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Jack worked at the surfboard shop, Karen was a lifeguard, and every night was perfect. And since teenage love destroyed by suicide is hard to get over, Jack simply holds on to his dead girlfriend. At first it is the long phone calls deep into the night, reliving the memories of drinking, black metal bands, the medicine…and the parties an old man named Manson would throw fo Jack worked at the surfboard shop, Karen was a lifeguard, and every night was perfect. And since teenage love destroyed by suicide is hard to get over, Jack simply holds on to his dead girlfriend. At first it is the long phone calls deep into the night, reliving the memories of drinking, black metal bands, the medicine…and the parties an old man named Manson would throw for teenagers at his creepy house on the hill. Then came the regular sightings of her corpse at the beach, and in his bed. Now in his mid-twenties, Jack experiences his best nightmare ever—the chance for revenge on Old Man Manson for murdering Karen! He reunites with Karen for a long journey through night, confronted by her parents, General Hook, the Ghost Witch, a woman in a gummy dress, an old man from a pricker bush, and a furry monster. Finally, with a list of 66 ways to punish and kill Old Man Manson, Jack confronts him in the dining room of a haunted hotel.


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Jack worked at the surfboard shop, Karen was a lifeguard, and every night was perfect. And since teenage love destroyed by suicide is hard to get over, Jack simply holds on to his dead girlfriend. At first it is the long phone calls deep into the night, reliving the memories of drinking, black metal bands, the medicine…and the parties an old man named Manson would throw fo Jack worked at the surfboard shop, Karen was a lifeguard, and every night was perfect. And since teenage love destroyed by suicide is hard to get over, Jack simply holds on to his dead girlfriend. At first it is the long phone calls deep into the night, reliving the memories of drinking, black metal bands, the medicine…and the parties an old man named Manson would throw for teenagers at his creepy house on the hill. Then came the regular sightings of her corpse at the beach, and in his bed. Now in his mid-twenties, Jack experiences his best nightmare ever—the chance for revenge on Old Man Manson for murdering Karen! He reunites with Karen for a long journey through night, confronted by her parents, General Hook, the Ghost Witch, a woman in a gummy dress, an old man from a pricker bush, and a furry monster. Finally, with a list of 66 ways to punish and kill Old Man Manson, Jack confronts him in the dining room of a haunted hotel.

30 review for First Aide Medicine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    "Butterflies made of unused organs could come flying back out of my origami hands. It was like a little gift I gave to myself that I stole from somebody else. I only offer so much as I can stand. I give out signals of disinterest. That's because I only care for Karen." You've never read anything like this. Startling, perverse, beautiful, haunted -- a transcript of bruised fantasies and sexual humiliation, but under everything a truly original voice, unscorched and strong. This is not so much a no "Butterflies made of unused organs could come flying back out of my origami hands. It was like a little gift I gave to myself that I stole from somebody else. I only offer so much as I can stand. I give out signals of disinterest. That's because I only care for Karen." You've never read anything like this. Startling, perverse, beautiful, haunted -- a transcript of bruised fantasies and sexual humiliation, but under everything a truly original voice, unscorched and strong. This is not so much a novel as a chemical radiation of lyric jealousy. There are deathtrips of metaphor and nightmare orgies, and you will be swooned by the book's haunted thinking, but still emerge to feel some ground beneath your feet. This book presents a hunger you have never encountered, and a voice that will stitch your mind into new patterns of gray putty.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Jack hearts Karen. Karen commits suicide, and the rest of the story reads like a haunted, surreal love letter trapped in a never ending nightmare. This is Jack's descent into madness through little vignettes of his tortured mind. Prose poetry told from the perspective of a monster caught inside his own personal hell. There is a perplexed, dis-jointed feel throughout the whole of this short novella. Disgusting yet beautiful imagery and fantastic illustrations sprinkled though out. A hard one to p Jack hearts Karen. Karen commits suicide, and the rest of the story reads like a haunted, surreal love letter trapped in a never ending nightmare. This is Jack's descent into madness through little vignettes of his tortured mind. Prose poetry told from the perspective of a monster caught inside his own personal hell. There is a perplexed, dis-jointed feel throughout the whole of this short novella. Disgusting yet beautiful imagery and fantastic illustrations sprinkled though out. A hard one to put down once you start the journey and so many wonderful quotes, one of which I will leave you with: "They called our usual excursions into these nights of infinite danger suicide. But what they didn't understand is that the blue light of these modern dream machines had colored not only their nights but also their days a frozen hue of darker-than-the-deepest-seas blue. Time can never be regained in this fantasy world...or lost."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rodney

    In this book, we follow Jack, who is feeling left behind as all of his friends have either moved, died, or disappeared. He is particularly hung up on his girlfriend Karen and how she died. A strong tone of heartbreak guides everything he does. Further along, Jack learns of the 5 rituals attached to Karen's mirror and enters a world that leaves you guessing. Are the experiences dreams or real, and are they happening with the ghost of Karen, or the "corpse of her ghost?" Written in a poetic, metaph In this book, we follow Jack, who is feeling left behind as all of his friends have either moved, died, or disappeared. He is particularly hung up on his girlfriend Karen and how she died. A strong tone of heartbreak guides everything he does. Further along, Jack learns of the 5 rituals attached to Karen's mirror and enters a world that leaves you guessing. Are the experiences dreams or real, and are they happening with the ghost of Karen, or the "corpse of her ghost?" Written in a poetic, metaphorical style that I really liked, I would describe this as childlike, yet morbid. The illustrations added a unique touch as well. The main complaint I have is that it was a bit too disjointed at times, and could have been structured a bit better. That being said, I am still quite eager to read more from the author. I think there are great things to come.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donald Armfield

    Take Edgar Allen Poe's "The Black Cat" drop it a bowl of maggots with some sorrow and you'll have "First Aide Medicine" "Once upon a time Old Man Manson gouged his kitty's eye out when it killed his arctic fox." A tale about the dead that follows behind you and reminisces about the past of how it use to be. Before the funeral. The suicide that threw it all away, revenge must be taken. Karen the beautiful life guard, her boyfriend who works at the surfboard shop reunite to seek revenge on Old Man Ma Take Edgar Allen Poe's "The Black Cat" drop it a bowl of maggots with some sorrow and you'll have "First Aide Medicine" "Once upon a time Old Man Manson gouged his kitty's eye out when it killed his arctic fox." A tale about the dead that follows behind you and reminisces about the past of how it use to be. Before the funeral. The suicide that threw it all away, revenge must be taken. Karen the beautiful life guard, her boyfriend who works at the surfboard shop reunite to seek revenge on Old Man Manson, who brought on the suicide. If you read "Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe, you will remember the cat with the missing eye who comes back to life, Nick gives that concept a great twist and turns it into a great bizarro read. Fill with an interesting cast of characters.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. At first I appreciated it's loose lyrical approach, but was quickly overtaken by just how poorly written it was. It saddened me because some very legitimate flashes of pure brilliance where overshadowed by it. I hate giving bad reviews. Maybe I missed something. Others seem to have enjoyed it. I have to agree with another reviewer, the illustrations got in the way. It would have been more effective to let the reader imagine rather than giv I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. At first I appreciated it's loose lyrical approach, but was quickly overtaken by just how poorly written it was. It saddened me because some very legitimate flashes of pure brilliance where overshadowed by it. I hate giving bad reviews. Maybe I missed something. Others seem to have enjoyed it. I have to agree with another reviewer, the illustrations got in the way. It would have been more effective to let the reader imagine rather than giving it a pictorial representation. The cover art is fantastic though it has no connection with the actual story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    SSteppenwolFF

    A poorly written , Gobbledygook piece of utter nonsense that was a complete waste of my time . 1 star is actually to much but we can't give a 0 rating or I would . A poorly written , Gobbledygook piece of utter nonsense that was a complete waste of my time . 1 star is actually to much but we can't give a 0 rating or I would .

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    If there’s one thing that all the reviewers here can agree upon. This book reads like a bad acid trip. But I would define it simply as a surreal children’s horror story. Or not simply. I shouldn’t say simply. It’s very complex and mired in an insanity akin to a nightmare. The descriptions are very psychedelic, and I don’t mean that stupid concept of hallucinating laughing gnomes or whatever. It’s like when you see something, it registers falsely in your mind (the way a shadow sometimes looks lik If there’s one thing that all the reviewers here can agree upon. This book reads like a bad acid trip. But I would define it simply as a surreal children’s horror story. Or not simply. I shouldn’t say simply. It’s very complex and mired in an insanity akin to a nightmare. The descriptions are very psychedelic, and I don’t mean that stupid concept of hallucinating laughing gnomes or whatever. It’s like when you see something, it registers falsely in your mind (the way a shadow sometimes looks like a figure in the shadows) and your mind registers the mistake as reality. So you have these scenes that sound like that kind of paranoia: General Hook (who now resembled both our fathers), the red-and- black-striped creature, and Jeremy are waiting in the elevator when the doors open. The woman’s hair gets caught in an elevator button, but we manage to disentangle it before she is beheaded. The black and red striped creature holds his knife aloft for the remainder of the ride, poised and ready to decapitate. There is a visceral feel to his disgust, which leaks out of the narrator in very obtuse metaphors, the crawling nastiness of Burroughs or Bataille; but there’s this other quality too. It’s whimsical. It has the panache of Lewis Carroll, the non-stop flurry of strange, faintly threatening, insidious dream characters; the weird contrast of playful details amongst grisly images: The creature looked to the thick, thick forest. Then he removed one stick at a time from the forest wall. After a half- hour he had barely made a dent. He motioned General Hook over, grabbed his hooks, and struck them together like flint. Then he signaled you over and mimed how blood came out of your mouth before and asked you to spit some more on the hooks. An explosion went off when you did it. A deep hole was burned through the thick, thick forest. There was now a crawlspace...like a tunnel. The man from the pricker bush was covered in soot from head to toe. The ants were blackened too and appeared dead. There’s that faint rhythm, the tempo of a fairy tale that implies panic, craziness, or a deadline. You can hear it drumming through: that the walls were closing in, I said, and I was beginning to have the feeling way too often of having been here before or being already dead. She agreed but tears fell as she said the films were like a balm or a tranquilizer from all the pain. Everyone needs a medicine or a gas mask to make it through this holocaust. My blood in the sky, my blood in the sea: carry me beyond the black mirror so that I may reach thee. And it’s sometimes funny: The creature has slaughtered six women dressed like princesses. Severed legs and arms flop on the floor and hang on the railing. He holds the head of one in his furry hand and eats her face. He eats with his mouth opened. He has the worst table manners in all the world. There is a kind of grim, semi-antisocial craziness and desperation in the narrator. The surreal brevity of each little section makes me think of Max Ernst’s “Une Semaine de Bonte” which features Victorian clothed dilettantes with bird-heads performing intrigues, sadism and conspiracy on one another. There’s something fitting in this comparison, I think. The obsession for Karen, the longing and entrenched sorrow that the book seems to be so strongly dramatized by, it’s sick. This is in a strong way a book about mental sickness, or craziness. A drive to craziness. The misery of Karen is one that is not experienced emotionally, but lived through viscerally, empirically. He is her companion, her friend. She is the naive beauty who is descending into ghost-hood, and he is seeing her go like a bad acid trip: Her white curtains fell behind her hot red gums. Her unused organs beckoned me to come. My mind was burning. My teeth were falling out in curtains. But what the fuck is this really? An allegory? I don’t know. To me the whole thing sounds like an allegory to guilt, a slaying of innocence via the curious kid who witnessed mortality and the sorrow thereof in the same bleeding instant, in the guise of this Karen. She is a symbol throughout the story of both death and of beauty. And there’s something to that, to that patronage of the young corpse whom he still adores, whom he makes love to, who he attempts to hide, protect and love: Every boy and man she’d ever slept with was with us tonight too. Not just the boys and men but the way her parents saw these boys and men—the hyperbolic Halloween mask versions of these boys and men who stole their daughter’s heart and mind; and I am just another one too, perching over her in my carrion deathskin deathmask. I see the shadow of the horns upon her wall. I know she will remain true to her word: this is the last time we will ever sleep together. And while all the stories of maggots, of ghosts, of blood and decapitation are creepy; it’s really hard to keep track of what’s going on. I appreciate the discombobulated feel that is supposed to come with a surreal nightmare, but as a reader I felt no visceral experience myself: no fear, no worry, no disgust, no pity. I was so busy trying to figure out what was going on in this bizarre other world. And maybe there shouldn’t be empathy. Maybe it’s just supposed to be a flipbook of psychotic imagery. I dunno. I would have like to have been more closely connected to the narrator, though. He’s lacking some detail that really take away from my being in his shoes. I suppose he’s a teenager, because he works at a surfboard shop. I assume he’s healthy externally and haunted within. But I have no idea who he is what to picture him as and because we are behind his eyes I feel so lost in identifying his world, his relation to his world and the conflicts therein. It’s confusing. The pictures more than anything harken to the Alice in Wonderland imagery, where in the original version it was illustrated by Sir John Tenniel. A lot of them are funny. They are all comical and strange, a bit too crude. The crudeness adds to them, makes them ilicit a sort of demented appeal, but a lot of the figures are too hard to identify and piece with the story. I guess I just wish they were a little bit better done. The book is good for the snippets of madness. It's the kind of book that i love to find at thrift stores, garage sales or lying on the street. The irksome madness really comes out when you are suddenly given into this world. It's the kind of book i would love to cut up and put on collages, the misnomer of a phrase out of context, just the little bit of crazy, is good enough to really put some invective onto an envelope or postcard. It's full of random shocking playful phrases.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    It's important to say that this isn't my kind of thing. I don't like stream of consciousness, I don't like not being able to tell if the main character is experiencing one long acid trip or is schizophrenic, and I don't like stories that don't have a discernible structure. That's just me. Some people have much more tolerance than I do, and that's OK. This story - which is apparently about a guy whose girlfriend, Karen, committed suicide after having an affair with a much older man - doesn't satis It's important to say that this isn't my kind of thing. I don't like stream of consciousness, I don't like not being able to tell if the main character is experiencing one long acid trip or is schizophrenic, and I don't like stories that don't have a discernible structure. That's just me. Some people have much more tolerance than I do, and that's OK. This story - which is apparently about a guy whose girlfriend, Karen, committed suicide after having an affair with a much older man - doesn't satisfy me, however, because it's really an extended prose poem that never moves beyond the first stanza. I don't mind grief and I don't mind guilt, but the casually self-indulgent nihilism has to change for the character to be sympathetic, and I never cared a whit about Jack, the main character. If you want an interesting narcissist, try Nick Hornby's High Fidelity. Jack, however, is an entitled hipster wannabe who has encountered true tragedy, yet still thinks at 25 that the universe revolves around him and his fantasies. Tragedy has to change us for it to have meaning, and meaning is what writing is all about. When I read, I ask myself if I can discern the message, and if there isn't one, or the message is muddled, or it's begun and not finished, or if there is one but it's unintentional, the work is unsatisfying to me. That's why I don't appreciate First Aide Medicine: Karen is dead, but the apparent message about her death is that the real significance of the tragedy is that alcoholic Jack's fallen into his own navel. I'd like to add one final word about the genre of this piece. The author believes it's an horror novella. I think he's wrong. "Horror" is Daniel Kraus's Scowler - a unified piece that tells a complete story that includes a clear message with elements that leave the reader aghast. Horror includes elements that leave us both fascinated and disgusted at the same time. The worst part is (or the best, if you read a lot of horror) that horror is really horrible because of its plausibility. We're terrified of Michael Meyers because we have the innate sense that, a. People are crazy, b. Bad crap happens, and c. The next town over (a stand-in for anyplace we don't know very well) is dangerous. We think that stuff because we're prey animals and that's how we're hard wired. However, there's a newish genre (maybe a new group of authors?) who are under the impression that writing a collection of words that include examples such as "maggots" and "blood" automatically qualifies them as horror authors. Personally, I think they're wrong. In one of my writing classes, my professor read a piece I'd written, looked at me, and said, "Yeah, but what's the story? Why should I care?" Can you answer those questions, Mr. Patnaude? They're pretty important.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jörg

    First Aide Medicine was the first and probably will remain the only time where the author gave me a free copy in exchange for a review. I'm sorry to say that I did not like it. To its rescue: I never would have read First Aide Medicine otherwise. The twisted story is far removed from my personal taste. Reading through the other reviews for this book, it's actually removed from the taste of almost everybody who has been asked to review it. It starts out reasonably enough when Jack reminisces about First Aide Medicine was the first and probably will remain the only time where the author gave me a free copy in exchange for a review. I'm sorry to say that I did not like it. To its rescue: I never would have read First Aide Medicine otherwise. The twisted story is far removed from my personal taste. Reading through the other reviews for this book, it's actually removed from the taste of almost everybody who has been asked to review it. It starts out reasonably enough when Jack reminisces about times past with Karen, his teenage love. It's a weird kind of memories but still on a level I could cope with. Up to this point, it's a story about a love ending tragically and a guy unable to cope with it. There's an old man involved - Manson - that in his perception is somehow responsible for Karen's suicide. It's irritating that every few sentences blood is mentioned but that's his medicine I guess. The amateurish scribblings by the author do their part as well to announce that there's something awry. Unluckily but expected, the second half of the book ends up being something like a drug-fueled horror trip into the subconscious... or whatever it is supposed to be. Not sure if this trip through the night with the ultimate perspective of killing the old man Manson is supposed to be a stream of consciousness or is possibly the exaggerated expression of some personal tally but it lacks any coherence and what is worse it doesn't convey anything interesting, moving or at least disturbing. Sorry, Nicholaus but this isn't for me and I'm not sure who this could be for.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Serwatka

    The author contacted me and asked me to review First Aide Medicine as a way to spark conversation around its release. This sort of solicited publicity tends to be done well before the release, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. Reading through the opening chapters I genuinely thought the voice and style of the prose was being consciously facetious and simple, but as I slogged through I grew increasingly upset that the slivers of originality throughout the novel were being spoilt by the story' The author contacted me and asked me to review First Aide Medicine as a way to spark conversation around its release. This sort of solicited publicity tends to be done well before the release, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. Reading through the opening chapters I genuinely thought the voice and style of the prose was being consciously facetious and simple, but as I slogged through I grew increasingly upset that the slivers of originality throughout the novel were being spoilt by the story's stale, stilted, seemingly distracted exposition and perspective. There is definitely some merit to Patnaude's writing - especially in some of the random spurts of imagery - but First Aide Medicine feels forced as it flirts with stream-of-consciousness yet reads as weird for weird's sake. I feel that this novella could benefit from professional editing as it could help focus the book's strengths and lose some of the more obvious expositional asides that only serve as filler. This would likely reduce the word count drastically, but as short as it already is I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. First Aide Medicine would probably work better in a smaller dosage.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Wilson

    A short novel that combines the morbid whimsy of striped, furry monsters and cats with eye-patches with the crushing sadness of betrayal and suicide. A very potent combination, and not one I can remember reading before. Lots of grotesque and powerful images, like the loss of teeth (often happens in my own nightmares) and the perverted old man stuck naked in a pricker bush. The author’s black and white illustrations, small and cryptic, were also great.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Moss

    [Full Disclosure: Nicholas approached me to review First Aide Medicine and provided me with a free electronic copy of the piece. I originally wrote this response as a personal letter to Nicholas and sent it to him. He encouraged me to post it on goodreads in order to foster dialogue. -Sam] Hi Nicholaus, You approached me to review First Aide Medicine. Twice I think. I took it on because I enjoy reading and reviewing fresh work, especially works that are considered outside of the norm. I have not h [Full Disclosure: Nicholas approached me to review First Aide Medicine and provided me with a free electronic copy of the piece. I originally wrote this response as a personal letter to Nicholas and sent it to him. He encouraged me to post it on goodreads in order to foster dialogue. -Sam] Hi Nicholaus, You approached me to review First Aide Medicine. Twice I think. I took it on because I enjoy reading and reviewing fresh work, especially works that are considered outside of the norm. I have not had a book published myself, nor have I won a contest as you have. Congratulations, by the way, on both of these things. I do understand and deeply respect the amount of work that goes into a work of fiction, especially a novel. I am working on a novel myself right now and it is an arduous, uphill battle to get it written and it sounds absolutely Sisyphean to subsequently get it noticed. Again, bravo on undertaking and succeeding at both of these tasks. I can only guess as to why you chose to personally approach goodreads reviewers as a way to publicize First Aide Medicine. It seems like a labor intensive way to publicize a book and one that has meager returns. In spite of this you have done it and gotten people to read and review your book, something many other indie author do not accomplish. Having said this I have chosen not to review your book on Goodreads and, in lieu of this, personally send you this letter. I did read the entire work, parts of it multiple times. I’ve chose to contact you directly for a number of reasons the foremost being that you asked me for a service (feedback on your work) and, by providing me with a copy you essentially paid me, so I wanted to provide this service in the best means possible. I decided that would be a personal letter. I’d like to preface my critique with these things: As I mentioned above my novel is unpublished and I have not won any awards. In this way you have me ‘beat’ and thus could theoretically ignore all my criticisms of your work. Regardless I want to stress that my thoughts all come out of honesty and from a desire to simply see better writing in the world and not from jealousy, or spite. I’ve never met you personally, and our communications have been minimal, so I can’t make any assumptions as to whether you will judge my critique negatively, but I just want to assure you that this all comes from a genuine place. I also understand that you may be able to deflect a number of my critiques by pointing out that First Aide Medicine is a work of avant-garde literature. I will address this in due time. Finally I recognize you wrote First Aide Medicine at least three years ago and there is a very good chance your writing has improved significantly in this time. I found First Aide Medicine, at best, to be a very rough outline of a novel. Your characters are poorly fleshed out, if given any solid or novel characteristics whatsoever. I found the prose to be banal, your descriptions lacking imagination or depth. The story itself seems to have a general outline but never coheres and elements jump in and out without regard for a feeling of cohesion. The surroundings seem to hold a pretty important place and you get close to evoking this beach town well, but again it never really fleshes out and a lot of the descriptions just come off as boiler plate or uninteresting. Without going into this too much I found that the illustrations added nothing to the work and in at least one case actually detracted from my mental image. In terms of horror I found the majority of the horror elements to be pretty childish and not in a self-conscious or self-aware way. You bring out these images (the ghost witch, the furry monster, the main character losing his teeth) one after the other but never seek to build tension. I have found it very difficult to create horror by pushing rote images past the reader, rather it is vastly more effective to bring up the unknown and allow it to grow in the reader’s mind. I saw your article on your blog about ‘The Shining’. Why is the shining scary? Not just because the writer is chasing his family through the mansion or because of the twins or the both full of blood but in large part because all these bizarre things are going on, and we don’t really know why. I may be wrong on this but I got the feeling at points (some of the imagery and the narrator mentioning medicine) that the narrator is supposed to be insane. Either psychotic or depressed? If this is an incorrect observation then ignore this critique but if your intention was to have a psychotic narrator I would spend some more time studying those suffering from psychoses as their symptoms are quite a bit more complex, nuanced and scary than what you have here. Using rape, or at least the unwanted sexual contact between Karen and the Old man, as a plot element is pretty tricky. I could see a woman who had been a victim of rape finding First Aide Medicine a pretty uncomfortable read. Just something to consider. Most of these issues are fixable, though the work has already been published so I suppose this is irrelevant. At its core though the novel’s primary flaw is that a lot of events occur and at no point was I aware of why these events were happenings, especially toward the end. Perhaps I missed the explanations or connections? Simply: there were no points in the novel where I felt totally sure as to why the characters were, say, in the forest or going to the tower or, for that matter, doing anything. I understand that First Aide Medicine is meant to be an avant-garde work. I read a certain amount of avant-garde works and generally consider these, at their core, to push boundaries and conventions such as: include novel and challenging elements in plot construction, include elements which serve to create a confusing or sinister but aesthetically rewarding atmosphere and generally place a great deal of attention on the use of language. There were no points in First Aide Medicine that I thought the writing were particularly challenging or ground breaking I am confused as to why the novel is considered an avant-garde work. There are quite a few very talented, young and ambitious avant-horror writers right now. If you have not already, read Blake Butler (he wrote the novels There is no Year, Ever, Skysaw, and the nonfiction work Nothing) Grace Krilanovich (wrote Orange Eats Creep) Mark Gluth (wrote The Late Works of Margaret Kroftis) and go out form there. There is also a poet named Sean Kilpatrick you might find interesting. Older writers in this general vein (that I am currently aware of) are Mikhail Bulgakov, who wrote a fairly well know work called The Master and Margarita, Svetislav Basara who wrote Chinese Letter, Alain Robbe-Grillet who wrote The Voyuer and Jealousy and Thomas Bernhard who is considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century and wrote Correction, among many others. These writers are all considered some of the giants of 20th century avant-garde and should be read by anyone trying to further push out boundaries. Flamingo press also has an excellent anthology of Fantastic literature which you might find interesting or applicable to your writing. Finally if you are interested in some shorter works or journals to submit to I would recommend looking at an online journal called fiddleblack (all online at www.fiddleblack.org) and for a solid avant-garde journals look into Caketrain or Fence. If you have read this far then thanks for giving my writing the same respect I gave yours. I sent this to you directly so you would not think I wrote a review to trash you or have others dislike your writing. If you highly value another review on goodreads and/or amazon I would be glad to convert this letter into a few hundred words and put it up but it would certainly be a one star review and would bring your average ranking down. Again I wrote this to you because I think the time I put into reading the novel and writing the review would be best spent communicating directly with you rather than putting this opinion up where it would never be read by anyone. If this came off as condescending or rude then I have failed, but please at least consider my suggestions when you go out and write further. Best, Sam Moss

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Spuckler

    First Aide Medicine by Nicholaus Patnaude is a rather astonishing trip into the mind. Patnaude was raised in Vermont, attended Bard College, and did social work before moving to Istanbul where he works as a teacher. Jack works at a surf, well sort of a surf shop. It sells boogie boards, suntan lotion, and cheap sunglasses; but not surfboards. Karen is a lifeguard and the two of them have great time together until Karen takes her life. From there things get really weird. It is hard to let go of s First Aide Medicine by Nicholaus Patnaude is a rather astonishing trip into the mind. Patnaude was raised in Vermont, attended Bard College, and did social work before moving to Istanbul where he works as a teacher. Jack works at a surf, well sort of a surf shop. It sells boogie boards, suntan lotion, and cheap sunglasses; but not surfboards. Karen is a lifeguard and the two of them have great time together until Karen takes her life. From there things get really weird. It is hard to let go of someone, even harder when its suicide. Jack can't let go and there begins a Burroughesque type of dream/nightmare/bad trip. Jack has dreams of Karen. Not dreams of a happy past but disturbing dreams and visions. This, combined with a life of death metal and living with his parents, blurs with the nightmare. I liked the book, but like a vivid dream it is hard to describe to some one. Everything makes perfect sense to you, but loses something when trying to tell someone else. I can understand the story, perhaps, even relate to it, to the extent I had a good friend take her own life six years ago. I can see where the nightmare can come from, and luckily I escaped most of that. It is a haunting story,and like other reviewers suggest like a bad acid trip... yeah, but add in being trapped in a Lovecraft story. Despite my lack of words it is worth a read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Travis Fortney

    My review from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/12Uq1CP -- First Aide Medicine, the debut novel from Nicholaus Patnaude out now from Emergency Press, starts off promisingly, albeit with an italicized prologue that's a bit jarring to the eye. And the writing in the prologue is just, well, strange. For example: "Let the blood run down his sides faster than sweat so that we can be merry. Cut his life to a flame in a pinch as we await the Ghost My review from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/12Uq1CP -- First Aide Medicine, the debut novel from Nicholaus Patnaude out now from Emergency Press, starts off promisingly, albeit with an italicized prologue that's a bit jarring to the eye. And the writing in the prologue is just, well, strange. For example: "Let the blood run down his sides faster than sweat so that we can be merry. Cut his life to a flame in a pinch as we await the Ghost Witch's commands in our parents attics and basements. Why'd you run into a dead man's arms, Karen?" Which is fine. Mr. Patnaude has created an entertaining voice for his narrator, and he has a talent for rhythm. The prose moves. It might help that Medicine begins with a prologue, because the reader is willing to forgive a certain amount of weirdness, and by the time chapter one arrives the cadence of the writing is enough to carry us along. There are a couple of sentences with internal rhymes early on--"Who was this girl alone so late at night in search of a faded cassette illusion to disembowel the clocks of time's intrusion?" and "My blood in the sky, my blood in the sea: carry me beyond the black mirror so that I may reach thee."-- which felt so aberrant yet somehow appropriate that I hoped they would continue. The confidence of the writing--coupled with an endless stream of over-the-top blood and guts imagery, the sense of unreality, the early reveal that the narrator's girlfriend Karen is dead by suicide, and our realization that this flustered, red-faced-with-spittle-flying style of storytelling represents the narrator's attempt to cope with and move beyond that tragedy--are enough to carry us through the first third or so of the story. Alas, there are problems. There's no plot. In the "real" part of the book, nothing happens--in fact, no character has a speaking part other than the narrator. In the nightmare world, the action is impossible to follow. We can't nail down a time-line for the narrator's relationship with the elusive Karen, nor can we get anything like a complete picture of what that relationship was like. For a while, a series of flashbacks seems to be moving in chronological order toward some conflict, but we're soon forced to give up the hope that anything in this story will make sense, ever. Also, the possibility that Karen was murdered is raised and then dropped. During her suicide she was decapitated, but that's never explained. Also, the constant onslaught of violent imagery--though inventive in parts--gets very repetitive. You could essentially choose any paragraph of this book at random, read it three or four hundred times in a row, add a few maggots coming out of eyeballs (if you've miraculously chosen one of the paragraphs with no maggots coming out of eyeballs), add a few decapitated birds, and you'd have pretty good feel for what the book is without actually reading it. Also, this is at least the third or fourth debut with a "suicidal" narrator that I've read this year (though it feels like the hundredth). I just don't believe there's a good way to have your narrator contemplate suicide. Mr. Patnaude does an inventive job of it by having his narrator swim in the ocean with a razor blade in his pocket, hoping to attract sharks by cutting himself. But the problem is that the suicidal thoughts don't lead to any kind of action or move the story forward in any way. Unless the suicidal thoughts make him actually do something, a suicidal narrator is just a boring cliche. I don't want to get too negative about this one though, and patient readers who are a looking for a gory, voice-driven novel might find much to love here. If Mr. Patnaude develops the plotting and character development skills to allow his voice to inhabit a deserving story, he will be a writer to watch.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel

    Full Disclosure: I was approached on the Bizarro Genre group to read this novel/novella for a review by the author. While in the midst of the reading, I also had a chance to ask a few questions to the author. The review This is not a book. First Aide Medicine (FAM) masquerades as a book, what with chapters and words and paragraphs and sentences ... but it is not a book. Whether this mask was placed on FAM or fell on it accidentally, I'm not sure. The author told me that the poetic language was the Full Disclosure: I was approached on the Bizarro Genre group to read this novel/novella for a review by the author. While in the midst of the reading, I also had a chance to ask a few questions to the author. The review This is not a book. First Aide Medicine (FAM) masquerades as a book, what with chapters and words and paragraphs and sentences ... but it is not a book. Whether this mask was placed on FAM or fell on it accidentally, I'm not sure. The author told me that the poetic language was there from the beginning. Maybe it was FAM itself trying to tell us what it needed to be. Because at its heart, FAM is an emotion. Breaking through the layers and weaving between the strange little pictures of fuzzy monsters and blood drops in the shapes of wolves, cracking the shells formed by "Chapter (roman numeral)" and draining out the egg white of paragraphs ... FAM is a giant moan. A Death knell A dirge FAM is the stream-of-conscious dream of a person grieving over an obsession stolen away. And reading it as a dream ... in one sitting with the lights off (mine is electronic and backlit so I can do that) seems best. Someday I will do exactly that. And maybe I will find a way to ignore the repetition repetition repetition repetition that plagued (repetition) me and the flow (repetition) of the dream. Or maybe I begin to see how the (repetition) is simply the chorus to the verse. Repeat x2 FAM deserves a larger audience. It is not for everyone - I feel that another pass through with the red pen to make pages bleed out the extra words onto tables and away from tablets is necessary - But this is a poem that pushes buttons and drives images home. So focused are the images that (as a dream) we lose the bigger picture and are lost in the details of what appears before our eyes. Maybe the plot morphs and pushes us in a new direction maybe characters are lost or killed and live again to die again or just disappear into the electronic ether and maybe that's just fine. For what are dreams but just moments that bleed into each other and repeat repeat repeat repeat because the mind (repeat) won't let go (repeat) of its loss. The brain and FAM will (repeat) what it cannot let go of. Repetition x2 Like a Lynchian Labyrinth there is no pause button and using such a thing only confuses the viewing. FAM is not a book. FAM is a gut punch emotional purging. FAM is a poem in disguise. FAM is a youth acting as an adult and coming so close we almost believe its suit isn't a hand-me-down. FAM could have been much more ... but what it is deserves to find more people.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    First Aide Medicine tells the story of a twenty-something protagonist whose girlfriend Karen was killed after cuckolding him, and he needs to work up the energy to enact revenge on her killer-- in that way, it's thematically a little bit like Hamlet, but it's told in an extremely close up point of view, so that everything is seen through the narrator's eyes without much of the context of what he's seeing-- it's very immediate, and for a book with a lot of odd goings on, occasionally confusing. S First Aide Medicine tells the story of a twenty-something protagonist whose girlfriend Karen was killed after cuckolding him, and he needs to work up the energy to enact revenge on her killer-- in that way, it's thematically a little bit like Hamlet, but it's told in an extremely close up point of view, so that everything is seen through the narrator's eyes without much of the context of what he's seeing-- it's very immediate, and for a book with a lot of odd goings on, occasionally confusing. So, for example, Karen, the former girlfriend, though dead, still comes around, as a rotting corpse. And her parents? Well, her dad has a prosthetic hand, till his wife makes him get rid of it and go back to his hook, which then goes on to cover both hands. There's a weird cat creature with a child's face in its belly, and the narrator is fixated on blood. But the book isn't really going for a realistic narrative anyhow: it's one that's meant to be experienced, I think, as a sensual rush, and the writing definitely has a sense of immediacy, even if it's occasionally confusing. Here's a representative sample of Patnaude's style: "Late at night Old Man Manson walked his fox and talked to it down lonely roads with the tears and fears of a mad scientist or sex-addict who trapped my angle Karen in a blue glass bird cage." There's a kind of euphony to the writing, a certain lushness. But occasionally, this is a little hard to take, especially when, in later sections of the book, we seem trapped in a long dream sequence (not that fantastic elements aren't present in the book's daytime world, because they are) that seems to go on and on without actually surprising or revealing much. The book's narrative is interspersed with small pen and ink illustrations. Sometimes they look like doodles, or silhouettes, but at others, they represent the action. Their scratchiness is in keeping with the prose style. The book as a whole is an interesting experience without being totally winning-- for me, some of the imagery was too obvious or hackneyed, not fresh enough. I liked the general narrative arc, the Hamletness of our narrator, but he wasn't (directly, because who knows, maybe all the characters are projections of his unconscious) active enough in resolving the story to really make me feel like I'd followed a whole character arc.

  18. 5 out of 5

    M.G. Mason

    This is a short novella, around 17,000 words, but bulked out with a lot of illustrations. There’s no harm in trying something a little different I suppose. It starts with an intriguing prologue that is written rather like an internal monologue – it’s kind of disturbing in a roundabout sort of way, reflective and brutal so I was hooked from page one of this short novella. The internal monologue tone carries on. The first person narrative works well for the story and you will immediately find yours This is a short novella, around 17,000 words, but bulked out with a lot of illustrations. There’s no harm in trying something a little different I suppose. It starts with an intriguing prologue that is written rather like an internal monologue – it’s kind of disturbing in a roundabout sort of way, reflective and brutal so I was hooked from page one of this short novella. The internal monologue tone carries on. The first person narrative works well for the story and you will immediately find yourself drawn into the place and the characters despite at face value not having a lot of depth. It is the personal way in which it is told that really makes this work – as well as the rich flowery and carefully chosen words. The language isn’t flowery, but it does feel carefully crafted to instil emotion into the reader in a specific way. Again, I must come back to that word “personal” – we feel like voyeurs. It is a tale of love – Jack works in a surf shop and loves Karen who is a lifeguard. He thinks of her often and he sees her on the beach, around town and everywhere else that he would expect to see her. But Karen is dead, she killed herself years ago but Jack feels that somebody is responsible – Old Man Manson of the rock band they went to see the night she died. And Jack intends to kill him. It is visceral, haunting and very engaging and the images add a dash of the visceral even if they are not visceral in themselves (they are rather juvenile, and it seems deliberately so). I wasn’t so keen on the plot and I cared little for the characters and to be honest, I’m not sure it is supposed to matter. If you like your fiction offbeat then this will be for you. If you are strictly a reader of conventional horror then you probably won’t enjoy it. See more book reviews at my blog

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura J. W.

    As an indie author, I know how hard it is to match up readers to a book that is not from the accessible mainstream vein of fiction where the top ten books dwell. Nick Patnaude took a risk and asked me, and apparently several other Goodreads members, to read First Aide Medicine, so I stepped up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised, so I kept reading. At first glance, First Aide Medicine is a short claustrophobic tale about teenage love, loss, obsession, and revenge—it is a curious little book w As an indie author, I know how hard it is to match up readers to a book that is not from the accessible mainstream vein of fiction where the top ten books dwell. Nick Patnaude took a risk and asked me, and apparently several other Goodreads members, to read First Aide Medicine, so I stepped up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised, so I kept reading. At first glance, First Aide Medicine is a short claustrophobic tale about teenage love, loss, obsession, and revenge—it is a curious little book with darkly funny illustrations. Its compulsive, poetic narrative has the driving rattle and hum angst of black metal music ranting in a voice filled with simmering rage that the book is done before you know it—one gulp, done—so I pulled out my reading tambourine to override the breakneck pace to allow myself to absorb what I’m reading. Grotesque—in the best sense of the term comes immediately to mind—this book dwells in that literary fault-line of the horror novel that treads fearlessly into the surreal reading world of authors like Angela Carter (The Magic Toyshop), Joyce Carol Oates (First Love immediately comes to mind—and the short story The Collector of Hearts) and Haruki Murakami Kafka on the Shore. Granted, the writing is not going to be everyone’s cup ‘o tea as it didn’t come out of the overly processed book cookie cutter, but the bones of the story are still familiar and reliable—every author has their version of a story to tell, and this one has its own way. I enjoyed the read—the daring and original quality of the prose made me glad to have made its acquaintance.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ken Deshaies

    This is a difficult book to review, for me. I am inclined to read books that are more linear, or that at least have a foot in reality somewhere. That said, I am still glad I read this. The book reads like a dream - actually more a nightmare - as Jack tries to deal with the suicide of his girlfriend. It's difficult to keep straight from one moment to the next whether or not you are in a dream sequence. So much of it is. But the reality speaks to dysfunctional families where the parents are self-c This is a difficult book to review, for me. I am inclined to read books that are more linear, or that at least have a foot in reality somewhere. That said, I am still glad I read this. The book reads like a dream - actually more a nightmare - as Jack tries to deal with the suicide of his girlfriend. It's difficult to keep straight from one moment to the next whether or not you are in a dream sequence. So much of it is. But the reality speaks to dysfunctional families where the parents are self-centered and horrible at raising kids. They, in fact, even seem to resent having kids. This, of course, leads to Karen's suicide. In addition, the effects of the abandonment of friends only provides more fodder for Jack's wanting to live in a dream state where friends are close. However, no matter how much Jack tries to create dreams of hope, they keep morphing into nightmarish scenarios, thereby mimicking all too much the reality of his life. The writing, and the language, are compelling. The book is actually a novella, short and a fairly quick read. If you are having a difficult time in your life, I'm not sure reading this would be advisable. But for parents, and people who have friends in trouble, it's an eye opener. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Semina Pekmezović

    First of all, I would like to deeply apologise to the author who had kindly sent me this book way back in 2013 to read and review. For some reason I can't even remember any more, didn't do it, but a few days ago while I was combing through my Google Drive, I've stumbled upon this novella and decided that enough was enough and that I should do keep my promise. I guess it's better late than never. The main protagonist is an alcoholic in his mid-twenties who still lives at home in his parent's basem First of all, I would like to deeply apologise to the author who had kindly sent me this book way back in 2013 to read and review. For some reason I can't even remember any more, didn't do it, but a few days ago while I was combing through my Google Drive, I've stumbled upon this novella and decided that enough was enough and that I should do keep my promise. I guess it's better late than never. The main protagonist is an alcoholic in his mid-twenties who still lives at home in his parent's basement and spends his days working at a kind-of a surf shop at the beach where he spent his adolescence with his friends and talks with the corpse of his dead girlfriend Karen. First Aide Medicine in not your average novella. It's a nightmarish and somewhat funny poem which bleeds with emotions, followed by sketches that are a bonus to the whole thing. It deals with the problem of being left behind, or, it's better to say, abandoned by people who were once close in the most terrible ways possible: either suicide or disappearance. I enjoyed being plunged into this schizophrenic acid trip and I'd do it again. I want more! This isn't for everyone, you have to be a bit mad yourself to truly enjoy and appreciate this novella. You have to be ready for something different, but I'd recommend it to everyone with a taste for strange things.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Querus Abuttu

    First Aide Medicine (2013), written by author Nicholaus Patnaude, is a surreal tale that places the reader inside the odd and fractured mind of Jack, a young man who pines for his dead love, Karen. Jack’s mental mullings, weird dreams and strange memories of Karen interact with people, places and things connected with her death and cause the reader to reflect on issues of grief as well as mental disease. Is Jack schizophrenic, failing to have taken his medication, and now suffering from delusion First Aide Medicine (2013), written by author Nicholaus Patnaude, is a surreal tale that places the reader inside the odd and fractured mind of Jack, a young man who pines for his dead love, Karen. Jack’s mental mullings, weird dreams and strange memories of Karen interact with people, places and things connected with her death and cause the reader to reflect on issues of grief as well as mental disease. Is Jack schizophrenic, failing to have taken his medication, and now suffering from delusions as well as visual/auditory hallucinations? Or, are his experiences real, taking place inside a bizarre world where the reader must stretch his/her mind in order to fully comprehend (if possible) the new living paradigm? And finally, is Jack’s love (Karen) truly dead, or does she exist in this world, or on a misty quantum plane? Patnaude’s novella is filled with hauntingly beautiful prose, quirky rhyming phrases and his own disturbingly effective sketches interspersed between the pages, each highlighting the other to weave a world within mental derangement versus a life in an insane world. Highly captivating, this novella by Nicholaus Patnaude will grip your mind and truly cause you to wonder if you really know what you thought you knew at the end! A highly recommended read! ~Dr. Q

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ubiquitousbastard

    Firstly, this is not the sort of book/novella/thing that I usually read. Most of the time I like my metaphors quick and easy and occasional. I gave this book a try because of a request by the author (and I hate turning people down for anything). So basically, this was a really nasty acid trip, or something. There were bits where I could kind of understand what was going on, but a lot of it was bizarre and probably metaphorical. (After English 2, I'm kind of over interpreting the different meaning Firstly, this is not the sort of book/novella/thing that I usually read. Most of the time I like my metaphors quick and easy and occasional. I gave this book a try because of a request by the author (and I hate turning people down for anything). So basically, this was a really nasty acid trip, or something. There were bits where I could kind of understand what was going on, but a lot of it was bizarre and probably metaphorical. (After English 2, I'm kind of over interpreting the different meanings of things. At least for another year.) I'm rather sure that I understood the basic emotions behind the narrative, but I also feel like I missed some things that I was supposed to put together or relate to. I would have liked this book better if I could have had a bit of a plot, or a timeline I could figure out, or something to organize it. But I get that there are people that would love the disorganization, and seemingly randomness of everything that occurs. It's just not my thing. I'm going to give it three stars because it was quick, some of the imagery was kind of interesting (I might have even liked this better if I could have had more of the nightmarish one-eyed cat), and it's a bit different from most of what is out there.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I found this book difficult to read. I started it several times before I actually suck with it and read it through to the end. It is a strange story about a guy Jack, who works in a surf shop, and his girlfriend Karen, a lifeguard who is dead. Jack has a difficult time getting over her death, and this book delves into the myriad of reasons why. At times, I was not sure whether I was reading the thoughts of a man who had deep mental problems or was tripping out. The author obviously admires horro I found this book difficult to read. I started it several times before I actually suck with it and read it through to the end. It is a strange story about a guy Jack, who works in a surf shop, and his girlfriend Karen, a lifeguard who is dead. Jack has a difficult time getting over her death, and this book delves into the myriad of reasons why. At times, I was not sure whether I was reading the thoughts of a man who had deep mental problems or was tripping out. The author obviously admires horror, as he inserts several character and episodes of horror throughout. However, though I got a feel for the characters, I never felt they were really fleshed out in the story. In fact, the story was also never really fleshed out. I could sort of feel the angst of Jack as I read, but I never got any feelings from the rest of the characters. It was interesting the way the author wove rape and its aftermath into the story, but could have been done more smoothly. Finally, I think the story is god, though there are some arts I would change or eliminate, but the book would probably have been better served if it was longer, so it would read more like a spooky, horror tale rather than just a barely expanded rough draft. I received this from Library Thing to read and review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    This is outside my usual reading choices, but what the hell.. sometimes you need a trip outside your 'normal' whatever that means... Jack loses Karen and things get weird. Some readers have a problem absorbing streaming thoughts, if that is you, this won't work. There is a rhythm here- an insane one, but a rhythm all the same. I can see my daughter's friends eating this book up, they are at that age- mad at the world, tired of silly stories of vampires in love that end in a glorious happy ever af This is outside my usual reading choices, but what the hell.. sometimes you need a trip outside your 'normal' whatever that means... Jack loses Karen and things get weird. Some readers have a problem absorbing streaming thoughts, if that is you, this won't work. There is a rhythm here- an insane one, but a rhythm all the same. I can see my daughter's friends eating this book up, they are at that age- mad at the world, tired of silly stories of vampires in love that end in a glorious happy ever after. Sometimes you just need a dark, depressing, fog-inducing story. I like the line 'my blood is not a renewable resource', it is sticking like some funky glue in my mind... One thing that bites you is how much longing one feels for the dead. But let's face it, some of us long for people that are only dead to us, who have exorcised our love for them. I think even if you haven't lost someone to death, you can still feel Jack's pain and understand why he seems to have his toes dipped into an abyss of misery. I would recommend this to young adults, teens or those nostalgic for their lost youth.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    First Aide Medicine is like a very weird and gruesome acid trip. i was confused fairly often but i think that was the intent of the author and it's on me that i didn't really appreciate it and doesn't mean it's a bad book. i've never really read anthing like it before. i mostly go in for fantasy novels and other more linear stories.| i will say that there are certain passages that i loved though, Patnaude definitely has a way with words. my two favorites are "It's all a blur of nightmare fur and First Aide Medicine is like a very weird and gruesome acid trip. i was confused fairly often but i think that was the intent of the author and it's on me that i didn't really appreciate it and doesn't mean it's a bad book. i've never really read anthing like it before. i mostly go in for fantasy novels and other more linear stories.| i will say that there are certain passages that i loved though, Patnaude definitely has a way with words. my two favorites are "It's all a blur of nightmare fur and everybody has gone and left me a monster." and "The Elms and i grow knotty and gangly with despair during the endless, savage winters. Our bones grow cold and porous. Our hearts sink with the ice-fisherman's sparkling lures to the depths." i stopped and reread these passages a couple of times i liked them so much. any author that does that is doing something right and i look forward to reading more of his writing. also the cover art is fucking fantastic(it's what made me notice this book in the first place) and the drawings inside are pretty neat too!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Savannah Wilson

    First Aide Medicine is now one of my favorite books, I started it about an hour ago and I just finished it begging for more. Though I love surreal sort of stories like this one, I'm always cautious because not everyone can execute it correctly. However, Patnaude worked with this concept amazingly. I got sucked into it from the very first page, though I was really sold from the moment I read this line: "Our love is a vine of entrails that can follow any coffin anywhere, no matter how deep any gra First Aide Medicine is now one of my favorite books, I started it about an hour ago and I just finished it begging for more. Though I love surreal sort of stories like this one, I'm always cautious because not everyone can execute it correctly. However, Patnaude worked with this concept amazingly. I got sucked into it from the very first page, though I was really sold from the moment I read this line: "Our love is a vine of entrails that can follow any coffin anywhere, no matter how deep any gravedigger might travel." Though there was an enormous amount of surrealism, this and the horrific visuals the author provided only complimented the style and best of all, the story as a whole was quite understandable. The imagery was disgusting yet beautiful and I was completely entranced by the style and story. I'm going to order a paperback copy to keep in my collection this evening, and I'm looking forward to anything else Patnaude will have to offer in writing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    The disorienting juxtaposition of a goth teen romance on the beach is just one of the ways in which this novel plays with the macabre. The narrator's morose angst is deadpanned by an author up to some tricks in this tragicomic tale of a suicide girl come back to haunt her boyfriend. The narrator's logic is aslant, uncanny, full of emotional volatility, his non sequiturs strange and strangening, his descriptions self-consciously, enjoyably grotesque. Excerpt: We don’t want her parents ever to see u The disorienting juxtaposition of a goth teen romance on the beach is just one of the ways in which this novel plays with the macabre. The narrator's morose angst is deadpanned by an author up to some tricks in this tragicomic tale of a suicide girl come back to haunt her boyfriend. The narrator's logic is aslant, uncanny, full of emotional volatility, his non sequiturs strange and strangening, his descriptions self-consciously, enjoyably grotesque. Excerpt: We don’t want her parents ever to see us. What time should I leave so as to completely avoid them? I’m not sure. They keep catching me. Sneaking up on me…even when they’re not there…even after our love lies braided with cobras and buried in Karen’s grave. The eagle with his eye hanging out by a goopy thread is the shadow of his own death, or so said Karen about her own life. I creep into the lampshade dawn to sell some sunglasses.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    "When you sleep with a corpse, all the green leaves turn black." What a horrifyingly compelling little novella this is! Jack works at a surfboard shop that doesn't sell surfboards. Karen used to be a lifeguard - before committing suicide and throwing Jack into a deadly tizzy. Told with a lyrical voice, even though with a tinge of a bad acid trip trip accent, "First Aide Medicine" is a maggoty, green, slimy, cutter's freakish-nightmare of a tale. Am I glad I read it? Yes. As I wrote - compelling - a "When you sleep with a corpse, all the green leaves turn black." What a horrifyingly compelling little novella this is! Jack works at a surfboard shop that doesn't sell surfboards. Karen used to be a lifeguard - before committing suicide and throwing Jack into a deadly tizzy. Told with a lyrical voice, even though with a tinge of a bad acid trip trip accent, "First Aide Medicine" is a maggoty, green, slimy, cutter's freakish-nightmare of a tale. Am I glad I read it? Yes. As I wrote - compelling - and hard to forget. The deceptively simple illustrations add just the right touch of the macabre to the story. I did notice a few places where proofreading could have been a bit better but the proofing errors didn't distract me from the tale. NOTE: I did receive a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Downward

    like a found marble composition book that contains the writing and drawings of someone just growing out of being goth, first aide medicine has all the qualities of young love lost and the wierd allegories and paces we put ourselves through on the road to recovery. there are parts (as we drew closer to the end) where i lost the thread a little bit, but the engine of this book is style: the self consciously maximal writing of a youthful narrator, tying together abstractions and metaphors and then like a found marble composition book that contains the writing and drawings of someone just growing out of being goth, first aide medicine has all the qualities of young love lost and the wierd allegories and paces we put ourselves through on the road to recovery. there are parts (as we drew closer to the end) where i lost the thread a little bit, but the engine of this book is style: the self consciously maximal writing of a youthful narrator, tying together abstractions and metaphors and then stacking them on top of one another until the machinations of the plot are obscured and we're coasting on language. sometimes this works and other times it does not. genetically liked to mark danielewski's unfairly maligned only revolutions. the style is the emotion and the lack of understanding only buries you deeper in the hallucination. word up.

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