Rating:

Reviewed by Claudia R.

Over the summer they’d slowly emerge, steadily peeling off layers of self-consciousness, their bodies baked into cherry-flavored chocolate and moods more tied to the languid cadence of the tides and the influence of celestial bodies, the searing sun and intoxicating moon.Elysiana, Chris Knopf

An intellectual bon-bon, Elysiana lures it’s reader in from the onset, offering dripping, luscious verbal decadence from page one to three hundred and four. From the very first paragraph it’s obvious Chris Knopf is Master of the word, wielding pen like bullwhip, culling submission and surrender from every sentence, compelling letters to form magical, crunchy, self-indulgent gifts of pure yumminess as reward.

Welcome to Elysiana, a barrier island off the Jersey Shore; population five hundred off season, twenty-five hundred on. In-land is commandeered by Norm Harlan and his holier than thou harem of police, while sand and water belong to Avery Volpe and his uber buff beach boys, only a boardwalk delineating the two turfs.

Admix a beautiful blond hippie-chic from the Midwest, a back from the dead half-brained (literally) beast of an intellect, a drug dealer and his ever-stoned girlfriend with an ass to die for, a little girl with escapist skills to rival Houdini, surfer dudes waiting for the perfect wave and a drug lord or two.

To this motley crue add a 20-story hotel with only one occupant, a mob run nightclub and various complex, inter-wreathed relationships. Stir in promiscuity, imprecations and a boa constrictor with an affinity for female curves and then crown the entire, perfectly delicious confection with cherry on top upheaval. Finally, sprinkle liberally and with abandon, with a storm of the century and you have Elysiana, 1969.

And that’s just the appetizer.

Elysiana twists, turns, delights and provokes. Sensual, sexual, violent, ingenious, it demands constant attention from it’s reader, promising, and in the end, delivering a lip-smacking, discerning and intellectually caloric-laden read. Bravo Mr. Knopf, you gave me brain-wood.

Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between providing services to help empower and improve the lives of low-income residents.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Permanent Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.