Official Review: Confessions of a MANAHOLIC by P. Pierre

Use this section to discuss drama books and poetry books. Drama includes plays but not novels. This includes work by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Miller etc. Poetry anthologies can also go here.
User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 944
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 180
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: Winslow Homer from Poetry to Fiction by Reilly Rhodes
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Official Review: Confessions of a MANAHOLIC by P. Pierre

Post by cristinaro » 26 Oct 2018, 12:06

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Confessions of a MANAHOLIC" by P. Pierre.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Confessions of a Manaholic by P.Pierre is a short collection of poetry written in the free verse style and lyrically evoking the ravishing effects of love turned into obsession and addiction. The poet has chosen more of a prose-like structure for her collection which is symmetrically organized into nine parts of 2 or 3 poems each. A woman’s voice gives free rein to her emotions and feelings for a man whose presence she either desperately craves for or violently rejects. Every part is preceded by a few lines in italics projecting the woman’s all-absorbing dependence on her beloved.

As a reader, I felt challenged to go beyond the first level of understanding of the poems in this collection. Depending on the way you look at them, there are different layers of meaning. What at first sight seems like the description of an ordinary love affair becomes the story of a woman trapped into the virtual world of her self-consuming passionate imagination. Part I, In the beginning, everything is simple…, includes only one poem, S.A.W. I may be wrong, but, considering the title of the collection, I decoded the abbreviation as referring to Sexually Aggressive Women. The first line (“What I want is you”) is indeed a strong opening statement revealing pure desire and determination. The entire poem is built on the contrast between the lack of knowledge about the identity of the man she wants and the strong feelings she has for him: “I know nothing about being with you, or even if you/ would want to share a view/ But I want you.” The obsessive repetition of the adversative coordinating conjunction “but” (7 times) reflects the woman’s confusion and conflicting thoughts: “But in a perfect world, everything will go my way/ But I once wrote, I lost two men in one day.” Her greatest fear is to get emotionally involved or committed to a single man: “I could love you for a long time/ But the first time I left you, broke us apart/ And I can’t bring myself to be with you only just to/ break your heart again.”

Part II, And then my mind goes on a trip, relies on the need to possess and be possessed: “You are mine now and in the future” versus “Every day you invade my thoughts/ Every night you enchant my flaws.” The poem Justin is not necessarily about a man by this name; in fact, she dreams of an ideal man springing out of her wild imagination and satisfying her deepest desires: “He’s the Christian Grey to my dreams/ Let’s call him Xavier Black or Anthony Supreme/ Hell, he’s just My Crack.” The lines of this poem acquire the erotic tonality of Fifty Shades of Grey and the urban vocabulary acts as a reinforcement of the kind of pleasure probably induced by cocaine. In both the poems Karma and For You, I sensed a hidden irony characteristic of the postmodern lyrical discourse which deconstructs the whole idea of perfect love as well as the traditional roles ascribed to men and women. The intertextual references to the happy ending fairy tales, Greek mythology and even Shakespeare’s plays are used to constantly negate her false pretences and promises to be faithful and submissive: “Not quite Helen of Troy, but the Othello to this kinship.” Moreover, the postmodernist dimension of the poems is also visible at a graphic level, hence the use of defragmentation (“I. Will. Love. You” or “My Destiny. Is. With. You.”).

If part III, Isn’t love Grand?, is an euphoric eulogy of love in all its forms and manifestations, parts IV (Are we going too fast?) and V (Back to normal?) express her wish to maintain her individuality and independence. Although meditating on both the tragic and divine nature of love, the lyrical voice cannot fully accept the strings of unconditional love: “I cannot be tasked with the consequences of the heart,/ Which I am not equipped to protect.” The use of alliteration enhances her fear of failure and disappointment (“Premature promises promote plagiarism of proliferating pacts” or “Before I self-destruct and sabotage this and what we may have”). There are poems like December or Balance in which her search for her own identity takes the shape of a feminist revolt against patriarchal stereotypes: “You treated me like a woman and never acted brand new/ But I still believe I deserve more than you.” Finally, part VI, Then it all just stopped, looks like a harsh reality check whereas part VII, Party of one, part VIII, He didn’t take away my inspiration and part IX, Building, reiterate the same oscillation between her insecurity and fear of loneliness, on the one hand, and the imperative of learning to live for herself, on the other hand. By no coincidence, the last poem is called Circle as it alludes to the cyclical repetition of the love-pain movement.

I mainly appreciate the poet’s ambitious intentions of exploring the darker side of a woman’s love bordering on physical and mental addiction to one or more men. Even if I enjoyed reading most of the poems, there were a few instances when the lyrical voice became too syrupy and sentimental or when there was such a contradictory display of feelings that I felt lost and confused. For these reasons, I am rating this book 3 out of 4 stars. In my view, P. Pierre could consider adding more poems to each of the distinct parts and give the entire collection more unity and cohesion. I am recommending these poems to all those who like reading love poetry with a twist. In as much as it gives you wings, love can also break you to pieces. The poet challenges us to reassess our definition of love and the thin line between love and fixation.

******
Confessions of a MANAHOLIC
View: on Bookshelves

Like cristinaro's review? Post a comment saying so!
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 1229
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 43
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: The Kings' Assassin by Ed Cannon

Post by gen_g » 26 Oct 2018, 23:53

I'm glad that you enjoyed this collection! When you say that it challenges us to reassess our definition of love, it sort of reminds me of Barthes's discourse on love – are they perhaps similar? Thanks for the review!

User avatar
T_stone
Posts: 314
Joined: 17 Sep 2018, 22:08
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 20
Currently Reading: Of Illusions and Ink Spills
Bookshelf Size: 66
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-t-stone.html
Latest Review: Pastoring is not what you think by Elijah Oladimeji
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by T_stone » 27 Oct 2018, 02:43

It's good to know you ended up enjoying this book after finding confusing at some point; thereby, giving a very detailed review.
Feeling upset sometimes may be unavoidable, but acting distressed is always optional.

Rob White

User avatar
ejura moses
Posts: 39
Joined: 21 Sep 2018, 06:37
2018 Reading Goal: 50
Currently Reading: who told you that you were naked
Bookshelf Size: 5

Post by ejura moses » 27 Oct 2018, 03:28

I really see you enjoyed reading the book it seems to be amazing

User avatar
fredrick otieno
Posts: 176
Joined: 13 Aug 2017, 16:19
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 6
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 13
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-fredrick-otieno.html
Latest Review: The Traveler's Best Seller by Rick Incorvia

Post by fredrick otieno » 27 Oct 2018, 08:12

Being in love can be so confusing. One should always reexamine self before falling in love. I think i would enjoy the poems in this book.

User avatar
Georgia Lyonhyde
Posts: 173
Joined: 05 Jul 2018, 15:17
Currently Reading: A Tale For The Time Being
Bookshelf Size: 86
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-georgia-lyonhyde.html
Latest Review: Prayer is Good: A Path from Grief to Peace by Brette Petway

Post by Georgia Lyonhyde » 27 Oct 2018, 09:50

This is a wonderful review and I commend you for delving beneath the surface to find hidden meanings between the lines.

Love poems with a twist... interesting, especially given the virtual world element you perceive.
You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.
–Paul Sweeney :tiphat:

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 944
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 180
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: Winslow Homer from Poetry to Fiction by Reilly Rhodes
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 28 Oct 2018, 12:56

gen_g wrote:
26 Oct 2018, 23:53
I'm glad that you enjoyed this collection! When you say that it challenges us to reassess our definition of love, it sort of reminds me of Barthes's discourse on love – are they perhaps similar? Thanks for the review!
That's a great idea! It didn't cross my mind, but when I think of it, you may be right. Considering the relationship between love and language, the lyrical voice in this collection does invite us to see love in a different light. It has a lot to do with the delusive nature of our desires and their linguistic projection. Thanks for your comment!
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 944
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 180
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: Winslow Homer from Poetry to Fiction by Reilly Rhodes
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 28 Oct 2018, 12:58

T_stone wrote:
27 Oct 2018, 02:43
It's good to know you ended up enjoying this book after finding confusing at some point; thereby, giving a very detailed review.
After all, love is always confusing at one point or another, isn't it? :) The poet did nothing else but enhance this idea. For me, it was a challenge to read and re-read the poems and try to understand them better.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 944
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 180
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: Winslow Homer from Poetry to Fiction by Reilly Rhodes
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 28 Oct 2018, 13:05

ejura moses wrote:
27 Oct 2018, 03:28
I really see you enjoyed reading the book it seems to be amazing
There are definitely poems in this collection that made me stop and reflect on the way we perceive love and the way it affects us and our behavior.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 944
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 180
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: Winslow Homer from Poetry to Fiction by Reilly Rhodes
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 28 Oct 2018, 13:10

fredrick otieno wrote:
27 Oct 2018, 08:12
Being in love can be so confusing. One should always reexamine self before falling in love. I think i would enjoy the poems in this book.
I have to agree with you. This is perhaps the reason why I have enjoyed the poet's courage to deal with controversial emotions and feelings.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

User avatar
cristinaro
Posts: 944
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 03:51
Favorite Book: The Magic Mountain
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 180
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cristinaro.html
Latest Review: Winslow Homer from Poetry to Fiction by Reilly Rhodes
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by cristinaro » 28 Oct 2018, 13:12

Georgia Lyonhyde wrote:
27 Oct 2018, 09:50
This is a wonderful review and I commend you for delving beneath the surface to find hidden meanings between the lines.

Love poems with a twist... interesting, especially given the virtual world element you perceive.
Thank you. I always think a literary text is more fascinating when it could be decoded at various levels.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 1229
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 43
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: The Kings' Assassin by Ed Cannon

Post by gen_g » 28 Oct 2018, 23:33

cristinaro wrote:
28 Oct 2018, 12:56
gen_g wrote:
26 Oct 2018, 23:53
I'm glad that you enjoyed this collection! When you say that it challenges us to reassess our definition of love, it sort of reminds me of Barthes's discourse on love – are they perhaps similar? Thanks for the review!
That's a great idea! It didn't cross my mind, but when I think of it, you may be right. Considering the relationship between love and language, the lyrical voice in this collection does invite us to see love in a different light. It has a lot to do with the delusive nature of our desires and their linguistic projection. Thanks for your comment!
That's fascinating! I have always found that the topic of the directionality of love is an interesting one, so I'm definitely intrigued by this collection. I'll have to pick up this copy soon. Thanks for the explanation, I do appreciate it! Do let me know what you think of mine too. (:

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6097
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 83
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 224
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: It's Just a Matter of Balance by Kevin S. Garrison

Post by kandscreeley » 29 Oct 2018, 09:12

Free verse or not, I just can't get into poetry. I never have been able to. I should probably try to expand my mind and just do it, but I haven't been able to make myself yet. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, and the subject is a powerful one. It's just not one I'm going to pick up, though.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

writer808
Posts: 87
Joined: 12 Oct 2018, 08:50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-writer808.html
Latest Review: The Chest of Visions by Tim Ferguson

Post by writer808 » 29 Oct 2018, 10:57

Great review.

User avatar
Franc93
Posts: 107
Joined: 05 Oct 2018, 02:23
2018 Reading Goal: 20
Currently Reading: Demon
Bookshelf Size: 102
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-franc93.html
Latest Review: Yesterday by Samyann

Post by Franc93 » 12 Nov 2018, 10:25

What really attracted me to this book in the first place was the artwork which i found splendid and the 'odd' title. The way the author uses different writing styles and words that the reader can relate too is also a lovely aspect. One question i have is can you confidently say that there is a dark side to love? Love is the most purest emotion ever. When it becomes 'dark' then it ceases to be love. Loved your review though without an iota of darkness :lol2:
"Are you going to sit there and feel sorry for yourself, or are you going to reshuffle those cards life dealt you."- Stick
Latest Review: Yesterday by Samyann

Post Reply

Return to “Drama and Poetry Books”