Title: Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse
Author: Peter Quinones
Reviewed by: Lisa Brown-Gilbert
Pacific Book Review
A read that exemplifies its title, Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse by author Peter Quinones allocates to readers an original and curious assemblage of his written works which centers on short stories and a few cerebral writings; giving his analytic perspective of works in Film and Literature. Particularly, the one aspect of the title that makes an impression is the word “Madhouse” as the book does, as a whole seems to be a “Madhouse” of the author’s literary based ideations which takes readers on a scenic and chaotic literary journey.
The book plays out in two sections, each revealing facets of Peter Quinones’ multi-level talents as a writer as he moves from fiction to works of an intellectually open in form. Initially, the first section contains a varied selection of fictional short stories. Each story reveals a creative warping of the conventions of storytelling. Not bound to the specific route most short stories usually take, these stories are fragmented narratives, populated by the young, beautiful, old, cynical, rich, sage, earnest and savagely sad. They are raw characters who move within the bustling backdrop of New York and surrounding areas. With his fiction shorts, author Quinones’ writing is unfettered as he employs humor, grit, the human condition, murder and sexuality, which makes his “scenes from life” stories a welcome trip through humanity. The Exousia was particularly enjoyable, as it offered a nicely twisted perspective on the ever popular murder mystery.
Moreover, by contrast, the remainder of the book containing; Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse l: Explorations of the one sentence story, Notes on Macbeth Posthumously left by an Undistinguished Scholar and Part ll Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse turned out to be sections of stream of consciousness type essays, in which author Quinones indulges in expressions of his literary and film critiques, which while cerebral in nature, to me, made the read loose steam. It seemed like reading a college class assignment; substantive yes, entertaining, but not to the level of his other works. Albeit, Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse l: Explorations of the one sentence story was a mainly humorous and somewhat thought provoking section to read that has universal appeal.
Consequently, Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse turned out to be an adult focused, mixed bag of literary prowess that gave me associated mixed feelings. There were the O’Henry-esque stories and the section of one sentence stories most of which I enjoyed; they were funny and kept me interested. On the other hand, the remainder of the book did not retain my heightened interest. Unfortunately I personally did not find the subject matter as interesting. However, to be fair, I am sure students of film and literature would enjoy these – so perhaps as a target audience it is better suited for them. Personally, I would have liked to have read more of author Quinones’ short stories, as he does indeed have a talent for storytelling that shows a honed and creative approach. Overall, this is a book that will both yield intellectual stimulation and a cornucopia of food for thought for interested readers.