Grapefruit Juice by Lou Rasmus
I read this book in paperback. This is an unsolicited review.
What I Loved:
Lou Rasmus… you guys remember him?? He used to be on WordPress but due to his studies and work and writing and life in general, something had to give and for Lou that was social media. Can’t really blame him there. But I sure do miss his almost-daily poetry around here.
For those unfamiliar, he’s best known for his simple motto: smoke, drink, fuck. Grapefruit Juice is certainly all that; the poetry and flash fiction you miss reading on his blog. It was like hugging an old friend for me.
Lou has this great habit of talking about the simple mundane things in everyday life and slipping in these deeper thoughts that I think we all have from time to time. He’s sneaky about it too, so you don’t even realize he’s said something profound until a second or two later… and then it sticks and you’re like: huh… he’s totally got this all figured out.
So what you’ve got is a mixed bag of flash fiction pieces and Lou’s signature poetry all centered around sex, drinking, smoking, and getting high on the surface but with ponderings on the actual important things in life as the punch at the end (or middle or wherever else he slips it in).
What I Didn’t:
There were a few minor grammatical errors which are a pet-peeve of mine and the formatting was a little off, such as some pages written in grey letters, others in black, and with no rhyme or reason, it felt not quite edited enough. That said, none of that was enough to detract from the writing itself.
My Favorite Bits:
I’m going to forego calling out individual pieces this time, but I will mention I love his flash fiction pieces the absolute best. I’m a sucker for short stories, especially well-done ones like his. The second-to-last piece An Opening of the Mouth I felt was the crowning jewel of the entire book, which – by the way – at 150 pages felt the perfect length for me. Neither too short nor cumbersome.
In it, Lou waxes poetic about the world spinning beneath our feet (personified as the ocean, an ever-gnawing-away creator-witch of sorts), regardless of what is happening right down the street or in our backyard, she continues on, grinding away. A metaphor for each of us, really, spinning our feet and keeping on even when the world around us crumbles or groans.
My Overall Score:
(Losses: 1/4 for minor awkward formatting and a few grammatical errors, 1/4 for pretty much the same content the entire length of the book)
My Final Thoughts:
Although I myself am not a drinker at all, I can still appreciate the depth of thought included within nearly every piece. That side-by-side comparison of the everyday and philosophical marry quite well, creating a very satisfying and powerful collection. I definitely recommend both the author and the book for modern poetry readers and bar-flys alike. For my part, I look forward to his next book.
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