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  • By Vincent Collazo
    Oct 15, 2009
    "SANITY’S BANE REVIEW, from RFD Magazine, by Mountaine" SANITY’S BANE REVIEW From RFD Magazine, Winter 2006/07 Reviewed by Mountaine Vincent Collazo has given us a real gem in his self-published novel "Sanity’s Bane." The book reads as the memoir of a young writer, telling the story of his life from infancy to young adulthood. It’s emotionally rich, thought-provoking, and a really fun over-the-top wacky read. On his website (, where the book can be ordered), Collazo invites us to “tread the landscape of my mind, to visit places both sacred and profane, and to meditate upon the deeper significances of our lives on this beauteous and bountiful planet. Wow! That's a lot to accomplish in 243 pages! Judge for yourself whether my achievement matches my ambition.” I’d say it has…. The main character is Victor Cruise, and in addition to the name being similar to Vincent Collazo, there’s lots more shared by Victor and Vincent, including the... More > unique cultural flavor of a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent. So a reader might wonder how much this is an autobiography. Although parts of the story are probably true reminiscences, Collazo has exaggerated and warped reality in countless ways to deliver a romp through the back rooms of a pretty weird mind. At the age of 4, Victor falls in with an “older woman” of 6, Janice Cooley, who has the remarkable ability to see the Diamond People, two disembodied beings, apparently born in Janice’s dreams. Their fondest wish is to see Janice and Victor bonded through marriage. Clearly, Janice has a strong will, and the nuptial ceremony takes place, with the Diamond People as co-ministers, using wedding rings stolen from their parents. Victor’s description: "I hadn’t intended to take our ‘bonding’ seriously but, when Janice placed her father’s oversized ring on my finger, I was moved. I saw Janice’s face anew and once more was captivated by her red hair and freckles. I fancied that I could make out the glowing forms of the Diamond People in her eyes and felt the warmth of their benevolence wash over me. We did a pseudo-waltz to music that I had to imagine, but Janice said it was the most beautiful she’d ever heard." The wackiness of Victor’s marriage to Janice has a darker side, as we learn of the abuse she suffers from both her mother and father. Victor’s adventures take him through leaving home, setting up an apartment, making new friends (including close connections to a large tribe of cockroaches), a gay coming-out that’s both sexy and hilarious, and finally an apprenticeship with Lucius Azencole, his and Janice’s favorite writer. Collazo gets to play with at least 5 styles of writing – Victor’s first person narrative, his stream-of-consciousness style in the teenage work “Phantasmagoria”, Azencole’s own work, Victor’s efforts to simulate Azencole’s work, and finally, Janice’s long letter written from the Fairleigh Mental Institution (known to Janice and Victor as “Unfairly Mental”). The use of English is differentiated clearly enough to help the reader feel the differences among these various parts of the book. Through it all, despite many elements of pure fantasy, the story feels real enough to keep the reader enthralled. Get this book to keep you company on a few of those long winter nights. Who knows? The Diamond People may visit you too, to thank you for supporting an emerging writer.< Less
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Product Details

JoyBoy Press
September 8, 2006
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.97 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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