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Lance Manion- Here Are A Few Reviews of His First Five Books
The First One I Read- The Ball Washer
Let me start right out by stating the first story you'll come across in this anthology is the title story of the compilation. The Ball Washer is the first story. While that's no big deal and likely a good idea (when one is focusing on a particular piece of work in such an omnibus), I can't help but to point out that the story itself,The Ball Washer, is my least liked in the entire collection. I'm not saying it's bad; I am simply saying this: Out of the numerous shorts in here, this is the one story I found I liked the least.
With that being said, don't dare stop there, fellow readers, as I think you'll find this anthology quite enjoyable and worth a look-see. In fact, while I simply stumbled upon this work only through dumb luck (I was grabbing free stuff at random). I am so glad I did.
Lance Manion, the author, has quite the acerbic wit and certainly possesses a grand imagination. Not only that, but he is very good at placing a large amount of written creation into a very small word count, or, these stories are short and fun. Really short. A lot of fun. Plus, he has a knack for the play on words.
Not all of these stories are purely fiction, but some are humorous diatribes on subjects Lance finds particularly noticeable. You know, the those things that irritate everyone sooner or later. But mostly, these are clever stories (well, I don't know how to classify come with me, so I will allow the reader the task) and funny observations. Very funny at times. Lance, you and I had similar misunderstandings in our youth, as I once thought if they were immersed and withdrawn, they'd drain like the heavy rubber bladder from a 1963 Corning 72 gallon water heater split with an ice scraper. You managed to reintroduce what was once a series of disturbing dreams.
And I should point out that Lance Manion possesses a rare talent in writing; he can bring you closely into the scene, whether you like it or not. Check out this potentially likely but fictional quote from one of today's finest celebrity authors, Chuck Palahniuk:
"Yeah, should I have not become a successful writer and tour de force in the realm of today's literary scene, and I had eaten more mushrooms than I did, I likely would have written works very similar to many of these stories written by this Lance, uh, Lance Masterson guy."
"That's Manion, Chuck. Lance Manion."
"Yeah, that guy. Like I said, stories like Ted, my own personal waterloo, and confessions (I suppose that's what it is) like come with me might have been written by me. You know, it could have happened. Yeah, I could say anything within a context such as this, but I can say I don't know anyone who died of hemorrhoids. Oh, and thanks for the writing lessons via the kitchenware, and how much of a nerd do you have to be to succeed with parentheses humor?"
Now, see? This potentially likely quote is from Chuck Palahniuk, and he is among the most successful and talked about writers of this century. If he might say something like that, who knows what James Patterson might say…
"For the last time, pal, I am not talking to you, and I am not, NOT, reading anything for you. Now get lost before I shove that camera where the sun doesn't shine."
Well, I like Chuck more, anyway. For you readers, the best part of this is that this collection, The Ball Washer, is absolutely free. It is, that's right, a free download. (In come with me, the payload is free, but you'll have to work for it). It seems Lance created this and placed it out there at no cost in order to sucker dupes like me into reading it and then, with higher hopes than I have regarding a possible date with Ginnifer Goodwin, you might be enamored enough to buy his other works.
But be warned, as he's going to berate you right away for grabbing at this low-hanging fruit.
Yes, it is that, but I wouldn't write this review about the collection if I didn't like it. Just so you know, I don't write reviews if I am displeased with the work. I just coax teens into egging the offender's car. The thing is, I enjoy going against the grain and immersing my reading time into work I find on sites such as Smashwordsand the like. I would read more selections from PublishAmerica if they weren't charging ridiculous amounts for unknown work.
The Ball Washer is yet one more quality work I have found out there that everyone catering to the Lamestream would consider beneath their attention. There's a point to make here, which is that so many people who claim to enjoy the act of reading will incessantly avoid works published at locations such asSmashwords simply because they assume the work must, must, must be of low quality. But I say that just isn't true, and it isn't just because I have work there, as well. I mean, you've read this review this far, and I have placed work on Smashwords and at PublishAmerica. How could the work at those locations be of poor quality when this review is this exceptional?
I state this because once one traverses along the choices of those Indie sites and enjoys a few, it quickly becomes obvious these people really, really made a great effort. Now yes, there will be some choices poorly edited (Lance did well, just so you know. Not perfect, but who does) and some that are horribly self-indulgent. But among the choices one can find well written works that just will not be found anywhere else, and that makes them treasures. So put away the brochures and maps handed to you by the publishers and wander into the weeds. Don't follow the beaten path; explore the trail marked only by the occasional broken branch, paw print, and droplets of blood. Once you get through the thickets not intended for the faint of heart, the treasures will be incredible. Hey, if the mainstream had their way, no river would have ever been crossed.
To obtain this download, simply go to Smashwords and search away for Lance Manion, The Ball Washer, or some combination thereof. Or just go to his website. Because this is a free read, the only thing invested and possibly lost is your time, but I am here to inform you this is time well spent. Yes, if you like to read, like to laugh, and like to cringe on occasion, you, like me, will quickly become a fan of Lance Manion.
My Review of Merciful Flush
Look, if you know me (which isn't likely) and you know Lance (somewhat more likely but still not probable) then you just might be familiar with the fact that I have reviewed two of his four collections. I have reviewedThe Ball Washer and Homo Sayswhaticus.
But, you see, these were his third and fourth installments. My first review was of his third work. So, I read and reviewed his third work (implying steady improvement and progress through two full projects) with this being my first crack at reviewing his stuff. I just can't imagine how you couldn't see the quandary, particularly since my second review was of his fourth work. Egads…
Now, I cannot state for the record that this is the cause of what seems to be a bizarre state of paradoxical issues in my life, but I'm not ruling it out, either. Regardless, issues have to be addressed and a full circle must be run in order for the space/time continuum to resume to a proper dimensional cycle.
Man, look at all the cool words I wrote!
Anyhoo, since I approached this in the manner I did, I found there has been a...how should I put this?...sense of evolution working through the transitions from one collection to the next. Yes, there are similarities, of course, but a formulation of something not quite there as much as it was in later issues. You see a sense of direction in this dashing man, this Lance Manion, which just wasn't evident at first.
Despite what the title of this first collection implies, this was not something rushed out in order to ease into things for those waiting impatiently for the next round, which was a work entitled Results May Vary. I'll get to it sooner or later.
Give me some time, people! What, do you think I have nothing else to do in life but read and write my thoughts and opinions on what someone else poured their heart and soul into while I mock it with schlock like this? Just relax, don't do it, when you want to suck to it. It could take me weeks to get to that last (yet his second) collection.
It actually agonizes me to be on the far side of this intangible yet literary circle. It's as though I'm on the other side of the eight ball, or something like him knocking on my front door but I don't get there fast enough for him so he goes to my back door, but gets there and knocks just as I open the front door just to see nobody (so I look for the burning paper bag) and hear a knock out back. So, I rush back there to answer that just to find nobody (he's grumbling while going back up front while I'm getting frightened and grabbing the axe) and this turns into some reality TV show with Tom Bergeron and Suzanne Somers watching from next door and having a laugh at our expense until, well, the drama ensues.
Suzanne is only there because she needs the work. Anyhoo, I very much enjoyed Merciful Flush. I like how Lance drops in actual pieces of fiction amidst his obvious disdain for those less than attractive than, uh, Yvonne Strahovski.
I recently saw her on an episode of Dexter, wearing an apricot colored summer dress. Good God...
Anyhoo, Lance surely possessed his unique manner of witty observations well before he started writing them down, offering the world something hitherto unseen by anyone, particularly if there are any other Lance Manions out there.
There could be; there are gobs of people named Michael Jackson, you know.
The thing is, Merciful Flush gave us a reason to seek more after we read that last page...but I already knew that, since I started a full two projects later. People, I don't know if you can recognize how agonizing this is for me. Now I know how Spock feels in the latest two movies, what with him having to cope with his younger self out there finding new adventures with a Captain Kirk more annoying than the first one. (But I'm still a Trekkie, though, and I love these guys).
Anyhoo, he told us of ass-light approaching 6000 Kelvin during a tale preceded by quotes from at least eight famous authors. If you haven't read his work yet, I would imagine that preceding sentence would be confusing at the very least. Welcome to the mind of Lance Manion. I once recall hearing someone observe a fellow who endured a severe dental protrusion effect (buck teeth) and that guy said, "Man, that guy could eat corn off the cob through a football helmet face mask."
Now I wonder if Manion coined that. I say that because he feels more than happy torturing obese people having garage sales. Somewhat judgmental from a guy who can't work with humanity's first discovery, I would say.
I am 47 years old, but desire to fly on Your Parents Airlines, but with my hat on backwards, my pants below my buttocks while I'm wearing too much eye liner. Maybe I'll get a few piercings just to complete the ambiance.
Sure, I could sit here and go on with witty snippets of what this collection contains, but please allow it to be sufficient that the work comes recommended. In fact, now that I have reviewed a total of three of his works (and will likely review the remaining, mainly because of OCD issues), I promise you that I wholeheartedly recommend all of them. Signs indicate Lance is on his way to greater success via his work, so why not get in here on the ground floor and enjoy it early.
You know, before he thinks he's too good to talk to us anymore.
You know, the way Yvonne Strahovski would be if she met him.
My review of Results May Vary
While we may never know for sure if this is my last review of a collection released by the talented writer known as Lance Manion, we can rest assured it's a review of work done by a talented writer and that this has been quite the ride. For the record, this is my fourth review of work by him and I must confess that, for me, this is a first (writing multiple reviews for one individual, that is). But perhaps it might be relevant to point out this is my fourth review of what is Manion's second body of work.
There might be a metaphorical reference here and this could be seen easily by those who've read his work. After all, there doesn't seem to be a discernible order of listing for the myriad of blogs, stories, revelations and shockers provided by Lance to his adoring audience and fans. Hey, you just have it in your hands and turn to page one; from there, there's no way of guessing of what you might find next. But hey, I'm here to pass on a few hints and promising nuggets when it comes to what's present in Results May Vary.
I can say that I've found little context considering what's suggested by the title. The title, Results May Vary, is vastly different from the other titles, to be sure. Merciful Flush hints towards either a desire to ease the pain of the audience or mayhap insinuate a relief of said pain might soon be required. That work was fun but I'm sure many readers winced much with the laughs. Then there was The Ball Washer (my first review) and that was about exactly what you think it was (the particular cover story, anyhoo). Homo Sayswhaticus is simply an awesome title. But these collections all offer similar work- the mad genius of Manion's mind.
That's precisely why I've chosen to read and review these several collections; with every turn of the page it's like lifting another cardboard cover away from that next scrumptious layer of assorted chocolates (stop playing games and acting as though you don't know why. We're watching you). But the reader can rest assured with the notion that whatever it is, it's going to be inane, fun, perhaps a bit zany, and certainly, certainly unique. Sort of like this review, particularly since I've gone on for more than 375 words thus far and covered nothing but titles and suggestive promises. Sort of like a night in bed with William and Kate.
Within the content of this work you'll find several plays on words, odd references to commonly known lyrics, and what everyone on Planet Earth truly thinks, believes and feels regarding those white bicyclists. And I found this sentence: Twinkle twinkle little Ahfa at Farkadain, how I wonder what the crypts of Lieberkun are.Yep. Not common.
The spell-check in my Word program started smoking. But it does indicate where things are going between those covers. No, not in there with William and Kate, but between the covers of the collection of Results May Vary, silly. Hey, we get a long and winding monologue about how it goes when Lance takes a wrong turn, so you can only imagine what earful we receive when he occasionally gets the girl.
I can't help but to wonder what her parents are thinking…
Oh, and he's nearly a sort of Bill Nye the Science Guy of the questionable-grammar-and-run-on-sentence-and-there-are-punctuation-references-out-there literary world. Did you know the galaxy rotates at a speed of 40K mph? I contend that, likely, you did not! But Lance is here to help you with that. Yes, yes, he likely has a large collection of comic books. There's no need to make that seem unseemly, if you must know. Hey, there's a particular entry you must read, entitled prom and the soft stool incident. Go ahead and lick this, Bill Nye…
And then, we go from Nye to Hawking as we read A Brief History of Lint.
I've no doubt that if you're reading this, you've either read all of these already, you're firing up the computer and rushing for Amazon, or (should you be aware of the short story entitled, Roxanne the Zombie Whore) blazing into your favorite bookstore with a particular title in mind. Oh, and hey, Lance reveals a bit of himself (perhaps I should rephrase but I'm not going to) regarding his g-g-g-generation while recalling an incident with Les Nessman. Hint: Bags of wet cement.
So, from hung and angry to the shower incident to The Nap Lapkin Trilogy, there's plenty of fun and exciting Lance Manion to be found in Results May Vary. And to be entirely honest, while this guy is quite offbeat and somewhat off-color in his humor style, he's created a niche occupied by no other. He is a talented writer, harbors a bottomless pit of witty observational skill, and knows just how to shock and offend to such a point that you'd feel left out if you weren't in on the joke.
Overall, this and anything done by Lance Manion comes highly recommended.
Review of Homo Sayswhaticus
We live in a world full of chaos, with our vulnerable endlessly unsafe and calamities forever around the next turn. Our political processes taunt us to simply give up hope, while this society begs for nothing but even worse. Not only are our children unsafe, but they are direct targets for those who not only intend to enslave them, but even farm them. Supposedly civilized nations are forever seeking the harm and suffering of their sovereign neighbors only in order to consume more for themselves, even though no nation demonstrates a genuine concern for its people. Unstable conditions deep within the Earth threaten our lives, our existence, with the potential for natural disasters of biblical proportions. Kanye and Kim named a child (a living, breathing child who will have to face the cruel, cruel world someday) North.
It's a good thing we have Lance Manion around! He makes us forget all about that stupid crap.
Within the pages of Manion's latest book, Homo Sayswhaticus, we learn about many, many things. Things such as Ice Cream boners, rabbits with bad makeup and out-of-work donkey porn stars, conjoined twins' fantasies, and the fact that he hates, simply hates, to brush his teeth. Oh, and for those seeking the puddle-shallow world to escape to, if just for a little while, what I've mentioned only scratches the surface of what's to be found in order to shake your cares away.
Lance Manion is just wondrous in helping his readers escape from the madness of the world and partake of the madness within him. Dear Readers, if there's one thing Lance brings us, it's some time to get away from ObamaCare, the criminal organization known as the TSA, and the sale of black market human organs. But you will not escape his claims of sexual prowess and that he apparently likes the name Mindy.
To illustrate our bawdy claims, check out this potentially true but really BS quote from Chuck Palahniuk.
"All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever get boring."
No, wait. Chuck actually said that. Here's the one we made up:
"Are we talking about this Masterson dude again?"
"It's Manion, Chuck, but yeah."
"Why me all the time? Anyway, I truly believe Masterson can write."
"Isn't that what I said? Anyhoo, look him up and check him out. Oh, and don't ask him about where he might be enduring an itch. Did you say he had a car that could seat 49?"
"No. We think it was a girl he liked. She couldn't care less if he choked in his own vomit."
See? In order for a guy such as Lance to be mentioned by a celeb like Palahniuk, he's got to be really special. And Chuck knows good escapist writing, so his opinion is gold.
What I am getting at is that you'd be hard-pressed to find writing more irreverent, quirky, and just plain old fun. You see, his humor attacks nobody directly (that's a lie), but he's not at all afraid to tell you what he thinks. We're not sure, but we think he wants you to cut off your pinkie.
We're not absolutely sure, but we think that's right.
Oh, and coming straight from this reviewer; I know the appropriate use of the semicolon. I was also going to point out that Lance's entry, a train with all cabooses (regardless of part) is clever, clever titling and writing.
But don't think Lance doesn't care about his fellow man; he's developed a charitable organization designed specifically to help those who are appearance-impaired. And he isn't afraid of manual labor, either. You can tell Lance is the sort of guy who gets the job done even when his own blood is soaking through his clothes. In fact, he would continue a simple football game even if his head exploded. Dear Readers, I simply find that amazing!
Another thing I like about Lance is that he placed an intermission smack-dab in the middle of the book. I have to tell you, I really appreciate this because, there I was, shaking like a newborn giraffe from having to hit the head so bad. You should be happy to know I soiled myself only slightly, so no major harm done. But I should point out people whine a lot. With all of this taking place at the local Chinese Buffet, I fail to see how anyone noticed any other foul odor whatsoever. I mean, I'm just standing there by the vat of Egg Drop Soup, reading along and minding my own business. How does anyone identify the smell of anxious zombies when next to that, let alone anything else? Now, come on…
Aside from all of that, Lance doesn't seem like the guy who favors the odds of the lottery, but here he is, cranking out a fourth installment of his collected works, seeking that fame and fortune despite claiming to harbor a healthy distaste for self-indulgent celebrities and political hacks. So, might this Lance Manion actually be deeper in character than, say, your average puddle?
That isn't likely, but he's more than happy to call BS when he sees it. What's more, he's happy to see someone take a shot for the team, particularly if it's funny. That's because Lance is a philosopher. The philosopher in him finds what philosophers find, but he seeks these answers in the shallows. Because philosophy is a walk on the slippery rocks and religion is a smile on a dog, so said someone who harbors the ass of a fourteen year old boy. There, in those shallows, we'll see Lance in the waters coming only to his ankles, perhaps holding a disposable camera and snapping pictures of his reflection.
We could walk to him, slowly, and humbly ask, "Hello, Mr. Manion? Do you believe this is where we might find the real meaning of Life while the others search through the murky depths in vain?"
He might look at you for a moment with an unreadable expression just before he snapped a picture of you and then he might say, "Hell if I know, but my nads have been itching something vicious and begging for a quick dousing. That was until you showed up. I can plainly see I took my shoes off for nothing. But the waters are calm and the skies are clear, so now I wish I was wading out here with Yvonne Strahovski while she's in a miniskirt. But not Gwyneth Paltrow."
Then he'd likely relinquish some leering grin and a you know what I mean wink.
But, dear readers, don't take him for some fool. For example, he just knew I wasn't going to read through all that blabbering mathematical craziness. I mean, he lost me at ABC, but I'm not admitting to that. But what might be among the funniest things of all regarding Lance is that he doesn't want to admit that he's an artist.
Perhaps it's out of being humorous or facetious, but he doesn't see himself as an artist, yet that's precisely what he is. In fact, this latest book is truly the Freddy Got Fingered of the literary world and that, I'm here to tell you, indicates just how important and relevant this work truly is. Does it surprise me that adventures in wiping wasn't followed with some first appeared reference in parentheses? Not hardly, but there is no doubt this man is truly a genuine and tremendous artist.
So, not only do I wholeheartedly recommend this work for all who read this review, I actually recommend all of Manion's books be diligently studied within all facets and locations of higher learning. Places like Cambridge, Oxford, and ITT. That, my friends, is because Lance has (inadvertently) touched on archetypes and paradigms hitherto unknown in the realm of 21st Century existence. Or, if they were known, they've been sadly ignored. So, get out there and obtain your copies of each and every one of the books written by Lance Manion. Do this, my friends, and change your life for the better, and then picture him grabbing a horse right there and shrieking, "Look Daddy, I'm a farmer!"
Roddy J Dryer is the author of the novel, Tangled in Climbing Nightshade
Review of The Trembling Fist by Lance Manion
There have been so many intriguing individuals we, as fans and also people of knowledge and sophistication, have known through their time of evolution as characters, celebrities, and historically significant members of our kind. Over the years, we witnessed a near magical friendship grow between Richie and The Fonz. There is no question of how heartbroken Mr. Krabs would be if something happened to Squidward, despite the tension.
There are those we've known our entire lives; those who have become as well known to us as genuine members of family. Elton John comes to mind, as does Clint Eastwood. How we'll mourn to the eventual and inevitable loss of Eric Clapton, or David Gilmour.
Of course, there are those we've only come to know for but a short time, but we so desire their presence forevermore. There will be those who will follow the career of Taylor Swift for decades to come. There will be those of us who will thrill to the eventual downfall of Bieber, but then, he might defy the odds. Surely, we'll feel eternally unique to have existed during the lifetime of J. K. Rowling.
With these thoughts and emotions coursing through us, we surely think of the immense literary contributions and influences of the literary juggernaut, Lance Manion. These dramatic feelings have thrilled all of us to our very core since The Ball Washer, let alone Homo Sayswhaticus. But now that we have the fifth literary installment from this creative genius (dare we express the term, quintessential?), entitled The Trembling Fist, there is simply no way we'll reach our end of days without expressing gratitude from our deathbeds. The way he has enriched our lives will remain forever. Truly, for as long as humanity harbors an appreciation for literary art, historians will speak of Lance Manion.
But if there's one thing we must never forget, it is how important certain works are in our time. The Trembling Fist will surely earmark 2013 the same way Dark Side of the Moon did for 1973, and this is why.
Our first entry, There's Something Here from Somewhere Else, brings us to historical fascinations hitherto thought impossible in such a short amount of space, and that's just the first of so many to follow.
With this collection wonderfully edited by the lovely and talented poet, Andira Dodge (perhaps there's something about Pennsylvania that fosters such wordsmithing genius), we have seen the marvel of Manion reach a near apogee of astonishing creativity (but only time will tell), bringing us readers a gourmet delight of the written word. So much so, that I, your mere reviewer, desires to approach each entry of this collection individually in order to provide each entry the due recognition and attention they deserve. So...
There's Something Here from Somewhere Else
In this creative and complex tale, the reader is bedazzled with a wide array of directions from which our writer reaches out, as some of this is immersion into the story, and then some is our writer reaching to us, as the readers, directly, yet with a seamless method that, at first, prompts a smile, and does so, well, to be honest, without quite, as they say, so many commas.
We begin with a casual introduction to the mythical aspects of certain gods within several cultures. It's fair to assume this is important, as this is a story featuring the famous character, Nap Lapkin. If you're not sure of who this character is, you need to update your knowledge of fiction, but rest assured he is a man's man's man. Yet, through the creative genius of Manion, we're introduced to another intriguing character and a fascinating prop.
The unique way in which Manion continually reaches back and forth, from storyteller to narrator, from characters and story to us the readers, is done with a level of aplomb sure to make so many professional writers touch themselves. He tells us where he is emotionally and mentally, he guides us along these troubled paths, and then, simultaneously, he brings us to Nap sporting a shotgun. After all, shotguns make for good story regardless of what the liberals simper about, but this particular reviewer really, really wants a certain pair of special glasses. You know, if we're speaking of props.
My choice of art on the walls? It was Dali. All of it.
But the plot thickens! As we reach the pinnacle of plot here, our various characters come together in a flurry of action as only Manion can bring it to us. We have fun props galore, such as glasses that change the game, black helicopters, a Le Mans and even a couple sweater melons. And through all that, Manion has all of us by the hand, running us through the scene, jumping over the fallen and making us so there, because that is what this dynamic and tireless writer does, even at certain homes where it gets international and markedly not binocular, exactly like it should be.
And then it all comes together, from Manion's involvement with us to the need for all those gods. Hitherto unseen in fifth collections with fists on the cover, we have options. Regardless, when you've read this, your response will be like that of so many others.
A small appliance man.
This second entry that is, admittedly, not quite as epic as the one before it, but we see a touching moment between a grandfather and his grandson. There is a moment shared between them that surely could never be replaced, allowing the younger man to discover things he otherwise never would have known.
Those of us who have grandchildren can surely relate to this poignant tale, making us wonder about their expression when we offer our inner secrets. After reading this story and then thinking about my grand babies...I bet the stories would be colorful.
Keep on keepin' on.
Here, our esteemed author provides some rare political insight. Here we have a talented musician under the lights and on stage, reflecting on the importance of both his message and his music, thus, a political diatribe through the film of philosophical reminiscence.
Sure, we have some of the common trappings and bennies of rock stardom, but we also sense genuine care for the society and its flaws.
Here, we see Lance Manion truly care. For you, me, and all of us. Here, dear readers, we see a heart on the quill.
While the entry's title suggests something potentially crass and shallow, what we have is an impromptu discussion occurring between two ships passing in the night, so to speak. Here, we have two strangers discussing matters that might not be particularly important, but they are reminiscent of the thoughts running through the male psyche.
What we have here is a modern rite of passage recommended for all males of age. After all, we are men and we know what and who we are as men, as do the women. There is a maleness that must be exposed to the light, at least on occasion, to prevent it from festering in the dark. In the night. There is a secret place protecting us from ourselves and that place is Whore Island.
Simply, there are issues mortal men must witness in life while wondering how they became so, well, disappointing. We all do this and Manion is here to remind us before we started something similar to enjoying the day for what it is. He hints at the Chinese but I can't help but point a finger towards Virginia. I'm not sure why. And as though by intent from Manion or Dodge, the next entry is, the grass is always greener.
The Grass is always Greener
Your humble reviewer does not intend to be difficult and I favor a manner of professionalism at every juncture in life, but this particular entry must be left to another. Perhaps my Dianetics auditor failed, but I have yet to escape the foggy nightmares prompted by a green bottle reading Tanqueray. Otherwise known as the werewolf potion of mystery.
Waking up in a stranger's lawn, naked and near a goat carcass, doesn't just simply go away. I am sorry.
Disclosure: The werewolf connotation is not mine. Keep reading...
Clearly, this is a moment of reminiscence on the part of Manion, detailing us in on some particular weekend. If one assumed this regards a professional escort, one would be on it.
This is one of those entries where we find a bold honesty in the work of Manion. This writer has a keen ability to bring the moment to life for the reader, bringing us directly to his bedside while he enjoys the company, even if the moment doesn't appear reciprocal. We can almost hear her mumble, "I'm glad that's over," even when he's struggling to catch his breath. This is a clear example of genuine literary talent, with more showing than telling. Ironically, the situation leads directly to the next entry.
Well, leading in, so to speak. This is another one of those ingenious creations where we find the unfathomable and merciless talent of Manion striking us from just beyond that glimpse from the corner of the eye.
We should be grateful he didn't drop a six-pack of soda cans in there.
There's what we expected based on common assumption, and then there's the unexpected level of entertainment we've come to expect. Regardless, you just gotta love it.
A Moving Story
Occasionally, life gets in the way of the reality we prefer, and Lance Manion is more than happy to expose the realities most find best forgotten. Because good writing isn't always about shallow entertainment or feel-good stories on Granny's lap. Sometimes, a good story is about something we would never voluntarily venture into.
We suggest you keep that in mind the next time you drink the water in southern Mexico when you're drunk and alone, and when someone asks for your help and generosity.
Manion drifts into the paranormal genre rarely, if memory serves. Rarer still is an acerbic bent to shank the shameless bourgeois, but here he's managed to grip both points and shove them to the hilt with ease. Because we are used to Manion tickling a funny bone, it's cute how he placed the privileged misery on a plate and served it cold, all with his unique wit and observation.
In fact, the wit and observation of Lance Manion just might see him to extraordinary career heights, so be nice to him while he's still reasonably accessible. Not only does he offer consistent quality writing time after time, but does so often and without fail. Those who are fans on Facebook are treated to plenty every day. He always has new work to offer, even if some of the work is that of his numerous fans.
This being the fifth collection offered demonstrates his continual flow of creativity and humor. What's had here is a large library of fun and intriguing reading, all done in a way unlike anyone else this reader has seen. So, if you're reading this and you're new to Lance Manion work, brace yourself for seeing the bar raised on entertaining literary fun.
No kidding; it's entirely reasonable to state this guy is going places. If he opens the right doors, he might have his own late night show some day. A lot of writers want to succeed and the goof writing this review is one of them, but you have to possess a real and barren niche. One of the reasons it's so hard for good writers to succeed is because there are so many doing the same thing. But who else is writing and providing new writing consistently the way Lance Manion does? That's right; I don't have any idea, either.
Furthermore, not even Manion is locking himself into one tidy category. Reading his work, you can find a rant on relationship issues and then, with no segue of any kind, drift right into another purely fictional short. The only constant? Quality writing and utterly unique POV. Check out the next entry, for example...
Every day he's tumblin' tumblin'
If all you read from this collection is this fun story, you would have received your money's worth. This story is yet another classic example of both excellent writing and exquisite imagination coupled with bizarre insight.
Don't hold me firm on this, but this just might prove to be this reader's personal favorite.
Only because I started itemizing these various individual entries prompts me to continue with it, so here goes. One could continue forward with an entry like this one and say it's just filler and nothing of particular consequence compared to other entries, but that notion catches my eye.
This is actually another good example of good Manion writing because while it's bunched with other Manion stuff and falls into the crowd, most good writers would feel exasperated in hoping to accomplish something this good. Really. While this might prove somewhat forgettable within the volumes of Manion work, it would likely prove extraordinary in the hands of lesser writers.
The Lonely Life of Chuck Levi
Boys and girls, this is yet another entry where Manion mentions Yvonne Strahovski. The guy is absolutely enamored with the girl. I mean, I get it; she's incredibly beautiful and has this soft-spoken voice that would melt any guy alive.
But I mean this guy is, well, enamored. Like, big time. There are those who care about him and are worried this might get him into trouble, Or worse, he might hurt himself. Hell, he might have already. So, should Manion get a writer's job with Conan, someone let Conan know this nifty 411 should Strahovski visit as a guest.
As for me? It's Charlize Theron. Yes, the concerns are similar. Oh, and the story is quite good.
There are those occasional alternate universe tales coming to us now and then, but a writer has to be an exceptional writer to accomplish something fitting for the genre of The Twilight Zone.
This would have made for a good half hour episode. That, or something from Outer Limits.
Let's be Frank
Uh... Sure. Okay...
A rare moment where the usual humor is absent but the concise method Manion uses to create is in full effect. Here, we have suspense and mystery in a tidy package.
Although I'm not exactly sure why, work such as this story makes me wonder if we will ever see a full-length novel from Lance Manion. It would surely be quite the page turner, filled with his unique brand of wit along with his razor-sharp perceptions. I've no doubt the blend of characters would be memorable, and the flow of the plot would lead to a finale of immense proportion. The chicks would be hot and someone would have the car dreams are made of.
I'm just thinking aloud here.
Gorillas and Such
Yeah, you would have to wonder about what motivates certain people when asked to run with their fantasies unleashed. But if I should ever come into hoards of dough, I would like to help with the idea outlined here, providing I could make suggestions for Valentine's Day and the bonobos.
Here, we're back to lots of fun and mayhem within the fevered mind of Lance Manion. Once you get to know him, this place is rather comforting.
More fun and unique perceptions from the imaginative department in that guy's head. After all, isn't that the most fun? Oh, come on, people! Why do you always have to be so obtuse?
Now, you listen to me. I have written four prior reviews of Lance Manion collections, gathering somewhere near 140 page views over time (no kidding, my friend, so I do apologize for sucking) and, so help me, I'll be more than happy to revert back to truck stop reviews and contrived celebrity birthday articles, so just keep it up.
I know what I'm talking about, and I know what I'm doing. Okay, now that we've come to an agreement, let's move on. But I'm watching you.
Rocky Horrible Picture Show
Lance, I so get it. The latest generation of Star Trek fans just needs to get up and go across the street or to wherever those Star Wars goobers gather, and stand in line to admire the Jar Jar Binks goob.
There is a reason we love Star Trek and have all these decades, and it has nothing to do with clever Borg outfits or the best Klingon accent. But do these newcomers understand the philosophical implications? No, they don't. What's worse is that even should you explain it with Spock's level of detachment, they still look at you as though a Class M planet means nothing to a humanoid.
To them, it's all about the fun and escaping their silly lives for a couple hours, hoping to get a photo with Jeri Ryan. But go ahead and mention the Prime Directive and you get glances at the exits. I usually end up gathering up my tricorders and going home before hearing George Takei look at the guys in Andorian costumes and muttering, "Oh, my."
I'll have you know, Mr. Manion, that sometimes, just sometimes, people living in such a way is because they've reached their end of the tether with this inane world people like to call everyday reality. Thank the stars that Rod Serling is dead, because there's no way he could comprehend this loony crackpot society if he couldn't get away from every last knuckle dragging moron and decompress. If there was someone else, anyone else, there, how could there be true stress relief?
The birds have nothing to do with it, but lip syncing to Last
Train to Clarksville sends the agony right into the ropes. But with no audience! Got that!
A Slave To Logic.
A funny thing, this logic. Here, Manion addresses the big gorilla in the corner (oh, really? Is liking pistachio ice cream some hateful metaphor, too?) that everyone chooses to refer to as an elephant.
Ok, you're right. None of that makes a lick of sense, but consider this: The only way one can be considered an expert is when they've made all the possible mistakes to be made in their field.
Once we determine not to continue repeating the same dumb mistakes over and over, we just might be fine. But as for the writing, this entry shows courage and honesty right where the world needs it. It makes me want to see a guest on Dr. Oz, where he drops his drawers and the doc drops to a knee and points, saying to the studio audience, "That, everyone, is a hemorrhoid."
Lance would do it, I bet, and that's why we keep reading.
Okay, before we continue, I want to address some of the whining from over there. I made it very clear in the motto provided right here on Yahoo! that I work in defiance of the American attention span, so if you feel so strongly that this is so long, feel free to move yourself on.
I don't write 3 ways to tiptoe through the daffodils in 402 words followed by 3 ways to tiptoe through the rosesin 403 words. That isn't me. If I have something to say, it's going to be said. To be honest, the only ones who will read this far are Manion and the doofus who analyzes this to see if it's acceptable for liberal Yahoo! But as for the rest of you, I received the credit the instant you opened the article, so write the mayor to see who cares.
All right. Now that that's settled...
As for this story, it seems quite fitting as a metaphor for the lives of so many, like those grumbling about how I've been droning along all this time. But mostly, this is another story placing us into the Manion psyche, where yes, there seems to be a lot of clutter, broken pencils, Scandinavian porn and boxes of takeout Chinese, there are also dog-eared books thumb printed at the points offering the most insight.
He might not be Confucius, but the day may come when Confucius will pat Lance Manion on the shoulder and smile. Wisdom comes in numerous flavors, but it is always wisdom. I think Colonel Sanders said that.
I, being one who works from and is quite familiar with Sanford, FL, I have to feel a ping in the belly from this one and give kudos to Lance Manion for having the stones to reflect on certain news issues in a manner different from everyone else (but exactly like what simmers in many a mind). This is another example of the courageous poignancy of the guy.
Once of the many hats of a writer is to provide a new perspective.
Rollin', Rollin' Rollin'
Wow, I'm not exactly sure what I got myself into with this whole, "I'll just comment on and review each and every entry of the collection, due to my intelligence and ambition as well as my love for the work."
It's testing my attention span and I spent more than a week working on it, let alone the reading along with the intense myriad of notes I took. Nevermind that I read and wrote while bouncing around inside a Peterbilt at highway speed (no, I wasn't driving, all the time) and chipped a tooth on my tablet. Once I got to this particular entry and saw I wasn't even half way through, I felt somewhat daunted.
But driving on is what makes the man, damn it. We're pushing forward because that is exactly what Herman Melville would have done! Queequeg will have no reason to harpoon me from his watery grave.
In this wonderful story, George has a lofty goal, and I do, as well. George Candide hung in there through the rough times, so, all of us are going to follow that example. From this moment forward, I solemnly swear that I will continue forward in the same way I got us here, because that is what George and Lance Manion would want. Even if I get pulled over.
Let the message contained in this entry sink into the heads of all of us, regardless of what side of the counter we find ourselves.
The Toad's Scrotum.
If there's one thing die-hard fans adore about Lance Manion, it is his ability to span the genre boundaries. Sure, we've seen the humor. Yea, we've grown accustomed to his philosophical diatribes. But now and again he goes away from the common comfort zones and explores literary caves of the unknown. We've seen him traverse the daunting fields of the Twilight Zone genre (daunting, indeed) and here we see this master wordsmith venture into the realm of paranormal science fiction.
This piece offers intense food for thought as we see our troubled protagonist find he should watch what he wishes for in his life, personally and professionally. We find there are times when life, through such imaginative drama, provides new opportunities to take on karma in a rematch. Few people could ever hope to see such immense opportunity, but if it was there, before you, what would you do?
Many of us fantasize endlessly about going back to that one day when we could say what we meant, or perhaps say nothing at all. We might take that left instead of the right, or perhaps go all the way without fear.
Gary had his chance. Manion seems to think he goofed. I'm not so sure.
What about the drummer from Def Leppard? I suppose he could carry his own, but there is something to be said about the love of the underdog. Here, Lance Manion offers tough honesty regarding his view on the world. In the spirit of honesty, we should give thanks for those who do this, as they are getting too rare. But occasionally, some just have to branch off from the pack and savor the lonely honesty. Check out the next entry, for example.
While Manion dislikes a mockery, unless we can treat it like one, uniqueness can be enticing.
Love my way
Again, we find Manion doing quite well in taking on the establishment. Yes, there comes a time in everyone's life when they have to assess what they've done and think back to when there was time to turn back. Were your intentions solid? You might look back and tell yourself that your heart was in the right place, but did you really just settle and sell out?
Did you accept the doggie in the window because you knew it was everything you wanted in a dog, or did you just want to give it a good home? Did you buy that game console because it had all the features you dreamt of, or did you accept it because pre-owned comes so much cheaper.
When you're searching for a new car, are you in a position to drive straight for the Maserati dealership, or are you looking for Ford? Well, Ford is just fine, but why settle for a Ranger when you wanted an F-250 Super Duty?
Lance Manion is here to let you know that life is short and you only get one shot at it.
Disclosure: I do all this crap so I can get on Manion's good side and hang out with him and his friends some time. I bet they have a ball all the time, as this one indicates.
What's wrong with The Daily Show?
Well, you could get me going, but this is supposed to be about the entry.
Oh, wait. Manion said exactly what I wanted to say, just much, much better, and does so with a hoisted trembling fist. Hopefully, lubed for Maher.
I can't help but to wonder if he would inform his neighbor of what he flicked as she spun the spark wheel of her lighter.
It's stories like this that make reading Manion such a pleasure. There's the sheer honesty, of course, but there's also a sense of a sage's philosophical twist.
Yes, a sage. For Lance Manion is truly the 21st Century's answer to the finest philosophers recent history has to offer. Sure, we've coped with the existentialism and that a cigar is just a cigar (occasionally), but after reading through five Manion collections (making me an expert, just so you know. I mean, who else has written so extensively on this man's work beside yours truly? That's what I thought. Now, if you'll excuse me) I have discovered a method within the madness, a direction behind the maniacal laughter, and a love for all that is good behind the dick jokes.
We have honest introspection thrown in the face of this politically correct, lunatic world. After all, what would be better in a world that cares more about Kim Kardashian than human slavery being more successful and prolific than ever before in history? How do you rationalize something like that? The answer is, you don't! You come at it from the far reaches of guano nutso and approach the center. While the next entry, Dance Hall Days, is really just a well-written story, the entry after that would inspire too much fear in the hearts of lesser writers.
NSA! NSA! NSA!
This should have made it to the papers. All of them. How vulgar is it that people like Sean Penn and Danny Glover fellate communist leadership simply because their leadership isn't worth the knee protection? Do you see? Manion is one of those who won't be a drone. That is a good example to follow. And, the next entry only serves to strengthen my assertions.
Justice is Just Us
This is a shining star in the group for more than one reason. First of all, this is simply good writing, with excellent story flow and a judicious choice of words and phrasing. So, through good writing and storytelling, Manion makes some wondrous points on issues many skirt as being daunting. That is called courage.
We could spend all day discussing this particular entry, and it would be time well spent.
Wow. Again with the high octane perception skills. Not only that, but he's a creative genius on numerous levels. I can see him on Shark Tank, buttering up the FUBU dude for start up money to pursue a rather promising entrepreneurial venture.
You see, what the reader must maintain in the mind throughout the reading of a Manion work such as this, is that Lance Manion would make an outstanding advisor and board committee chairman, but only should those listening can open their minds to fresh ideas that haven't run through the filters of silly decorum. Inside who Tom Hanks played in the movie, Big, or even Forrest Gump, but add intelligence and subtract naiveté.
I meant this well.
Again, we find Manion able to bridge the daunting gap into the realm of smart and able Twilight Zone genre writing without looking contrived or simply not there. Many can write horror, suspense, or honestly, at least some humor, but to truly slip into the genre with the likes of Serling and others who also made it is truly an accomplishment in itself.
Maybe he came up with this story after lathering up with his brand of soap.
Keystones & Lynchpins
This is such classic Manion, both because he does it so well and because nobody else ever does it at all. I am seeking an authentic sounding term for this style but I haven't got there yet. But the ingredients I have are a clever premise combined with regularly leaving the text to actively engage (and occasionally confront) with the reader in such a way that confirms the premise.
I am intrigued by it but can't seem to put a label on it.
Imagine how it was in the old days when they addressed certain intimate, shall we say, encounters and provide them with multisyllabic labels to make them seem more mainstream. Guys love to do that. Well, this is where I am now. If there is absolutely anyone alive on this planet who read this far, please consider this with me and submit your suggestions freely. I'm not paying you squat.
Do they make curtains like those anymore?
Awww, Manion seems to be a romantic, too? But is it just me, or is it always the truck driver who goes down?
Ah, the splendor of summer with man's best ridiculously inbred friend.
Well, there are those who enjoy being wedding crashers. One can almost see Lance Manion doing one of these sorts of adventures at least once or twice a year. One has to imagine the food is okay.
This sort of fun story is yet another example of a hint of mischievousness in the mind of our beloved author. But it also displays a hint of creative genius, as well. Here we have a situation quite common among many people with a slightly less common situation most have wondered if it is more common than first assumed.
Therein lies much of the crux of a Manion work; there's some and usually enough discomfort for everyone. The next wondrous tale is certainly no exception.
Leave it to a talent like Lance Manion to duly inform us that those old pangs of guilt are likely for naught. But also, leave it to him to expose a side of the gender equation few like to confront, unless they're female.
Regardless of the subject matter, this well written piece is yet another example that this man's mind is ripe with fresh creations on a regular basis. The fact that this well runs so deep is enough of a reason to keep a close eye on this fellow's writing.
Crack de do
So, we get some historical perspective as to how we ended up with a mind such as his. Sure, we get the obligatory smack at the face of some BS going on around here, and we get some of why our hero thinks so, but what we mainly get is a glimpse into the mind bringing it all together. We also get it written better than he claims he can do.
Explained indeed! Here we have a nugget of immense value as here we have Manion explain a story in detail, in pieces and parts, virtually line by line and why. Imagine sitting in a class and having Dr. Lecter inform us how he's chosen his various meals and why. Imagine him at the dry erase board, ticking off names and drawing correlating lines from victim to affront, explaining how there was no true choice really, but it was all meant to be. With Hollandaise sauce.
We're there, fascinated by this ultimate antihero, wondering if he'll offer a hint on the best sautéed mushrooms and whether they would go well with encephalitic matter.
Okay, my mind goes to favorite serial killers. But Manion explains his bricks of the story and where they were found through the cowboy character. The point is that this piece is a genuine nugget of value for all Manion readers.
But in my version, the class instructor chooses a specific student to remain after class. Regardless, this is something devoted readers and budding writers should study. So, imagine how elating it is to start right into the next entry!
A Sweeping Epic
I have asked the question, in my head (and above), might this guy write a full length novel? I mean, I'm fully equipped to do so at a moment's notice, but is Lance Manion up to it? Here, he discusses the notion and explores some options. Fans are sure to be on edge with this entry.
This is a short short short short. These are actually difficult to write, but Manion did a good one about a cowboy. He wrote another good one here.
For the love of all that is good in the world, here we go again with the whole Strahovski thing. You know, I have fantasized about meeting her and engaging in a lot of fun talk, and then explaining I know this dude who thinks she is thee most amazing woman in existence.
"Like the way you are with Charlize Theron?" She asks in that sultry voice.
I suppose. Anyhoo, I convince her to remove her top and then I'll stand behind her with two Manion books for the picture about to be shot, placing them strategically in front of her so the picture can be seen mainstream.
Then, I picture Manion up on his roof, in the driving rain, screaming, "Khan!!!"
He also mentions Rosie O'Donnell, too, but you don't want to know why. Just picture me saddled up directly behind Strahovski just to be snide and all will be okay. And, what I recall from Dexter is that she actually, really, truly has wraparound legs. Now, just picture Manion and me both as we consider Mr. Hall with raging jealousy.
How To Write Funny
I recall first seeing this particular entry some time ago. This is actually very good information provided on a topic by someone who knows exactly what they are talking about.
Just so you know, I largely despise the How-To genre because most of these articles are written by scammers who really have no clue what it is they're writing about. They just know that if they follow procedure the numbers are likely to roll in; it matters not that their article left the reader more stumped than before.
That's dirty work and those involved should be exposed for it. On Antarctic ice. But this one by Lance Manion is precisely what the How-To article is supposed to be. It is written by someone who has consistently demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter and it's written in a clear and concise manner. Furthermore, the writer demonstrates without fail his knowledge of the subject matter in the very body of the piece.
If there was an award for the best How-To writing, this one would be entered with confidence. Oh, and just so you know, the next entry supports every claim made here.
Little Sally Speedbump
Sometimes we need to recognize that certain issues are a matter of perspective. We all know there are two sides to every story, yet those corrupt columnists in the tabloid rags continue to push the envelope in order to create this sinister, victim mentality.
What sort of world do we live in where there's an attitude conveying perfection someplace in this world when any moron knows perfection cannot exist. What I'm getting at is teach your children to cope in a dynamic world and they will benefit from this wisdom. Furthermore, I have seen stunt men roll off the windshield of a car doing better than forty and get up and brush it off. If they can do it, there's no reason a child playing real world Frogger can't pick up a few skills that might last them a lifetime.
There's never been a person hit by a car that wasn't somewhere near the road. Who is the idiot who wanders around along the far end of a driving range or gun range?
LinkedIn and then some.
Ah, the tragic reality of certain facts of life that make the social media world go around.
Guy and Doll
This entry somewhat resembles the one prior to it, in that our humble hero suffers a weakness common to many males. The more important point is that our hero does such a good job in conveying the issues he faced that we, as readers, cannot help but to remain engaged.
Wow, did I really choose to go all the way and itemize each and every entry with its own miniature review? Sometimes you just have to wonder what it was going through your head, you know? But when it comes to short stories, this is one of those that is both humorous and very creative. Perhaps it isn't for grandma, but then, it might be right up her alley.
In a matter of speaking, of course.
To offer full disclosure, this entry features in-depth logistical information as well as some intriguing quantum physics conjecture, and that always makes up for some hot fun.
Okay, so the actual title is a bit different, but this is appearing on that uber liberal Yahoo, so, what can you do? Besides, this is yet another story featuring an interjection regarding physics and string theory, so we can all rest assured that this story offers so much to the intellect.
And does it ever! Have you ever heard of Hawking porn? Well, you have now! This is one of those recesses where Manion cuts loose in his classic, awesome style, providing the reader with a deliciously nasty tale of alternate universe fun and adventure. Did you know that you're more like Velcro than you thought?
The Importance of Chemistry
Hey, everyone knows that dating is often an adventure, right? First dates in particular can be both enticing and frustrating, irritating and thrilling. Assuring and confusing. Well, this story is a lot of fun and, should it have been true, it was quite the time. But this is written in such a way that we as the readers cannot but help wonder where things are going. It's romantic but existential, alluring but doubtful, a little bit of country and rock and roll. Assuring yet anticlimactic.
Clearly, this Lance Manion guy has a firm hold on philosophical principles and yet such a soft heart, too. If you don't think so, this next entry will leave you resting assured.
Was It the Burrito?
For those who have read the fiction of your humble reviewer's, you would instantly recognize why I adore entries such as this. Here, we have open honesty combined with a proactive demeanor, adding a splash of a flair for the dramatic.
Most people with three-digit IQ's would recognize a greater need for people such as the narrator of this lovely tale. While we commonly recognize reality is perception, we must come to terms with the quantum philosophy that actuality is a significantly different thing.
Now, there's a level of controversy in most things, so it's easy to recognize there are those who would find such tales touching a nerve. But people with a proper understanding of humanity would quickly see there's no other real option here. The narrator, in fact, should hold political office. I mean, I just love this guy!
The city is coming
Rarely does a Lance Manion title convey what is truly meant in the text, but this provides some level of exception. This is another rather rare piece of work where humor is not the point or intent; this is where our humble writer comes forth to make a point and help us recognize something we should have already seen.
All too often are we reminded of how urban life can offer little more than corruption and decay to endure, so those not forced to endure it are thankful to escape, yet wary of the encroaching effects. Manion brings us his take on the sad state of affairs in a rather thoughtful and touching manner, well written and well thought out.
The May Queens
Is it fair to say that perception is reality? Well then, do you have any thoughts about how others see you? Here, our humble author explores some of the more intriguing aspects of the human condition, with all the aplomb one would expect from him.
Manion is quite the multifaceted writer, and actually in more than one way. He approaches numerous subjects throughout the course of this collection, approaches each subject from numerous angles, and then does all of this with a strong element of humor (but on occasion, is quite serious), with some humor bordering on the dry side to just downright zany.
But if there is one firm consistency we'll find throughout this collection (as well as the others), it is that our humble writer exhausts his perspective on the issue, providing the reader with a plethora of thoughtful tidbits. Certainly, this is one of the strong points helping to develop the Manion fan base.
Frost- For the Rest of Us
I must confess that there are times when the soft-hearted side of Manion shines through, with an air of romance so tender, that one imagines stars such as Channing Tatum and Ginnifer Goodwyn would find their names on the marquee. In this touching tale of honest love and miraculous caring shared by two special people, we find our characters coming together in a way few would dare venture.
What's more is that Manion gives us what we want in romantic stories such as this, which is that the wondrous couple dares to seek the generous depths of their true love for one another and actually finds it together, for all the world to see.
I think I need a tissue...
Gar: A Complete Retraction
There's no question that pet lovers simply adore their pets, and some make their pets a very important part of their lives. But who are the pet owners to the pets? Yeah, they think they know, but who really knows?
Personally, I imagined Manion would have something relatively unique, such as an Alpaca or perhaps a miniature cow. The real little ones that are about the size of a retriever? They are downright adorable! As for me, I like finches. They're cheap, rather quiet compared to many birds, and they're pretty good at making more finches. Perhaps our humble author possesses a tank ripe with all manner of fish.
Just so you know, you would be best off if you had read one of Manion's prior entries regarding the gar. If you have not, you're just dead to me anyway.
From the Bottom
Okay, it might just be possible that this entire review rivals the actual length of The Trembling Fist itself. That's actually somewhat funny, in a brutal and ramshackle way. But what wasn't funny, at least to our humble author, was the untimely death of John Belushi.
Are these two things related in any way whatsoever? Well, no, but the subject of horses doesn't relate, either, so I don't feel so bad. I can say that this entry does remind me of a certain popular topic, and that is Jim Morrison. While so many carry on about how amazing he was, all I ever pictured was a major jerk. To be nice for Yahoo, that is.
To be forthright, this entry is another poignant observation on the part of our humble writer. Did he harbor a fanship for Belushi because we're largely taught we're supposed to (much like Andy Kaufman, who is supposedly still alive), or was there genuine genius there? How would we be if Cobain were still alive? How would we be should Justin Bieber meet an untimely fate?
Here, we again have our writing hero prompting some major philosophical thought.
Pud the Dog
While I could state our hero is waxing philosophical again about another pet, I do have to assume this entry is a pure work of fiction. And one within the challenging genre of Science Fiction, too!
This tale is a fabulous combination of SyFy and a warm-hearted story. We find our story's narrator working diligently with a bionic dog named Pud, and he's not doing as well as the team would like. But did they do a Michael Vick here? Not at all.
Should this be made into a movie, I think it should be animated and star Adam Sandler as the voice of Pud, but I have no explanation why I think so. Seth Rogan should be the scientist. Hey, why not?
Why I hate Hollywood
Okay, can you just imagine where our hero is going to go with this? If you've read this man's work, you're likely puckering up there right now! If you haven't read prior Manion, then I can say with confidence you never would make it this far into this article, so I hope you twist an ankle. In fact, if you have read everything from Manion, I doubt you'll make it nearly this far. Hey, I'm wondering if Manion will! How about you, Andira?
But in terms of Hollywood, he has a point.
Manion brings us his acerbic observational skills regarding a subject most deserving of them. I wouldn't want to give anything away, but he states in the title that he hates Hollywood, so I feel okay in stating he is tired of bad writing out there, as we all ought to be. I, too, can accept modifying the main deflector to emit an inverse tachyon pulse, but why does movie after movie have the main character ramble incessantly about how he is not going to do it no matter what they say, just to go on and do it?
I've chipped teeth over that.
In the End
Socrates was mentioned here, but Socrates likely knew several people over the course of his life that were entirely forgotten shortly after their deaths. The phenomenon is referred to as in vergessenheit geraten, which is basically that once you're gone, that's it for you. Nobody will ever know you existed before long.
But we know Socrates. Through our impact on others in our lives, we might achieve a certain level of immortality. Most know the name Beethoven. Centuries from now, as long as humanity continues to appreciate music, people will know the name, Paul McCartney. Or Pink Floyd. Or, Jim Morrison.
We know Herman Melville. We know Chaucer. With a little luck, centuries from now, people might know Lance Manion. Perhaps not, but reality and mortality catches up with all of us, and that's what Manion explains here. He might be known because of my reviews, or I might get an honorable mention because of Manion.
Regardless of what it is, your impact makes the difference. Make it a good and positive one, because people will remember Hitler for a long time, too.
Life is like a box of chocolates...without nuts
Doesn't the old saying suggest subtract reason and accountability?
This is a creative account of what it might be like to write from a woman's perspective while being a man. It would be somewhat unique, but not new. Rowling did this (the other way) and Patterson had his twist on things. But Manion's pursuit of this is unique upon itself.
His ass was grass
You know, some people might get lucky and pull off a good rendition of a Twilight Zone sort of tale. There might be those out there approach the genre with some luck, but they would be rare. Yet our writing hero has pulled off two within this one collection.
This story is very smart and still a lot of fun. For those who are familiar with Manion writing, this is the sort that made and then kept you familiar.
Hasn't got a prayer
This is just absolutely precious! Lance Manion tries his hand at the daunting world of poetry and does a wondrous job. All the guys out there are sure to wipe an errant tear after reading this sweet, little gem.
Little Time Bomb
This is a particularly fun nugget for all Manion fans, as here we come to another adventure in the life of Nap Lapkin. Here, we learn more about the fun and peculiar eccentricities of Lapkin and we just can't help but to love this amazing character.
This amazing character and his amazing quest for freedom.
Lapkin is more than enough reason for readers to pursue a devoted fanship to Manion creativity, as this unique character is just that- unique. But he's more daring than Bond, smarter than Dr. Lecter, and every girl he gets is as hot as Yvonne Strahovski. Oh, and as I understand it, he likes squirrels.
Ramblin, ramblin, rammmm..............Blin
I just love this. Here, we find a seamless string of philosophical observations, diatribes, rants, thoughts about silliness and the pathetic human condition, and a general understanding that Manion is one of the few who is not, I repeat, not one of the many.
Some of these are poignant and some are funny. Although I have to say I believe the dog is man's best friend because it's severely inbred and the dumbest thing that ever existed. Oh, and when it comes to Clinton and Bush for 2016, I feel similar. But I'm holding a Katana.
This is absolutely awesome because of the sheer level of genuine originality here. But a parentheses break would have been nice now and then. Andira, you're not doing your job...
About the Author
Oh, wait. This isn't among the actual entries but we're really done? Can I get a Yoo-hoo? Chocolate, please. Thanks.
Despite what is said on that very last page, I believe the cool kids ought to be reading Manion. As a required reading course. For ninth graders. While it may be true that the more you get to know this fellow the less you'll like him, you're sure to find something you'll like within the pages of The Trembling Fist.
Now, if you've actually read this far, you're either a fan of Lance Manion (possible), me, the reviewer (not likely, but I've seen weirder), you saw getting through this a challenge, like reading Melville (I suppose it's possible), or you're Yvonne Strahovski and require fodder for stalking charges. Regardless of why you made it this far, rest assured that The Trembling Fist comes highly recommended for those who enjoy intelligent writing that isn't stuffy or high brow.
I began this review pointing out some of the historical implications some have, and some enjoy. There are those who will be remembered throughout the passing of time. There are those who will not. There are those who will be forgotten by all except their closest family, and then once they're gone...it will be as though they never existed.
But this will be because they contributed nothing to their world. Lance Manion has contributed an exceptional amount to his world, regardless of what it is. Did Sun Tzu recognize he would be world famous more than 2,400 years after he disappeared under a shroud of mystery? The truth is, that would be quite unlikely. So, I recommend you recognize and become quite aware of who this Lance Manion fellow is; the day might come when Rowling will hope she could've been like him.
Yeah, I doubt it, too, but I also doubt you have some sort of crystal ball in your pocket. Do you, you know, have that crystal ball? Yeah, I didn't think so. So you just need to turn that smug attitude your own way, or so help me...
Become a Fan of Lance Manion!
If you think you know from funny, like a good laugh, enjoy the occasional fart joke, enjoy watching people trip, find Yvonne Strahovski hotter than any other woman alive, and recognize adult humor can truly be intelligent, you have to know this guy.