Read Recently — May 2005

Prime: a novel by Poppy Z. Brite

Prime is the sequel to Liquor, which I enjoyed very much last year. This time, John Rickey (“Rickey”) and Gary (“G-man”) Stubbs, New Orleans chefs, lovers and partners in the restaurant Liquor, where there is booze in every dish, are doing well until a restaurant reviewer trashes them–not their restaurant, them personally. And it seems the article is really aimed at their silent partner, celebrity chef Lenny Duveteaux, who is faintly sinister and who is backing his lawyer for a future run at the office of DA. The reviewer is the son of the current DA, who arrests Lenny. At the same time, Rickey gets an invitation to travel to Dallas, to help revamp a restaurant there, whose current head chef is an old acquaintance–someone who, long ago, hit on Rickey during a time he was separated from G-Man and vulnerable. Rickey doesn’t want to go, but the pay is $10 000 for one week’s work, and they both feel that they need to start earning enough money to be able to survive if Lenny takes the big fall.

At first, everything seems to go well, and Rickey gets out of Texas with nothing worse than some bad feelings and a pair of ugly (but comfortable) cowboy boots. But then something awful happens, and things take a decidedly sinister turn. Rickey has to return to Dallas, and there is reason for G-Man to believe that Rickey is in serious danger.

Brite has, in my opinion, gotten better since she left horror behind. This is another great book– a little darker than Liquor, but by no means depressing. And, at less than 300 pages, a quick read.

Recommended.


Encounters With the Paranormal: Science, knowledge, and belief edited by Kendrick Frazier

A collection of essays from the pages of Skeptical Enquirer magazine in the 90s. Some of them are out of date, some of them are excruciatingly dull. But some are interesting, if you’re a skeptic, as I am.

Slightly recommended.

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