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All Saints (Murder Ballads and Whiskey, #4)

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In some dark corners of Mexico, All Saints’ Day isn’t merely a time to remember the dead. It’s an invitation to commune. When a woman cursed with immortality and a man haunted by a bloody war stumble headlong into this strange mélange of mysticism and cosmology, they learn that a return home may entail more than a voyage of mere miles. It will require them to traverse space In some dark corners of Mexico, All Saints’ Day isn’t merely a time to remember the dead. It’s an invitation to commune. When a woman cursed with immortality and a man haunted by a bloody war stumble headlong into this strange mélange of mysticism and cosmology, they learn that a return home may entail more than a voyage of mere miles. It will require them to traverse space and time. A groundbreaking work as tenacious as a hurricane and as radiant as Van Gogh’s STARRY NIGHT, this contemporary myth amplifies the conventions of genre and literary fiction to take us on a journey in a way that only a book can, and reminds us that even in darkness there is light.


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In some dark corners of Mexico, All Saints’ Day isn’t merely a time to remember the dead. It’s an invitation to commune. When a woman cursed with immortality and a man haunted by a bloody war stumble headlong into this strange mélange of mysticism and cosmology, they learn that a return home may entail more than a voyage of mere miles. It will require them to traverse space In some dark corners of Mexico, All Saints’ Day isn’t merely a time to remember the dead. It’s an invitation to commune. When a woman cursed with immortality and a man haunted by a bloody war stumble headlong into this strange mélange of mysticism and cosmology, they learn that a return home may entail more than a voyage of mere miles. It will require them to traverse space and time. A groundbreaking work as tenacious as a hurricane and as radiant as Van Gogh’s STARRY NIGHT, this contemporary myth amplifies the conventions of genre and literary fiction to take us on a journey in a way that only a book can, and reminds us that even in darkness there is light.

22 review for All Saints (Murder Ballads and Whiskey, #4)

  1. 5 out of 5

    J.L.

    Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I am friends with the author and we shared a publisher. The flow and style of the language in this novel took me on a trip around the world that I'm not sure I wanted to come back from. Whether it was modern-day, war-torn Afghanistan, the European countryside that wasn't in much better shape during the Great War, or the humid depths of the Mexican jungle, I was one hundred percent there with the characters. Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I am friends with the author and we shared a publisher. The flow and style of the language in this novel took me on a trip around the world that I'm not sure I wanted to come back from. Whether it was modern-day, war-torn Afghanistan, the European countryside that wasn't in much better shape during the Great War, or the humid depths of the Mexican jungle, I was one hundred percent there with the characters. Even when I wasn't precisely sure what was going on, I didn't necessarily care because the words swept me up in their wake.  My lack of understanding had nothing to do with Miller's presentation of the plot. Instead, it was due to a fascinating combination of two unreliable narrators, neither one of whom was entirely sympathetic. Nevertheless, their incredibly vivid descriptions of both the real and the not-real that they encountered (such as trippy Mayan cosmology and PTSD flashbacks) clung tight and wouldn't let go. One of the ways in which Miller's adeptness with words truly shined was not just in how Ben's PTSD was painfully but realistically represented but also in how his psychiatric drug use seemed to keep him mentally in the "sandbox" overlaid on the reality of his travels through Mexican streets.  This is a book I will definitely make time to re-read in the future, to better appreciate the story-telling loops that connect everything up to the very end. Like a fine wine, this is a story you're supposed to savor and enjoy...and then go back for a second glass.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Suz Jay

    “Dani once told me that a story changed depending on the narrator’s point of view. That time could alter a tale, allowing us to live simultaneously in our own past and future. That the present existed as a transient state distorted by our perspective and desires. According to her, time was immutable. The universe herself remained powerless to erase it or let it repeat itself. According to her, memory weakened us. Memory could be manipulated by a suggestion or a song. Memory could be altered, the “Dani once told me that a story changed depending on the narrator’s point of view. That time could alter a tale, allowing us to live simultaneously in our own past and future. That the present existed as a transient state distorted by our perspective and desires. According to her, time was immutable. The universe herself remained powerless to erase it or let it repeat itself. According to her, memory weakened us. Memory could be manipulated by a suggestion or a song. Memory could be altered, therefore, we should never trust it. Ultimately, to her, the storyteller imprisoned the reader with her version of the truth.” Everyone has events in their past that they wish they could change. Regrets that haunt their dreams and their waking hours. But if they got a do over, would they accept the costs and consequences, even if the new outcomes were uncertain? In the world of MURDER BALLADS AND WHISKEY, where the supernatural rules, anything is possible. ALL SAINTS is a vision quest painted by surrealism, mysticism, and Mayan mythology, which demonstrates the profound effect the outer world has on a person’s inner perception and sense of self-worth. Dani and Ben are haunted by their pasts. Her demons stem from her abusive childhood and crossroads deals gone wrong. He numbs his survivor guilt from his time in the military with handfuls of prescription drugs and booze. While this is a standalone story, the novel made me hungry for more time with Miller’s fascinating characters. I look forward to reconnecting with them by reading the other books in this fantastic series. ALL SAINTS reminds the reader that every day provides opportunities to make different choices, which may not change the past, but can serve to create a better future.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    4.5 stars! “It feels like a lot of places,” I said. “And a lot of times.” All Saints is a surrealist journey through time and space - present day war torn Afghanistan, the countrysides in Europe during the first world war, and the sweltering jungles of Mexico (where war is unleashed). And occasionally these times and spaces melt together. It truly reminded me of Dalí's “The Persistence of Memory.” I'm not going to spend any time discussing the synopsis because 1) the main plot only takes place w 4.5 stars! “It feels like a lot of places,” I said. “And a lot of times.” All Saints is a surrealist journey through time and space - present day war torn Afghanistan, the countrysides in Europe during the first world war, and the sweltering jungles of Mexico (where war is unleashed). And occasionally these times and spaces melt together. It truly reminded me of Dalí's “The Persistence of Memory.” I'm not going to spend any time discussing the synopsis because 1) the main plot only takes place within a few days and 2) I'm not entirely sure what happened. That's not really true! But I do believe the action is second in importance to the emotion of All Saints. This book is so full of rich, descriptive language it's crazy. The use of colors made it feel dreamlike and ethereal, mesmerizing. And like a dream, I got swept away in the thoughts and feelings it evoked that occasionally I didn't follow the actual plot of the story. This “caught in the flow” feeling was also heightened by the two fairly unreliable narrators. Ben suffered from PTSD flashbacks and Dani frequently did not want to divulge the entire truth. All Saints is a book to be savored, a book that begs for passages to be re-read. You can't rush this story. Although I personally took a little too long getting through it due to a busy month. Some days I only read a couple of pages and I felt a bit of the magic was lost. But this was a me issue and not a book issue! This is definitely a book I would love to have read in school. I think it would be so interesting to hear the differing ideas and importance of themes, motifs, and symbolism (where are you Professor Baldini?!) Thank you so much Raw Dog Screaming Press for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All Saints is unlike anything I've read before!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rory Costello

    Ambitious, with a lot of vivid writing...but not my favorite of Miller's works. It's got multiple personalities and I'd have followed the plot better and found it more effective if it had just settled on one. It got too busy for my tastes. Ambitious, with a lot of vivid writing...but not my favorite of Miller's works. It's got multiple personalities and I'd have followed the plot better and found it more effective if it had just settled on one. It got too busy for my tastes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mike Mehalek

  6. 5 out of 5

    Grandstaff

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah Dylan Dylan

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  9. 4 out of 5

    John Lawson

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

  11. 4 out of 5

    Luke Elliott

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Eisenmeier

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carpe Librum Bookstore and Art Gallery

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luke Carroll

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave Staples

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maddie Clifford

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mark Rivera

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judy Beasley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mitebsyco

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