Tag Archives: Kindle

Other People’s Books–#1: Only Shot at a Good Tombstone

I’m going to take a break from my regularly (or irregularly) scheduled discussions of my books and make some recommendations in the next few posts about some “indie” books that I’ve read, and loved, in the past year or so.  I’ve mentioned a few here before, but they’re worth mentioning again. (And there’s still time to get them as holiday gifts; I assume that they’re all eligible for the Amazon “MatchBook” promotion, which allows you to buy the Kindle version of a book for a significantly reduced price–usually 99 cents, and in some cases free–if you buy the print version.  One for you; one for a reader you love.)

The first book I’ll mention is Only Shot at a Good Tombstone, by Robert Mitchell.  I LOVE this book.  Robert is one of the best writers I know; he loves Kerouac and Salinger and Joyce and Steinbeck, and it shows.  Tombstone is definitely (and refreshingly, these days) not a light, frothy beach read; it requires a reader’s attention, and rewards it. Yet it’s unfailingly entertaining and thought-provoking and just downright wonderful (did I mention I love it?).  I was thinking just last night that it’s a book about a hero’s journey, albeit a decidedly unconventional one.

Here’s the review I wrote of the book a while back:

“As I read Only Shot at a Good Tombstone, I kept thinking about how I could possibly describe it to anyone else. On one of my Goodreads updates early on, I said something about how reading it was a little like getting on a ride at an amusement park, and having no idea what the ride would be like, and then finding yourself “hanging on for dear life” as the ride takes you to all kinds of unexpected places. I stand by that description.

If you’re the kind of reader who needs a conventional story-line, unfailingly upstanding and “respectable” characters, and tidy answers in order to enjoy a book, OSAAGT probably isn’t for you. There is no real discernible “plot” to the book; it simply follows a protagonist known only as the “young man” through a couple of days as he wanders around the smog-choked, chaotic city of L.A, allowing himself to be drawn into one tableau after another. But if you can just allow yourself to be led where the young man takes you, and keep in mind that “real life” doesn’t have any particular plot either (except, perhaps, in retrospect…perhaps), and tends to be more of a long series of encounters that are defined in large part by what you make of them, you should be able to really enjoy the ride.

It’s those “encounters”–each one elegantly detailed and engaging–that make up the book. What binds them all together and keeps the book from being nothing more than a random, piecemeal–albeit remarkably literate and well-written–gathering of scenes, leading nowhere, is the world-view and unfailing humanity of the “young man.” Although a self-described “freak”, his (and the author’s) compassion for every lost soul he comes across during his wanderings (one of the things that he considers “freaky” about himself is his ability to see the beauty in just about everyone), and his easy willingness to care in an unassuming way for others, allows US to see the characters in his world–and, perhaps, our own–as real, significant, and deserving of our attention. Each one of those characters, and his or her circumstances, is fully drawn and remarkable, and each tableau draws the reader in and turns pre-conceived ideas about “types” inside out, so that, perhaps, when she closes the book and goes out into her own world, she will be forced (in a truly positive way) to look beyond those types out there as well. And that can only be a good thing. (I found the character of Harold, a Jesus-like kind of “street prophet”, particularly affecting.)

But there is nothing “boring” about the book, and the author is not trying to hit the reader over the head to make a “point” (although the book is anything but pointless). Every story and encounter is fascinating and often haunting. Only Shot at a Good Tombstone is by turns funny, heartbreaking, illuminating, profane, “obscene” (but not gratuitously so), cynical, shocking, and just plain sweet. As in life, there are no easy answers, and no tidy conclusions, and each situation and character we meet will be affected by what we ourselves bring to it.

Yeah–I kinda loved this book. It’s one of those good, “old-fashioned” books in which the writer can actually write, and thinks deeply about what he’s writing, and is willing to take all kinds of unconventional chances (and has the talent to do so). I believe that it’s what we used to call ‘literature.'”

OK.  Go buy the freakin’ book! 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/Only-Shot-At-Good-Tombstone-ebook/dp/B0032JTVGU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1387381374&sr=1-1&keywords=only+shot+at+a+good+tombstone

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Free Ebook Version of Holding Breath–A Reminder

As promised in yesterday’s post, I’m posting this reminder that the Kindle version of Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days is FREE on Amazon.com from today (9/13–I love Friday the 13th’s!) through midnight Sunday.  Please spread the word if you know anyone else who might be interested in reading it.  Here’s the link again:

http://www.amazon.com/Holding-Breath-Memoir-Wildfire-ebook/dp/B009TV4CE6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377225007&sr=1-1&keywords=holding+breath+bevilaqua

Free Kindle Edition of Holding Breath, 9/13-9/15/2013

The Kindle version of Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days will be FREE starting at about midnight Pacific Time tonight, until midnight on Sunday, 9/15.  At the moment, the book has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from twenty customer reviews on Amazon; if you do read it, additional (honest) reviews are more than welcome!  The regular price for the ebook version is $3.99.

Yes, Holding Breath is a “book about AIDS”, but beyond that it’s a love story, as well as an evocative portrait of New York City in the late 1980’s.  As one reviewer put it, it’s “a memoir of the last days of the 1980’s that is tender, desperate, loving, searching, and quietly profound. Holding Breath is the best of what indie published books can be. It is raw, natural and unabashedly lyrical.”

I’ll be posting a reminder of the promotion here in the morning, but in the meantime here’s the book’s Amazon link, if you’d like to take a look and read more reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/Holding-Breath-Memoir-Wildfire-ebook/dp/B009TV4CE6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377225007&sr=1-1&keywords=holding+breath+bevilaqua

Amazingly Good Novel, Free For a Limited Time

One of my absolute favorite “indie” novels (in Kindle format) will be free on Amazon for a few days, starting today. It’s called Only Shot At a Good Tombstone, and it’s by Robert Mitchell. You can read the description and reviews (including mine), and download your free copy, here:

http://www.amazon.com/Only-Shot-Good-Tombstone-ebook/dp/B0032JTVGU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

You’re welcome. 🙂

P.S. Reviews are really helpful to indie writers–it’s the only way that good books can really start to be appreciated by a wide audience. So, if you do read Tombstone, please try to leave even a quick review/rating on its Amazon page, and/or on Good reads.com.

Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days On Sale This Week

The price of the Kindle version of my book, Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days (you know–the book that this blog is about!), will be reduced just this week to 99 cents.  On May 1st it will go back to its usual price of $3.99.  (The print version is also available for $11.95.)  Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Holding-Breath-Memoir-Wildfire-ebook/dp/B009TV4CE6/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350864778&sr=1-3&keywords=Bevilaqua

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Free Today and This Weekend

I just want to let people know that the Kindle edition of Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days, is FREE today (Friday, 3/1) through Sunday on Amazon.com.  Here’s the link to the page again:

http://www.amazon.com/Holding-Breath-Memoir-Wildfire-ebook/dp/B009TV4CE6/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350864778&sr=1-3&keywords=Bevilaqua

If you do read it, reviews on the Amazon page and/or Goodreads (or anywhere else you can slip one in 🙂 ) are always helpful and appreciated.

FREE for World AIDS Day

Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day.  I thought it would be the perfect day to give away (as in, “free”) copies of the Kindle version of my book, Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days (it will actually be free through this weekend).  I wish that I could afford to give away the paperback version as well, but at the moment I just can’t afford to do that!

So, if you or anyone you know might be interested in reading the book free of charge, please go to the book’s Amazon.com page and order away!

http://www.amazon.com/Holding-Breath-Memoir-Wildfire-ebook/dp/B009TV4CE6/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350864778&sr=1-3&keywords=Bevilaqua 

(When you’re finished reading it, reviews on the Amazon page would be greatly appreciated!)

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