Reviews of  Straws:
Straws, 1939 - 1940
This is the first review I received written by anyone who has read the novel, end to end, in one go.
Mon 2:35 PM
Subject: STRAWS:)To:

Now its time for me to lavish praise on you.  Your novel was, in a word, beautiful.  I started reading it last night around 9 and could not stop until I finished, at 2:30 A.M!  It was unbelievable.  I laughed,  I cried, I even thought I was going to "puke" :), but most of all I connected on that personal level that makes the difference between a novel and an experience.  I loved it.   It started out as a beautiful story about growing up, and slowly but surely you added small details that would normally shock and repulse.  But because you added them slowly you made us love Carl so much that we could not cast an accusing eye upon him.  We love him for who he is, especially his shortcomings.

And Hannah!  Oh how we loved Hannah in her simple wonderfulness and her striking resemblance to Helen (maybe that was part of the attraction between her and Carl???)

And as Carl so brutally seeks out his revenge, I was sickened at the mental picture of what was happening, but the fact that he was doing it didn't bother me at all... I was almost cheering for him on the inside... maybe now he could rest.

And the ending, OH the ending... Can we scream sequel any louder?  Actually, the beginning alludes to a sequel more so than the end... So I guess the question remains... Is the Colt that Carl raises a new beginning, or simply the ultimate end?

I hang in suspense for the next.  Beautiful.  Erotic.  Wonderful.  I wish there were stronger words.


Straws, 1939 - 1940
Rob Miller had this to say:
"You're wasting your time at these writer's groups.  Your novels are better than the bestsellers I buy here in Border's, so I'm not going to critique your work any longer.  Just keep the chapters coming, and be quick about it!"

Straws, 1939 - 1940
This review comes from Gene Moser, who also has his own anthology site.  Click here to check it out.
Jim seems to know Kansas too well and forgets that his readers are a lot closer to Toto.  As an example, he uses a couple of lines of dialogue to indicate where soap and towels are to a person who should know exactly where they are, or could be shown by a friend.  Yet he gives us things like "prettiest girl in sixteen counties" without once letting us know it was a frequent figure of speech. The same thing happens with a pig cooked with rocks - which most people know from Hawaii - and  an obscure gun caliber.

Jim has made a concerted effort to keep his work from being cast as pornography.  Well, if it is published, there will be fortylebben churches which will cry  out against it if it becomes popular, and I hope it will.

Jim wants to keep us guessing about relationships.  A good example is when Carl sees Helen and Jerold kissing while he fondles her bare breasts.  Is she enjoying this or resisting?  I thought he was molesting her, Jim wants it more ambivalent.

Should you read it?  Yes, you should.  And tell Jim what you think of it.

BTW, if you liked his, try mine, would you?   They also include teenagers and love and sex.  Not much violence though - not yet at any rate.  Jim thinks enough of them to have developed a website for them, Gene Moser's Literature.

Gene Moser