Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quicksand Paradise

Quicksand Paradise by Mary Keith

Louis Abellard, the son of a Prohibition-era bootlegger, was the epitome of evil. Wealthy and a prominent member of his Louisiana community, he was also a bully, a drunk, a rapist and a prominent member of the Ku Klux Klan. Louis’s son Charles wants nothing to do with any of this, but how do you turn your back on money, power and a father who manipulates you like a puppet? How do you escape a Quicksand Paradise?

1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Read This BookNovember 13, 2014
This review is from: Quicksand Paradise (Kindle Edition)
**Reviewed for EBooks Galore**

Quicksand Paradise by Mary Keith is, ostensibly, a book about Louis Abellard, a Southern "gentleman" coming of age during the Prohibition era. It follows him throughout the rest of his life.
And it is a horrific, terrible, read, in both content and conventions.
When I first began reading, I was struck by anachronistic dialogue and content - Louis and his father speak in much more modern terms than is accurate for the time. As the story progressed it became less of an issue, but other things bothered me more.
First and foremost to my mind, this book is not a story. Louis does not grow and change as a person. He doesn't embark on a grand adventure, and he doesn't learn any kind of lesson by the end. The entire book is a catalog of a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and anti-Semitic language and crimes. Gay men are tarred and feathered and have their genitals cut off. Women are violently raped (one woman is brutalized three times, in detail, in the same scene), there are multiple lynchings, peaceful protesters are beaten to death and attacked with cattle prods, and there is even small scale terrorism. Throughout the entire book, there is not one shred of disapproval or wrong doing. Louis is never punished, and he never learns that what he is doing is wrong. In fact, he is lauded by his fellow KKK member friends as being a "real patriot" as well as a swell guy.

It felt as though the author was encouraging the behavior of her protagonist.

I have read books with crime, horror, and abuse in them before; none were as repugnant as this book. It was unapologetically vile, and I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone read it. The ONLY reason I read past the first non-consensual sex scene in chapter two was because I was given the book to review.
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1 comment:

  1. As the author of this work I must take issue with this review. There are so many inaccuracies I can't list them all. Secondly, nowhere in the book did I "encourage the behavior of my protagonist" or condone the actions or philosophy of the KKK. In fact, just the opposite is true. To quote from my book, QUICKSAND PARADISE:
    "By day they appeared to be decent, law-abiding citizens, but by night they changed into a band of vigilantes and acted as accuser, judge and administrator of punishment to anyone who broke their rules, leaving an indelible black mark on the pages of Belleville's history."
    And also:
    "Such incidents as the flogging of Homer Cullum were commonplace with the Belleville Ku Klux Klan. Under its ruthless leadership, blacks and whites alike were singled out and brutalized."
    Charles' thoughts on Louis Abellard, his father and my protagonist:
    "If those boots could talk, what a tale they'd have to tell. I know they've kicked many a poor, defenseless soul after he was down. He's cruel and heartless; he's without morals or conscience or decency. He's sin running amuck out of the jurisdiction of mortal man--it'll be up to Almighty God to deal with this infidel."
    Aside from reading the book, if this reviewer had only bothered to read the blurb on the Internet she would have seen that, in my own words, I portrayed Louis Abellard as "the epitome of evil."