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Clippings by A.J. Mirag

I'm true, I approached this book a bit wary, since I couldn't believe possible to find true romance in a prison story setting. Don't get me wrong, I like prison story, one of my favorite movie is "The Shawshank Redemption" (and no, I was not imagining a slash story between Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman!), but I always found that they are quite angst stories, and usually one of the heroes, if not both, goes through some very nasty moments, that yes, serve him to be stronger, but well, I can't help to feel for him.

And so thinking to Daniel, young Brazilian student that is unfairly imprisened after a student protest, I was pretty sure that there weren't good perspective for him. But his fair looks and yes, probably also his well-bring behavior and innocence, arise the protective feelings in Mephisto, a drug dealer who behaves in prison like a maniac perfectionist: everything in his shank has to be in order and cleaned, and you have to behave according to the prison rules, official and unofficial, to survive. He welcomes Daniel in his shack as he would with an exotic bird, Paradise Bird: he nurturers and provides to him like Daniel is a fragile beautiful bird that will not survive in the dark and cold prison otherwise. Daniel is kept away from all the nasty things, and he is allowed to "sing" only for Mephisto's pleasure, and for a strict circle of friends.

Don't get me wrong, Mephisto is not a bad guy, he only wants to protect Daniel's innocence, and in a way, he wants for him to not loose that innocence since when Daniel will be out of prison (and Mephisto is sure that this will be happen), he has to look back to this experience as a passing nightmare, something he can't put behind his shoulder. Mephisto himself will have to be only a memory, and so at first, Mephisto is gentle and caring, but almost detached, he wants for Daniel to feel safe with him, but not to be involved in an emotional level.

And so Daniel's experience inside the prison has almost an easy feeling, at least for him. Daniel is frightened and sad, but truth be told, he didn't go through real "big" trouble, and Mephisto is always beside him. In this way the love relationship that blossoms between them seems easy and natural, and probably a consequence of the situation, but not for that less sweet or romantic. Daniel falls in hell, but a fallen angel soothes Daniel's fall and allows him to not loose his wings so he can fly back to paradise.

http://www.lulu.com/content/4089994

Amazon: Clippings

Reading List:

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
a_j_mirag
Mar. 17th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
What I most like in your review is this imagery:

He welcomes Daniel in his shack as he would with an exotic bird, Paradise Bird: he nurturers and provides to him like Daniel is a fragile beautiful bird that will not survive in the dark and cold prison otherwise. Daniel is kept away from all the nasty things, and he is allowed to "sing" only for Mephisto's pleasure, and for a strict circle of friends.

The "Paradise Bird" theme is strong and interesting, and it pervades your review until the very end:

Daniel falls in hell, but a fallen angel soothes Daniel's fall and allows him to not loose his wings so he can fly back to paradise.

This idea that Mephisto was keeping Daniel to himself, as a caged bird... I haven't thought of it that way, you know? But it's true. That's the other side of his protectiveness, isn't it? And the fact that, in the end, Mephisto "let" Daniel go, becomes even more meaningful if you see it this way. How is it that they say? "If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours" :-)

This is, indeed, an interesting, many layered review. Thanks! And thanks for posting it on Amazon, too.
elisa_rolle
Mar. 17th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
Thank to you. And you add a thing more to the metafora, it's true that if you let a bird fly and he comes back, it means that he loves you more than his freedom. Elisa
imkalena
Mar. 18th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
What a great review! I really enjoyed reading it!
elisa_rolle
Mar. 18th, 2009 07:56 am (UTC)
It was lighter than expected and for it is better, I'm a romantic at heart. Elisa
mightymaeve
Mar. 19th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
Wow! This sounds right up my alley: The discussion of the 'light' and 'dark' psychology of humanity expressed through m/m fiction is always fascinating to me!

The prison fiction that I have read (Under Grand Hotel - a manga by Sadahiro-sensei and the series so far of Life Prison by Dusk Peterson) have really started and raging fire in me for this setting and a depth of character and mature, explicit, meaningful stories. I like it when nobody is really 'wrong' or 'right,' 'good' or 'bad:' They are all just human.

Yay! I'm off to Lulu to do up A.J. Mirag's piece.
elisa_rolle
Mar. 19th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
I read "Under Grand Hotel" and also "Life Prison" and I had both in mind when starting this one. This is more near the atmosphere of "Under Grand Hotel", even if more light. BTW "Under Grand Hotel" was by one of my favorite mangaka.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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