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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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10/30/2008 Entry: "Novel Review: Carnal Sacraments"

Carnal Sacraments
Written by Perry Brass
Published by Belhue Press
ISBN10: 1892149052
ISBN13: 9781892149053

Review by Linda Yau

Carnal Sacraments is set in a futuristic alternative universe, this is a world that is like Orwell's 1984 meet Anderson's Feed. Germany is the leading country of the world and Jeffrey Cooper is a man who appears to be king of his world. Jeffrey is a powerful businessman who has the ability to determine trends. Similar to being a 'cool hunter,' styles are found to peak in popularity and then fall in popularity, he determines that. As a product of the government's system though, Jeffrey has a strict regimen of sustaining his ageless body. The only problem he worries about is the copping of dealing with stress. It wasn't until he meets John that Jeffrey's perfect world starts to crumble, as he enters into an identity crisis.

Jeffrey first meets John at the subway, where he was punched. Piqued, but scared, Jeffrey meets John again, where he learns that he is a dissatisfied yet free spirited artist, who lives on the fringes of nature and society. They become lovers, and Jeffrey finds himself slowly falling in love with John.

However, my opinion was that love, or even the idea of homosexual love was not part of the book as I would imagine it would be. Sure homosexuality is illegal in Carnal Sacraments, but characteristic similar to the decade of American 1960's, there is an attitude for free love and anything goes. My opinion of the book being a way of Jeffrey meeting his personal demons, or the other character's human traits dominated the pacing of this book.

Brass has written an intelligent and imaginative novel filled with possibility, quasi-metaphysics really. The possibility is the imagining of humans having an ability to work forever with assistance from medical science. There are also many philosophical and ethics topics, that are mentioned, such as the idea of workaholics, anarchy, hedonism, narcissism, selfishness and greed.

I liked the book for its intellect qualities, and yet I can say that this is not a book I would normally pick up. If I haven't been able to meet Perry Brass at the Brooklyn Book Festival, then I would passed by this book. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who get tired of reading erotic homosexual stories, and would like to try this sensual book.

On a last note, I wonder which character, the cover model is representing. I cannot figure that one out, would that be Jeffrey or John, or as an eye candy to boost sales of this book? Certainly the cover did pull me into wanting to grab my hand on the book.

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