What didn’t attract me to this book (rhetorical) The title titillates and intrigues, the cover is neon pink and as Dan Skinner’s last book Memorizing You nearly dehydrated me with the amount of tears I shed…I couldn’t wait to get my sweaty mitts on this one.
Author: Dan Skinner
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
His name is Richard but he’ll say, “Call me Dick.” He’s a big, butch, brainy guy in an executive suit, hotter than spit on a skillet. The type of guy you can see fully dressed and imagine buck naked in the throes of an orgasm – every six-feet-two, muscular, sexually intoxicating inch of him. He’s an ambitious freshman in a prominent brokerage firm who’s figured out he can use more than his smarts to get ahead. He’s perfected a surefire method to drive home a hard deal. No one can resist him. And he’s got one really big secret. But that will cost you.
For photographer J.J. Johnstone, the price of Dick just might cost him everything.
I am reviewing this novel as a work of fiction, but there seems to be a strong autobiographical element woven through this story. Which parts are true and which fiction, only two maybe three people will really know,
I’ve always been a very private individual. For a lot of reasons. But mainly one. The man I lived with for all that time. The monster in the closet who I protected.
The writing in this novel is amazingly dense and well written, and although the author restrains the bitterness really well, this is a novel of catharsis of airing dirty linen and revealing, as Dan or rather ‘J.J.’ puts it,
…my really big, fat, gay perverted soap opera.
Richard Fitch is the ‘Dick’ in question. He exhibits all the traits of a Sociopath or maybe a Psychopath for they are not all serial killers, but have traits that require them to be very charming, good looking and often highly sexed. They are also ruthless, selfish and totally without conscience or understanding. They are always innocent of all charges and decry how cruel the world can be to them, if things don’t go their way. They are also inveterate liars. Dick uses his charm and good looks to their best effect,
Knowing that somebody really wanted him. It gave him the sense of power that he craved…
Dick uses the fact that JJ is a nice guy, and obviously fancies him, to start grooming him for whatever game he is playing and JJ is well aware that he fell for his act hook line and sinker,
Amazing how a confluence of praise and lust can just make your defensive barriers collapse like Jell-O on a hot stove
Sadly, Dick’s game lasts for years and takes an awful toll. In this novel Dan Skinner creates two monsters worthy of the best Bond villains; Dick and his Mother, Mommy /Eleanor Fitch…
I sensed more than recognised the sound of those skeletal knuckles on the door. I was too young for it to be Death, so it had to be his mother.
Occasionally I felt a little understanding for the way Dick was because his mother was truly terrifying and uncompromising. My empathy for him didn’t last that long though, following the exhausting rampage of games and lies, which destroyed and hurt all in his path, I could do nothing but pray for his downfall. As JJ says,
How did he close off that part of his brain that tells someone they’ve harmed another soul?…Most frighteningly of all, are some of us born with no conscience at all?
There are so many quotes because Dan writes such wonderful prose and I wanted to share some. I really couldn’t put this novel down I wanted to know…no I needed to know what would happen. This time he has written a novel as far from the pure and beautiful Memorizing You, as it is possible to get. This is an unburdening of venom and pain and betrayal.
However, it does include the rediscovery of love, kindness and the beauty of a spiritual nature. JJ is aided after years in this awful maniac’s closeted trap by someone. I don’t want to say whom, as it will ruin it for readers though I suspect those who know Dan Skinner on social media and elsewhere may be able to guess who his saviour is.
This is a very brave book as the author lays himself bare not just by including, what may or may not be, autobiographical elements but by revealing his true feelings concerning politics, homosexuality, photography, friendship, love, religion and guns. I cheered when I read this paragraph,
…what could possibly go through someone’s head to make them buy something as unnecessary and deadly as a gun? Guns killed things. That was their sole purpose. People could call them a hobby or sport or whatever. Guns were designed for one reason alone from the beginning of time. To end life.
I will not leave this review on a negative note though, as Dan does not leave his novel on one. JJ’s saviour brings him back to life one bit at a time. He restores JJ’s faith in himself and he imbibes JJ with the realisation that he deserves and can find love. He gives him mantras that inspire him to greater things…
“Today is a great day to make amazing things happen” or “Aspire Higher.”
or my favourite,
…”Words have power because they become thoughts,”…
This is one of the most powerful novels I’ve read in a while and one that ends with the most hope. I sincerely hope that like JJ Johnstone, Dan/D.w Skinner/Dantheman/Knobgoblin etc. all get their chapter Fifty Two. 😉
I would like to thank Dan Skinner for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
Dan Skinner has kindly offered an ebook of The Price of Dick to 1 lucky commenter.
Contest ends 29th May 2014 @ 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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