irish Writer is a newbie who has constructed a remarkably challenging narrative set in the Dolcette universe where women are meat.
Yes, Classy Conversions features snuff, but snuff story fans will be disappointed. There is sex, but it is rarely graphic, so don't read it for that. The obvious model for this work is "Schindler's List." Read it for the story it is -- a deft skewering (pun intended) of the whole Dolcett universe with its willing "sows" who welcome being impaled and roasted alive over an open fire.
Call it an anti-snuff story.
Set primarily in a slaughter house, Classy Conversions explores the impact on families and individuals caught in a system where women between 18 and 45 are selected by a lottery to be slaughtered and served up on the dinner table or as pet food. It proceeds to pick apart the emotional, moral and ethical issues of an essentially immoral and dysfunctional society. It is painted in shades of gray.
The plotting is superb, with fascinating twists and turns. The characters are realistic, on the whole well drawn, with only a similarity of names (Candy and Cindy, for example) occasionally creating confusion. The good guys (not all of whom survive) are sympathetic, the bad guys detestable (and generally meet a suitably cruel end).
His analysis of the issues of operating a slaughter house profitably are fascinating, and he is equally deft at exploring the legal system and how it can be manipulated and the politics of the situation.
The major flaws are technical, the result of the author's inexperience. For example, he confuses "then" and "than" and uses "consoler" when he means "counselor." I'm told he hopes to go back and correct these problems when he finishes his current project. Don't wait. Classy Conversions is a very good read as it stands now.
Reviewed: 2011-10-14 - (Review Updated: 2011-10-14)
There was a young Canadian Artist that started making line drawings about a world where there were too many women being born, so the laws were changed to allow women to be executed by any means available.
Oh, the Artist Dolcett, from Toronto.
This story is not for the squeamish, but who really cares!
It does however introduces us into a world gone wrong where Asphyxiation, impaling(alive and dead), gynophagia(look it up)and beheading are the way to go on the way to the charcoal barbecue. Where a Lottery determines the Losers, and the winners go free, from the age of eighteen to fourtyone, deemed to be the cut off for child bearing.
Poor Editing, or none, takes away from the impact.
BTW, the art work available on line is sometimes so overworked that the balloons are sometimes illegible.
This is a review on the first six chapters of 'Classy Conversions'.
I am not sure where the author gets the title from but I don't think it truly encapsulates the gist of the story.
There is a great line in the story where all these women are waiting in line to be processed like meat;
"Will this take the curl out of my hair?" An older former cheerleader asked from the back.
I think"Will this take the curl out of my hair?" encapsulates the story to me.
As a synopsis this is one of those 'Dolcett' inspired stories where in the future the world is over-run by women and the culture has changed so that it has become legal and normal to have a 'lotto' to control the population by turning them into meat.
You have to suspend a lot of disbelief with this kind of story just like you would a "NIS" (Naked in School) story. There are a lot of solutions people could try before resorting to cannibalism en masse.
Having said that, if you can suspend the disbelief and accept the authors world I would say it is an interesting story.
The things I really enjoy:
His characters do a lot of gallows humor and rationalizations for the situation they are in. In light of a hopeless situation the women some times joke about it and I think that is kind of fun (And macabre) but adds realism.
I think actually the cheerleader "I hope my hair doesn't curl" is unrealistic BUT having said that, it is very true to that dulcet style of "Oh put me on a spit and roast me? Well, can it wait until wheel of fortune is over? I think I know the puzzle," where women seem to take their demise very lightly.
I think he also does a great job of painting the myriad rules and bureaucratic byzantine regulation that would emerge around classifications and the treatment of girls.
It seems weird they would be opposed to human slavery (in the story the author makes it clear that is a violation) but they are fine with women being kept in processing centers to be butchered. Then again if you look how some regulations seem to miss the point they were trying to accomplish I think that is plausible.
I think the author could explore that more in the story.
The things I did not like:
The only suggestion I have from a constructive perspective is that the author has a slew of permanent characters and they are often all interacting at one time in a chapter (Chapter six especially). I could not follow the action because I am dense and would prefer when there are that many characters the author sort of split it out into 'Okay these 3-4 people are doing this...' and then jumps back in the next chapter to another 3-4 people.
That being said, that would be my only gripe with this story.
If you are looking for a dolcettish story you'll find one true to that style. I hope the author continues to write.