Monday 21 September 2020

#BlogTour The Summer of Madness by Alexander Raphael

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Summer of Madness by Alexander Raphael.
About the Author
Half-Welsh, half-Mexican and growing up in London, Alex Raphael was surrounded by different influences and interests. But it was always books that spoke to him most and had the greatest impact. He started writing when at college, where his love of reading evolved into a desire to write, in particular focusing on poetry and short stories.

Studying English and American Literature at university meant he took a break from writing, as well as giving him the chance to see more of Mexico on his travels. He concentrated on his journalistic career while working on different writing projects, but his favourite genre of literature has always been short stories as they are what first inspired him to write.

That’s why his first book was The Summer of Madness, a romantic short story that tells of a guy who goes out to try to win his ex-girlfriend back. Will you be rooting for Kurt and his big public gesture or is it more complicated than that and you don’t want her to date him again? Either way you’ll get to know a memorable set of characters along for the ride.

His second book Illusions, Delusions reflects Raphael’s love of alternative short stories from the writers of his childhood and challenges the idea of the narrative. Will your favourite be the story in the form of a questionnaire, a poem or a set of jokes, among the seven very different styles?
Alex Raphael is currently working on his third collection of short stories, which will provide a wide blend of genres and an assortment of very original premises and distinctive character, with his trademark imagination, humour and memorable dialogue.

Follow on Amazonon GoodreadsBuy The Summer of Madness  Visit and,

About the book
In the summer of love, or rather of madness, a whole set of stories are emerging. But there is one that has got everyone talking. When Kurt Vannes decides to win back his ex-girlfriend with the help of a literary classic, he sets off a string of events that will build to a dramatic finale.

It's a short read, perhaps speculative if literary fiction can be considered that. Also disjointed and sometimes seeming like a story with no connection or ability to reach out to the audience - it reminded me of flash fiction. But let's get down to the nitty-gritty.

Raphael draws an interesting comparison between Wuthering Heights and Kurt and his love story and the attempt to regain his lost love. Presented as the boyfriend who wants to win back his girlfriend no matter what - he stages something akin to a romantic ploy to get her back.

Now there is twofold here. Raphael has picked a classic novel, and her favourite book, which is predominantly known for being a romance and tragedy like none other. On the flip-side the author knows many interpret that same story as one of manipulation, of a dysfunctional love, a destructive relationship painted in such unicorn colours that many are willing to forget the darkness and the pain.

Said girlfriend doesn't want to return to him though and views his attempts as manipulative, embarrassing and perhaps even a little scary. The smaller group of individuals who view his attempts as supportive of this Mr Darcyesque public outcry of thwarted love, but when it all becomes known to the wider world the word stalker slips into the vocabulary.

It's intriguing how Raphael presents four views of the same relationship. You have Kurt, the girlfriend, the more intimate gathering and then the wider public. Each has a slightly different view on the matter and his actions, which of course is exactly what happens in real life. The girlfriend and her feelings become secondary to his needs, his wants and his convictions. She is silenced and there is no consent.

The smaller group is convinced by his charm and enthusiasm, whereas the larger group sees a bigger picture or is it more about the greater unknown finding something to critique?

I'd like to see the author bring more order into both his ideas, the dialogue and the writing. There can't be any expectation that the audience will see what is inside your head and what you believe is on the pages - reading will always remain a subjective experience.

Buy The Summer of Madness at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

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