Audiobooks A Masque of Infamy –

A Masque Of Infamy Is A Ribald Story Of Teenage Rebellion, Punk Rock And Survival After Moving From Los Angeles To Small Town Alabama In , Louis Baudrey Tries To Fit In At The Local High School, But The Bible Thumpers And The Rednecks Don T Take Too Kindly To His Outlandish Wardrobe And Punk Attitude At Home, He Defies The Sadistic Intentions Of Rick, His Father S Friend, Who Tries To Rule The Household With An Iron Fist As Louis Is About To Be Shipped Off To Military School, He Stumbles Upon Indisputable Proof That Will Free Him And His Younger Brother From Rick S Tyranny But Just When He Thinks Their Troubles Are Over, They Re Locked Up In The Adolescent Ward Of A Mental Hospital, Where Louis Must Fight The Red Tape Of The System To Save Himself, His Brother And Maybe Even His Dream Of Being A Punk Rocker Knowing a fictional narrative is partially based on the author s real life can hinder a review Too often and this is almost the case here the fictionalized account can read like reportage this happened and then this and then this This tendency can override any of the qualities we associate with novels as an art form The narrative can get too straightforward, not expand on characters, and not provide relevant subplots or similar devices In cases like that, I wish they would have just written a memoir.The other difficulty one that is shared when reviewing memoirs is that the reviewer is tempted to review the character instead of the story That would be a mistake, here, as our protagonist Louis isn t very likable, lacks empathy, and is selfish Ouch, you say, but there are reasons for this.And this is where Dessaint takes a novelist s approach to the narrative, slowly revealing the past experiences that have led Louis to who he is showing us how looking out for himself is necessary for survival We also see a kid on the cusp of getting a clue not just about how the system works but how to understand others Oh, and about punk rock asthan just music.The glimpse of the 1980s here is valuable Weird is in for kids today, but, back then, being a misfit, a punk, gay, or rebellious could land you in an institution Challenging the mainstream wasn t seen as normal or finding your own style but as disrespect, rebellion against authority, and a sign of being a troubled youth. A Masque of Infamy is not your ordinary coming of age story, and yet it is definitely a classic of that particular genre Dessaint s writing style is refreshing in numerous ways Uniquely, his characters language is natural and colloquial and yet, somehow, Dessaint s dialogue always seems to beengrossing than the commonplace conversations we usually hear each day in our own lives Dessaint is an expert at sifting through the everyday conversations of teenagers and finding the magic and profound insight that often exists under the surface of seemingly unenlightened adolescent interactions.In particular the novel s main protagonist, Louis Baudrey, is a character whose words and actions exude charisma throughout the book There were many, many moments where I laughed out loud or chuckled under my breath at the smart ass comments of this rascally character Baudrey is a precocious teenager in a way that readers should find quite charming Louis is cunning but good spirited and he has a knack for making tough social situations work to his favor as much as possible.Also, as a devout anti establishment metalhead, Baudrey is a character that rock, punk and metal fans themselves may find particularly relatable I for one thoroughly appreciated getting such an intimate and earnest look at a teenager s passion for loud guitar music in the late Eighties, a time period that some may argue was a high point for punk and metal music.What s also impressive is Dessaint s special ability to deal with the heavy subject matter of child abuse in a way that is honest and revealing, without leaving the reader in despair Dessaint, like his character Baudrey, understands that what happened happened, and that the truly interesting story is not the abusive episodes the children faced, but rather how those children might manage to navigate their way out of that messy environment and seek for themselves a better future Indeed, watching as Louis and Joey Baudrey attempt to do just this will have the reader engaged from cover to cover.And, apart from the fact that it is an entertaining and eye opening read, A Masque of Infamy is also a decidedly clever book It is dense not in the sense that it contains obscure symbolic content for English departments to drool over, but so in that it delivers a steady stream of those magical little human moments that a person, without digging deeper like Dessaint does, might mistake as dull Thus, A Masque of Infamy is clever and unique largely because it offers insight into a world that muchresembles the real world people live in that it does resemble the sort of dramatized, literary world that some writers spend their time writing about.After reading his debut novel, it is already manifestly clear that Dessaint is the sort of voice that has been sorely lacking from the literary landscape in recent years. Louis Baudrey is a teen from California that makes a move cross country to Alabama with his family, which consists of his younger brother, father, and Rick From the beginning, I wanted to know exactly who Rick was and what role he played in the household Soon enough, readers find out about what a creep Rick is and the abuse the boys have been dealing with In their new small town, Louis rebels by being the misfit He is punk and proud roaming the halls of high school and annoying those that fear the different.Numerous times throughout the story I couldn t help but laugh out loud Despite the dysfunction that was prominent in Louis life, he maintained this great sense of humor He could take on the constantly revolving situations moving to Alabama, living in a foster home, being transferred to a mental institution, and then back on the road to be placed elsewhereYou have death is the ultimate high written on the side of your shoes Are you suicidal No, that s from Miami Vice Louis kept his composure and rarely showed a soft side, but when he did, it completely changed the mood of the book It was a firm reminder that this story is real This isn t fiction, and that Louis and his brother endured horrible things Louis juggled waythan any teenager should His cravings for cigarettes and music helped pass the time, but the darkness never gave him a breakI wanted so badly to tell her about the nightmares and the Beast that lived under my mother s house, in the crawlspace, where, as kids, we were always afraid to go I remembered the earth beneath me, in my face, my nose in the dirt and the pipes over my head I would give this book 5 stars all day long It s well written and captures your attention from the very beginning until the bitter end. A Masque of Infamy is as beautiful as it is shocking Kelly Dessaint masterfully guides us through the horror of teen hood with remarkable insight and clarity This is one beast of book, ladies and gentlemen This needs to be on your bookshelf