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  • By Doug Mac Donald
    Aug 27, 2006
    "Randham Acts by Matthew St. Amand" It’s time to 'play pretend'. Let’s pretend that there is computer software on the market that could help an aspiring writer solve potential plot problems. Let’s also pretend that this device could be used to help solve life’s problems such as an unbearable and potentially dangerous co-worker; an academic-ending exam; and how to deal with your girlfriend’s mother who is having a breakdown. The most compelling thing about Randham Acts, written by Matthew St. Amand are the characters. Almost all of them are crazy – but get this, there is a reason as to why they act the way they do. St. Amand does not rely on the simplicity of simply perceiving someone as ‘crazy’. In fact he shows you how they became this way, what motivates them and why they react in any given situation. With the use of flashbacks, these characters become real. Bev is the mother suffering from a breakdown and while acting shamelessly, you can’t help but pity the poor woman.... More > Keep in mind that it is Bev who is supposed to be the crazy one, yet you have her husband borrowing money he couldn’t possibly hope to pay back, and her daughter’s boyfriend, Hugh, plotting to get even with a co-worker. It is not the act that is terribly upsetting but how Hugh is able to push aside his voice of reason. The only character you’re left feeling no pity for is Martin, the husband. Like life, there are simply some people out there you can’t feel anything for, especially when they have full control of their faculties and simply choose to ignore them. Some of the ‘normal’ characters in this novel are far more terrifying than the obvious ‘crazy’ ones because of this reason. Randham Acts is streamlined and without an ounce of fat to it. The short chapters effectively keep the story moving along. Another surprise that St. Amand has in store is his rare gift of capturing realistic dialogue. St. Amand knows how people speak and he doesn’t shy away from it. It’s time to 'play pretend'. Let’s pretend that you’ve never thought of cheating on an exam. Let’s pretend that you’ve never thought of doing anything you ever wanted to do to a person. When you’re done reading this book, let’s pretend that you don’t see yourself in each of these characters. Let’s pretend that everything you thought of as ‘crazy’ was right. Yes, let’s play pretend so that we all can sleep better at night.< Less
  • By susandiplacido
    Aug 21, 2006
    "excellent" Aspiring writer and college student Hugh Longford had just asked his girlfriend, Stephanie, to move in with him. But instead of it being a landmark romantic moment in their relationship, it deteriorates into an ugly fight, because Stephanie refuses to leave her younger brother home with her mother, Bev. Bev has recently gone off her meds, and she's been slipping into fugue states while an even more frightening manic -- and potentially violent -- side of her seems to be emerging. Meanwhile, Stephanie's father, Martin, is on one of his extended sabbaticals from the family while he spends his free time at the racetrack and then crashing on his friend's couch. Already stressed out from overwork at his job, with his classwork piling up, and sullen from his fight with Stephanie, when Hugh gets yet another rejection notice from the magazine he most covets publication in, Hugh decides to give a new product a try. He purchases and consults The Blockbuster plot generation... More > software module to help him punch up his stagnating story. But it's not long before Hugh begins consulting the software regarding real life issues, starting with an annoying co-worker. Meanwhile, Bev is sticking the screws to Martin and trying to get a new business venture of her own off the ground. Things in Randham quickly heat up in this debut novel from Matthew St. Amand, author of the short story collection "As My Sparks Fly Upward." Full of twist, turns, and plenty of action, this is a pageturner with extra character kick. St. Amand reveals his characters from the ground up, letting us get to know them and feel their skin. Vivid and real, St. Amand's style is incredibly smooth and readable, but not the least bit awkward or dumbed-down like a lot of pulp can be. It's a layered and complex novel within the suspense framework, but you'll keep speeding to see what happens next in this stunning debut.< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9780975430842
Publisher
Randham Printed Matter
Published
March 15, 2011
Language
English
Pages
321
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
1.2 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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