❰PDF / Epub❯ ☃ Koko Author Peter Straub – Golanvideoagency.info
It has been at least a decade since I last tried to read this book, which I had attempted before on two previous occasions And I knew how far I had gotten each time, if not by some whiff of remembering then at least by the markers I had placed where I had stopped each time It was the pure principal of the thing that fuelled my surpassing both those afore laid markers, not the prose or the characters or the story If memory serves me correctly I bought this book based solely on my experience of reading The Talisman Having never read another Straub book I was none the less persuaded to give him, independent of King, a try It is a hard cover first edition that graces my shelves And I hate putting down a book before having turned the last page Having done so twice before did not make it any palatable I can assure you So why then Here we go The prose felt fractured I had a difficult time following it and understanding the meaning behind the words It is not like I need the author to hold my hand or explain every little thing, in fact that usually puts me off No this was like a giant jigsaw puzzle put together wrong, even though the pieces still seemed to fit as though the edges were malleable I found myself going back and rereading passages and not for pleasure, just trying to find a path.The characters, okay I am just going to say it They all felt alike to me Sure, there were four different Vietnam vets that reunited in Washington but to me they all read like different versions of the same man, each individually cloaked or tricked out in some other fashion, they all seemed like revenants of a common host.The story held great potential I thought I could see quite clearly how it might all play out Who knows maybe I did But in the end, at least my end if not Straub s I was not prepared to invest in another 400 plus pages to find out.Straub is a prolific writer, whom my comfort food King, chose to co author two books with This is most likely my failure and not the authors. KOKO Only Four Men Knew What It Meant Now They Must Stop It They Are Vietnam Vets A Doctor, A Lawyer, A Working Stiff, And A Writer Very Different From Each Other, They Are Nonetheless Linked By A Shared History And A Single Shattering Secret Now, They Have Been Reunited And Are About To Embark On A Quest That Will Take Them From Washington, DC To The Graveyards And Fleshpots Of The Far East To The Human Jungle Of New York, Hunting Someone From The Past Who Has Risen From The Darkness To Kill And Kill And Kill If you ve thought about reading Koko, then Be Like Mike and Just Do It Stephen King fans may appreciate this book, and know about the connection with his friend, Peter Straub These two guys are like bookends in the horror genre At times, they even have a similar way of writing But Koko is its own thing It s not like Straub s earlier book Ghost Story saw the movie have yet to read the book To me, that was horror Koko has horrific acts psychopathic killer, atrocities committed in war But mostly Koko is a mystery, a character study, and a weird psychedelic trip inside a killer s mind.Straub s plotting continuously alternates between the straightforward and the confusing I d like to think this is deliberate and that Straub is toying with the reader Otherwise, how could he manage to keep us interested and guessing throughout one 550 page book, let alone three Oh and if you didn t know like me , Koko is the first of three books in the Blue Rose trilogy So just let me say that I liked it If there s a problem, it s how the story meandered At times I became a little vexed Who are you Koko Four American veterans of the Vietnam War believe they know who he is and just where to find him Yeah, not so easy guys I realized at some point that I was the cat in this cat and mouse game with Straub continually pull the rug out from under me But I continued to guess That s half the fun of reading, so I m than willing to be the cat when the story is a decent one A thanks to my EC buddies This one took us awhile, but as always the group read experience makes for a better read. Tricksy ReviewWhere to start An uneasy read, this There is real madness to be found here A brooding, heady insanity Koko, the novel, is a disjointed, psychological, somewhat confusing affair Why then is it such a good read Well, because that is also the best way to describe half the characters in this piece of work There is certainly method to the madness here And Koko himself He s certainly a disturbed man and it rubs off.This book is not a quick read, it s everything but, and when I finished the last page I felt a bit drained The horror element in this book is almost exclusively psychological, and it wasn t quite as visceral an experience as I had imagined it would be, considering the subject matter Approaching Koko correctly is fundamental in enjoying it, I would think The book obviously contains some violence, the two main contributing factors being 1 the actions of the serial killer Koko and 2 flashbacks to events that occurred during the Vietnam War The story, however, concerns itself with a mystery who is Koko really and why is he doing what he is doing There is an underlying, pervading menace in this novel and perhaps that s why it was so hard to put down In an interview with Peter Straub, posted on Youtube, he states that Koko was his best writing experience It shows Only an author writing with great confidence could have pulled this one off It s a really creepy work on many, many different levels Four stars.Straub is sometimes so difficult to categorise it boggles the mind, but if something like psychological horror thriller mystery cult novel rings your bell, go for it Koko is the first in a trilogy of loosely connected novels, followed by Mystery and The Throat. the atmosphere of degradation, regret, self loathing, and impending doom was pervasive and absorbing the author shows a sure hand with characterization and a steady one with narrative the identity of the killer was unsurprising but well conceived and either as an extended metaphor for What We Did Wrong in Vietnam or as an ominous tract on the depths that some men can sink in their hunger for self destruction, Koko certainly succeeds. This is the epitome of mystery thriller writing, penned by a master of literary fiction at the height of his powers.Four men, bonded by the horrors of war, reunite to hunt one of their own, when a series of brutal killings a world away leads them back into their shared pasts, to face the specter that haunts them all..KOKO.A dense, complex book that showcases all of Straub s impressive skills as a wordsmith, disassembling and recreating the world around the reader, word by word, sentence by sentence, drawing you into a time and place that becomes your new reality, populated by characters that earn your empathy and apathy simply by being purely, imperfectly human.The first book in the epic Blue Rose trilogy, whether you choose to continue the journey or not, this is a must read for anyone who loves thought provoking, immersive fiction that lingers in your memory for the rest of your life.Highest possible recommendation Finally finished it Buddy Read with the awesome Koko is absolutely brilliant This book reads like a recollected nightmare and the twists and turns will leave you dizzy. This has got to be one of the best thrillers I ve ever read That might sound like a backhanded compliment, especially if you happen to know that I don t tend to read a lot of thrillers, but I don t mean it to be I m even tempted to call it the Moby Dick of thrillers it s long after all, tempestuous, a little dreamlike, it sometimes meanders, and it s about four men in the same boat even if not a literal one , chasing a dangerous and elusive figure from the past who may be a symbol of something, or just a man Koko begins in Washington, D.C in late 1982, where four Vietnam vets from the same regiment it seems like a stretch to call them friends have met up to see the Memorial for the first time I d say it was within the first ten pages or so when I started to get the sense that this novel might be much better than I d expected, and when I started to think of The Deer Hunter, another Vietnam story that takes the time to meander and allow us to experience the characters lives with them The main character, Mike Poole, walks around near the Monument before the others have arrived, just thinking Here was what was left of the warFor Poole, the actual country of Vietnam was now just another placemany thousands of miles distant, with an embattled history and an idiosyncratic and inaccessible culture Its history and culture had briefly, disastrously intersected ours But the actual country of Vietnam was not VietnamStraub empathetically captures Poole s alienation, his feeling even than ten years later that he s returned to a country that s never really understood what he s experienced, and in fact doesn t want to understand and that this has forever altered his sense of belonging to that country At any time he can mentally slip into a different country, not Vietnam but Vietnam, a place that only his fellow veterans have been Somehow, neither post war mythologizing nor congratulations from the Coca Cola company in his hotel lobby seem to offer much in the way of comfort or edification Was this what he d spent so much time wanting to get back to During his first surreal eighteen months back from Vietnam, Poole had been able to tell if a man had been in Vietnam just by the way he held his body His instincthad faded since then, but he knew he could not be mistaken about this group Hello, sir , said a clarion voice at his elbow.Poole looked down at a beaming young woman with a fanatical faceshe held a tray of glasses filled with black liquid Might I inquire, sir, if you are a veteran of the Vietnam conflict I was in Vietnam , Poole said The Coca Cola company joins the rest of America in thanking you personally for your efforts during the Vietnam conflict We wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to you, and to introduce you to our newest product, Diet Coke, in the hope that you will enjoy it and share your pleasure with your friends and fellow veterans Poole looked upward and saw that a long, brilliantly red bannerhad been suspended far above the lobby White lettering said The Coca Cola Corporation and Diet Coke Salute the Veterans of Vietnam He looked back down at the girl I guess I ll pass The aspect of the story that might sound reminiscent of a 90s cable miniseries is that the four of them have also come together to discuss a string of killings in southeast Asia the killer has been leaving their regiment s distinctive playing cards as his signature, and it would follow that he is someone they know, or knew No, than that like it or not, they share an intimacy with him I have a feeling that the ingenious serial killer with the occult signature is common in fiction than in reality but soon enough I was nodding along, won over by the uniquely foreboding and uncanny atmosphere, the sharp and economical dialogue, the inevitability that violence echoes over the course of years, as well as the feeling that Straub really had managed to channel these characters from his unconscious, getting their voices on paper and then carefully arranging them in a labyrinthine plot that always seems to be on the verge of splintering apart or capsizing like a lifeboat in a maelstrom As long as I m making out of left field associations, here s another one I re watched Vertigo last week, and it struck me that the atmosphere and the images especially that shadow in the bell tower at the very end, that moment of silence before the audience not to mention Kim Novak understands who or what it is are so powerful that they almost nullify the fact that there s a plausible explanation for everything that s taken place Koko has some of that same tension Yes, everything that happens in the novel can be explained or less rationally, but the uncanny atmosphere that Straub conjures is somehow convincing Throughout the first couple of hundred pages, you sense that something terrible is going to happen Or not exactly Rather, something terrible has happened, and is continuing to happen and so the dreamlike atmosphere of Koko is not arbitrary at all, but a reflection of the fact that the novel is really about trauma the way it distorts time and space, and becomes real in the mind than anything experienced before or after In his hotel in DC, still early on in the novel, Poole falls asleep, or half asleep, trying to read The Dead Zone by Stephen King, which was published in 1979 Before Michael could turn off his light, he was dripping with sweat, carrying his copy of The Dead Zone through an army base many times larger than Camp Crandall All around the camp, twenty or thirty kilometers beyond the barbed wire perimeter, stood hills once thickly covered by trees, now so perfectly bombed and burned and defoliated that only charred sticks protruded upwards from powdery brown earth He walked past a row of tents and at last heard the silence of the camp he was aloneHe trudged past the deserted building into a stretch of empty land and smelled burning shit The camp had been abandoned, and he had been left behindthen he knew that this was no dream, he really was in Vietnam the rest of his life was the dreamWait a second, he thought, if this is reality it s no later than 1969 He opened The Dead Zone to the page of publishing information Deep in his chest, his heart deflatedthe copyright date was 1965 He had never left Vietnam Everything since had been only a nineteen year old s wishful dream. As is the case when I finish other Peter Straub novels, I closed Koko last night, speechless, aware that I had been, at least on a tiny level, transformed As per usual with Straub, this book is an experience light beach reading it is not Straub deals in and with psychology, tethering it to literary elements like human psychology, his narratives and characters are puzzles that are not so easy to complete It is best for one to take his or her time when reading Straub, and to not get overwhelmed his output is not immediately personable, or friendly It requires work Because this novel is in part about PTSD, long stretches feel fantastical many times I was not sure if what I was reading was actually happening to the character, or not It is in this cloudy mania Straub dwells, and thrives Though not quite a horror novel this could be labeled a thriller, if anything , it does certainly contain horrific elements if in mood and style, and not so much subject matter Like the best of this author s work, this long novel repelled and intrigued me it is enjoyable because of the challenges the narrative poses I am glad I finally marked this off my TBR.