher would advice a change of title, first thing in the morning).

Context: John has been asked by Alice Sandeman to replenish her shrinking stock of Eleanor Beasley paintings---Eleanor Wagner-Beasley, Godehart Wagner's spouse of convenience, now deceased. If your read the first part of the saga, you may remember that Eleanor specialized in canvasses of white dots painted on white backgrounds. So that's what John's doing in Alex's old pad, which has been transformed into a hide-away studio. 

One more thing, the chapter is titled: "Ripley Under Ground." And one more thing, we've hit another speed bump in the space-time-continuum, and were kicked right into the year of the Trump, 2017.

And now what? A typical Ampersant opening:

The doorbell rings. 

Alex’s attic is entirely on the wrong side of the tracks---compliments of his depression when he got the place three years ago---and so the bell is not a RRing, but a squirt of dying electricity. I buzz the buzzer carelessly, Amazon never rings twice.

A middle-aged man scales the stairs, huffing a bit, keeping his eyes on the rickety steps. He’s dressed in a rumpled, yet darkly-precious suit (made of silk-linen from Iran, his home country, we’ll learn later). There’s also a breast pocket handkerchief, which enters my focus when he arrives on the landing and raises his head. “My name is Souren Souleikan,” he says, lips poised, voice mildly accented, his eyes peeking past me into the den where Composition  #117 resides half-baked on its easel. 

He allows for three useless seconds of silence, then asks: “You are Alexander Iglesias, I take it?” 
“No,” I say. 
“Interesting,” he replies, his regard moving from my counterfeit composition to my left, smudge-painted hand. 
“Who are you?” I ask. 
“I’m Suren Souleikan,” he reiterates, smiling falsely. “The art critic.” He allows for more wordless seconds, then adds, “I’ve come at the right moment, I see. There’s some art that might need my attention. May I come in?”
“I’m busy,” I say, raising my dirty hand, but he’s already stepped into the den where he positions himself in front of my composition.
“You are the artist?” he asks, pointing at the canvas with an abstracted gesture. 

Feb 4, 2018

We told you so

Buy the book:

Green Eyes
From live reviews: 

"If you like Woody Allen, you will enjoy the book!" 
"I dreamt of the GREEN EYES and woke up happy." 
"Grab it an plan to read it from cover to cover immediately!" 
"A literate and wonderfully witty romp!" 
Wow! That was my first reaction to reading this book, my second reaction was plain and simple holy shit!"
"This is a perfect book for any adult reader!"

Green Eyes: an erotic novel (sort-of)

Last night

Feb 1, 2018

"And brother, can she write" --- book review of "Need to know" by Karen Cleveland

We get an email from John Grisham, the author, who talks about the "heady days" of his breakthrough novel, "The Firm," and about Karen Cleveland's firstling, the spy novel "Need to Know", which is apparently poised to mirror his own success.

Since we're wondering increasingly what makes a successful book of fiction, we push the Amazon button and download Cleveland's ebook.

The best thing about the book is the motto, taken from Oscar Wilde:
When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
Not the best thing about the book is its implicit promise of authenticity. The author is herself a counter-intelligence (CI) expert with the CIA, and so one would expect her tome to convey something of an insider's view of modern spying. Well, to the extent that it does, Cleveland's profession has gone the way of most other occupations: workers and co-workers are couched in cubicles where they stare at computer screens when they don't spy on each other or drive home to collect offspring from overpriced private schools that charge five dollars per child per minute of pickup delay. And after a sexless night (Goodreads reviewers have congratulated themselves on the fact that there is no sex in the book) she kisses her husband ("Matt") goodbye and is back to Langley where she---in this age of algorithms---has been developing her own ALGORITHM, a program that's supposed to filter Russian spies from the rest of the population. Even better, her task is accomplished and today's the day to put her invention to work. She hits a few keyboard buttons and there he appears on the screen, her first Russian spy, and it is---spoiler alert---her husband, Matt.
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