Casting Shadows Everywhere is a very different novella compared to the books I’ve been reading lately. It was Twitter that led me to Tim McBain and that’s how I found this novella he’s written with L.T. Vargus.
Reading CSE requires patience at first, in my case anyway, but persistence paid off. Slowly the story got hold of me and halfway into the novella, I couldn’t put it down. The novella is written in form of a journal and the one telling the story, is a fifteen year old Jake. We get a glimpse of his struggle towards adulthood and it’s dark and creepy path. So, if your first thought is “Catcher in the Rye”, you’ve got another thing coming…
Green monster is a smoothie, that Nick’s (Nick is Jake’s cousin and the one person he looks up to, the male role model) girlfriend Tammie makes. And of course, I had to try one too.
While we waited for Donnie to work his magic, Tammie made these smoothies called green monsters that were goddamn delicious. She held out a glass to me.
“What’s in it?”
I eyed it somewhat suspiciously, it being green and all.
“It’s like a couple of frozen bananas, a scoop of peanut butter, a little Greek yogurt and a splash of almond milk topped with 2 huge handfuls of kale,” she said.
Yes, kale, the cruciferous green vegetable.
(Tim McBain & L.T. Vargus: Casting Shadows Everywhere, 92-93 epub edition)
1. Rinse the bimi and chop it fine
2. Add the bimi, banana and one desiliter of almond milk into the blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Add peanut butter, honey and the rest of the almond milk. Blend well.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book left me confused, totally. I just don’t know what to think.
My first thoughts were “this is like Catcher in the Rye..” and there is something very Holden Caulfield-ish in CSE’s Jake. A 15-year old, writing a journal, dissecting his life, thoughts and world around him.
Jake sees himself as a “pussy”, always freezing in the critical moment when he’s supposed to stand up to those who bully him. All his friends at school are outcasts just like him.
But there’s someone, who he looks up to, his cousin Nick. Nick has this twisted idea of how the world works and in some disturbed way, it makes sence. I believed him. And so did Jake, who takes up on Nick’s offer to teach him the way of the world, how to survive.
And Jake learns his lesson, at the end of the book he won’t be pushed around by anyone. But it comes with a price. He finds the darkness, the pitch black pit within himself and faces a decision, whether he embraces Nick’s worldview or constructs his own.
The story was disturbing, intriguing and it was impossible to stop reading until the last sentence. If I could, I’d delete only on sentence; “That’s when I woke up.”