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Carnal Sacraments, A Historical Novel of the Future Kindle Edition


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Length: 316 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description

About the Author

Patrick Merla edited two of the most influential gay publications in the United States: "Christopher Street" and "New York Native." He is the author of "The Tales of Patrick Merla." He lives New York City.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 738 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Belhue Press (10 July 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001P06FNA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,753,527 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x973525b8) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
HASH(0x981d3b94) out of 5 stars Interesting ideas, no follow through 14 Jun. 2015
By Michael Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In the not too distant future, the world is even more corporatized and consumerist than it is now. “The System” as it’s called, is all about creating the next “new” thing that people will believe they need to make them happy, at least for a while. Jeffrey Cooper is a key cog in the machine. His ability to discern what will make a product appeal to the market it’s targeted at makes him valuable to the nameless, faceless people who run the system. His reward for his talents is a phalanx of treatments that keep him looking like a thirty-something despite his real age of eighty, and a group of doctors and therapists to help him manage his mental and physical health. The price he pays for this fountain of youth is the abandonment of his past, and even much of himself. And, if he should every falter, become less useful to the system, it will all stop and he will quickly die.

“Carnal Sacraments” is full of interesting ideas. It probably seems, as the author points out in his forward to this second edition, even more prescient today than when it was first published in 2007. Unfortunately, all of those points are buried by some very lackluster writing. The beauty of science, or speculative, fiction is that you can explore ideas that are outside of contemporary culture and technology. The downside is that the author usually has to spend time creating the world in which the book is set in the reader’s mind before they can really get down to telling the story. Really good authors manage to weave this “world building” into the character introductions so that we hardly notice it. Sadly, this book doesn’t fall into that category. For more than half the book, a few scant paragraphs of actual character interaction is generally followed by several pages of background data dumps.

The pace eventually picks up, but by that point, if you even make it that far, you probably still don’t care that much for the characters. Jeffrey remains something of an enigma who perhaps we’re never meant to truly understand. The key people around him, who force him to think about things he’s long sublimated, are also little more than stock characters.

For all its promise, or perhaps because of it, “Carnal Sacraments” ends up being a rather disappointing read. It comes across as more exposition than story, a sermon on the evils of big business and chasing fads. There’s a kernel of a good idea here but it’s totally buried under uninspired writing that is more likely to bore you than really make you think.
HASH(0x9733c630) out of 5 stars Some good ideas, but poorly executed. 14 April 2015
By S. Smiley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are some good ideas here, but the book was poorly written and the ideas not well executed. One issue I had with the writing was that the author kept stopping the story to explain and editorialize. So there might be one paragraph where something starts to happen, and then two pages of tangential background before picking up the story again. A good writer should be able to supply most of this background from within the story rather than keep interrupting it. It's like those "deleted scenes" in a dvd--here none of the scenes got deleted that should have.

I also found the main character unconvincing; on the one hand, he is described as super competent and expert, and on the other he goes through all this hand-wringing and self doubt. It didn't really fit together, as so many things with this book.

This book was badly in need of an editor.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x972bac54) out of 5 stars A good writer with a view to reality 8 Dec. 2007
By Rainbow Guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Perry Brass has come out with some of the best and most unusual Gay Science Fiction books I've read. He definately has an interesting way of looking at the present and setting events in a future time line that really get you thinking. There is always a sexual intrigue element to Perry's work that I enjoy. Definately worth your time and money.
HASH(0x97194c9c) out of 5 stars Unexpected, Captivating, and Highly Satisfying 1 May 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Carnal Sacraments is an unpredictable moment-to-moment mystery romance set in the not-so-distant future. It’s 2075. Everything is fashion and fashion must be new every minute. The frantic world of product development and commercial advertising is in hyper-drive. Leading designer Jeffery Cooper is caught in the backbiting fight to stay on top. To add to the stress, the world is under constant government surveillance, and endless lucrative war. Jeffery’s career, personal affairs, his very life is dependent on his performance as perceived by that all-seeing directorate. What’s more, physically attractive Jeffery is under an adamant mandate to stay young. It takes constant drugs and treatments and no one knows how old he is—yet Jeffery is all too aware of inevitable old age and death, and that his grip on his work and sanity is weakening. Perry Brass skillfully renders his characters in a scenario that is both intriguing and unsettling. This is disciplined, inventive writing with an evocative realism that keeps you enthralled. In the end, irony wins, in a most unexpected, captivating, and highly satisfying way.
HASH(0x981fc1b0) out of 5 stars Good read 3 Jun. 2014
By Mack Hicks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the future perspective - heartless globalization. Character development that caught and held my interest. A couple of twists that made the story different and interesting. I would read something else by this accomplished author.
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