Tag Archives: british writer

Tweet from Author Claire Fuller Again!

Claire Fuller (@ClaireFuller2) Tweeted:
@artemis1291 @wordpressdotcom:

Thank you for reading it, and for writing such a lovely review.

The morning began with another jubilee compliment, which I neither intended to solicit nor tried to canvass for, from no less a writer than Fuller herself! It doubled the aroma and taste of my regular morning coffee before heading off to work!

‘Bitter Orange’, by Claire Fuller – review

Bitter OrangeBitter Orange by Claire Fuller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller is a curious case study of a woman named Frances Jellico, masquerading as a fictitious memoir laced with escapism, voyeurism, narcissism, and eroticism, all glowing in the radiant color orange smothered by the shadow of forced guilt, self-loathing, and disorientation. Frances’s narrative is, however, far from being namby-pamby, importuning the reader with her litany of her woeful life. Rather, it is her remonstration of her failed dreams, rejected desires, and unfulfilled purposes with the world she believes has always turned its back against her in the most callous way. Her only revenge for the betraying world is her death, which bestows upon her the kind of liberty she wanted to purchase in one hot summer in an idyllic English suburb twenty years ago. It’s a mad, bad, and sad drama of Frances through which Fuller plays the last swan song of a deeply troubled woman in emotional distress with her masterful storytelling skills.

Written in the first person narrative, the reader will directly glimpse into the inner world of Frances whose days are numbered without superabundance of mawkish sentiments. In fact, it echoes Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-tale Heart” in a way that  exudes a momentum of gushing stream of consciousness of a narrator that feels a combination of anger and dismay, sorrow and loneliness, and illusion and paranoia. That feeling of abstract emotions becomes physical by the witchcraft of Fuller’s atmospheric descriptions of scenes and rich dialogues. Fuller does a beautifully nuanced job of capturing all the conflicting emotions that put you in trance, carrying you over to the psych of the other.

In comparison with Dora, the subject of Sigmund Freud’s case study of hysteria, Frances’s dilemma is more existential, more corporeal, and more noogenic in terms of the cause and the nature of her Uber-Angst. To diagnose Frances’s symptoms as a typical case of female hysteria commonly associated with a timid, introverted middle-aged virginal woman does a disservice to the woman who struggled to right the ship of her drifting life all alone. IT goes against the grain to dismiss France’s story as a mere dalliance with a hedonistic couple named Cara and Peter during her brief sojourn or a pitiful attempt to break free from her socially gawky, ill-fitted rotund virginal self at the expense of her naivety. France’s narrative attests a sense of disorientation of her life without a clear vista of purpose in her life due to the lingering influence of her dead gloomy, domineering, sordid mother who bound her entire being under the rigidity of religion and morality.

Subsequently, Frances suffers from noogenic neuroses, neither pathological not pathogenic of origin, but of existential distress. In other words, Frances is not a basket case, but a human derelict adrift on a sea of life, brutally defenestrated from the comforting mooring of loving relationship and social connections by her also neurotic mother who blamed her daughter for almost anything. No wonder Frances associates her rotund appearance with her weight of guilt that is in fact nothing but her delusional imago forced upon her. In this regard, France’s narrative outstrips Freud’s Dora case with far more in-depth interior monologue of the narrator endowed with high intellect, impressible curiosities for life, and unyielding desire of being connected with the world outside herself.

Fuller is a riveting writer of dialogue and scenes, all the artistry in the marks upon the page after page, wielding a pen across the pages in an expense of her boundless imagination that seems wholly realistic and ingeniously creative, producing aesthetically sensuous ambiance of the story, as if she were painting a Renaissance triptych featuring three naked adults making furiously and frantically passionate love with one another in an Arcadian English garden tinged with citrus scents of oranges, which likewise symbolize lust, desire, and passion, all flatly denied to Frances in Bitter Reality. And it is in this subtle respect of Frances’s smoldering indignation at such cruel denial of her yearnings only natural to any woman – young and old, pretty and not-so-pretty, smart and not-so-smart – that Fuller’s vivid imaginativeness and keen observation of psyche of characters manifest to the fullest extent and hold the reader’s undivided attention throughout the book with gusto and pleasure that will make you become titillatingly insatiable as you go deeper into this arresting story.

Lists of Note by Shaun Usher

Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider AudienceLists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The act of note-taking is the prerogative of humans throughout the history of civilization; impromptu, interesting, and important, the nature of notetaking is to capture a train of thoughts that comes to one’s mind. This book by Shaun Usher is a pleasant compilation of such notes flooding vicissitudes of humankind. It is a sequence to his bestseller Letters of Note, which is a riveting compendium of letters of all kinds throughout the history of the world. Mr. Usher, who is very keen on collecting personal correspondence of people, has indeed again exerted great effort and time to make this project possible through the support of his fans via Unbound com, an organization which has helped writers publish their works since the 18th century in England.

The book contains some very intriguing notes as follows: (1) Bill of Mortality which tells of the kinds of ailment English people of the 17th century died of, (and the reader will be surprised to find that one of the common causes of death was abscess); (2) an ancient Egyptian worker’s note on his absences recorded on a limestone; (3) Leonardo Da Vinci’s notes on what he would need to research for the anatomy of a man; (4) Michaelangelo’s list of food he wanted to eat with adorable pictures accompanied during his travel to and from Pietrasanta to extract marble used for the Basilica of San Lorenzo; (5) Sir Isaac Newton’s list of note revealing his peevishness with his mother and father, striking his sister and servant and neglecting to listen to a Sunday sermon in church; (6) Mark Twain’s list of note showing all the food he wanted to eat at home upon his returning from a long European trip; (7) Marilyn Monroe’s resolution to attend her new acting class without fail and to enroll in an English Literature class; and (8) Jack Kerouac’s note to his friend for writing tips in which he asserted the importance of free writing without grammatical, syntactical, and literary inhibition. These are just a few notable excerpts from the book, and the reader will have no time for boredom in reading this book.

This is a quick read which one can enjoy without having to analyze the contents of the notes. The only foible about this read in Kindle version is that the original scripts of some of the notes are not clearly shown due to a mechanical aspect of the device. For this reason, it will be better to own a hard copy of the book as the notes are pictured in their entirety, so that the reader can see clearly the writing styles and discern the personalities and characters of the notetakers to a certain extent. The reader will realize that the act of note-taking, however simplistic and insignificant it may seem, is in fact a way of sketching the flow of thought from a world full of things assorted and flowing without a sense of purpose for composite significance.