Burning Down Paradise
Eric Kapitan
February 14, 2017
Reviewed By Brian James Lewis

Okay, I know that I was supposed to review a few other titles before this one, but damn it, Eric
Kapitan’s new book stole my attention! All I did was peek inside the envelope to make sure it had arrived in healthy condition, when suddenly the book attacked and welded itself to my hand! Once I realized that it was horror poetry, I was unable to do anything else until I read the whole thing. Twice.

Honestly, I’m glad because Burning Down Paradise is a great representation of Horror Poetry and using a book of it to write a novel is tres cool. Unlike a lot of poetry that people try to cram into this genre of writing, Kapitan’s is right on the money and easily understood. You won’t encounter made up words or a lot of extreme rhyming. This is reading for real people with smooth flow that connects everything nicely. No dictionary required! Kapitan keeps you turning pages and not scratching your head. Bravo!

Before continuing, I just want to let those folks who are offended by graphic violence and sex know that this might not be their cup of tea. So if that’s the case, please try a different title instead of giving this man a hard time for what he does. These elements are required parts of the story. We need to see the depravity that conveys the evil so we can watch its path through the book. Turns out that evil forced into a teenaged girl multiplies as it is transferred to her child and keeps getting bigger and stronger as he grows up. Eventually the man is gone but the evil remains like Kapitan writes in the prologue. After death the new creature in Hell is so evil he takes on Lucifer himself with surprising results. I like it!

Maybe some of you are asking, “Why tell a story with poems when he could just write a regular novel with prose?” The answer is impact and power. Kapitan wants to drive those images into your head without watering them down with a lot of extra words. Think of it as the difference between a shot of good whiskey versus a big glass of cheap beer. Sure they’ll both get you there, but poetry is going to do it faster with some extra kick. Small but mighty!

Would I recommend Burning Down Paradise to my review readers? YES! Most definitely I do.

This book has some serious horns! A lot happens in forty pages. From theological concepts to the gross cruelty of human behavior, Kapitan has a lot to show us. Including the fact that not all evil comes from people who are white trash from trailer parks. The big government system of schools and correctional facilities is not any less to blame. People either get lost in the shuffle or are forced to follow rules and meet expectations that they can’t.

I think that we are going to be seeing more and more interest in horror poetry and short stories these days because people are in a hurry and they want to be entertained now. If that is true, then Eric Kapitan is right on the cutting edge.

About Brian James Lewis

Brian James Lewis is a published poet and writer who enjoys reviewing speculative fiction and dark poetry. With all the great emerging writers, magazines, and presses, it is exciting to be part of this growing community! Word of mouth and keyboard is more important than it’s ever been, because readers want to know about books before they buy. It makes Brian feel great to see writers he’s reviewed become successful and their work go on to win awards! Whatever happens, he’s always glad to offer encouragement and increase visibility of writers who trust him with their work. You can catch up with Brian on Twitter @skullsnflames76 or on his WordPress blog damagedskullwriterandreviewer.com

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