Liam Butler

Liam Butler was born nowhere, and has accomplished nothing. Truly, his life is but a ripple on the pond of inadequacy.

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Buffy: The Therapy Years

First and foremost, the thing that should be most notable about this novel is the sheer amount of professionalism it contains. Both the form, flow and style of the prose, as well as the fact that it is plain to see that the author has done the whole classes' homework on the subject of psychotherapy, this work bleeds the aforementioned professionalism like blood from and jugular.

That being said, the show here is stolen by the premise. The complex, interpersonal relationship between a client and their therapist is already rife with opportunities for tension and emotion, but throw the spanner of vampirism into the works and things get a whole lot more tantalising. Honestly, this is the part of the review where I start over-using the word "tension" because it is delightfully palpable throughout. If you've ever found yourself in either chair of a therapists office, you have some idea of what you're in for. The tale is a constant barrage of inner conflict; Both main characters fighting to be both emotionally open and available, and closed off and suspicious of a supposed enemy, a vampire hunter seeing a vampire shrink is both a wonderful metaphor, as well as a powerfully "tense" (told you) atmosphere.

Throughout my reading experience, I found my emotional allegiance shift constantly and, as a man with some history spent on a therapist's couch, much of the work hit me in such a relatable way that I wasn't sure if I should embrace it or flee it. If there is any kind of bad thing to say, it is that some of the exposition here and there comes across somewhat forced. However, as this is likely a tool to keep the flow going strong (you WILL breeze through this book and not even notice), it is certainly forgivable and perhaps even a blessing in disguise.

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Overall Rating
Plot
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A harsh look at one's own self

I am Liam Butler, and I wrote this novel. If that sounds like an AA admission, that's because it sure feels like one. It is traditional for a writer to hate his own work, it is almost a rite of passage to destroy one's own work in a drunken rage for the first time. Perhaps it's the public availability, maybe this is actually the worst thing put to page by a human, but I fucking hate this book. Don't get me wrong, I adore every part of it and stand by every idea I put into it. I failed it, it did not fail me.

Let's get this out of the way; The posted prose are trash. I can barely spell and punctuate, you would think the least I could do would be to proof read well. That was apparently not the case. The worst offender is chapter 1. Chapter. Fucking. 1. The first thing people will see as they open this drivel, and I didn't even have the decency to spell that drivel correctly. Oh, and never use spell check, kids. If you're a lazy bastard like I am, you can end up butchering perfectly normal words and phrases.

The story makes sense in my head. It really does. However, it is cobbled together here as long sequences of exposition and short toilet breaks of shrugging. That is, regarding the mystery. The mystery was always secondary in my mind, taking a bavk seat to the emotional journey of Jamie and Katie putting aside their differences for the one thing they cared about above all else; Charlie Carmine, and ultimately, Jamie's acceptance of who he is. It should come as no great surprise that Jamie is me. BPD and all. I don't drink as much as him (as much as I'd like to), nor do I live in the same squaler (again, as much as I'd like to) but, I am basically Jamie Heath. I am also Katie. At least, Katie is a part of me. The part of my brain that shrieks at and berates me for not being good enough. It should be noted that I have never actually harboured any resentment towards a friend's partner. I have, however, seen that shit happen, and it can tear people apart. It seemed fitting to steal that and make it more than just a conflict between a cunt and his conscience. However, I have seemingly zero grasp on tone. This emotional plot is sub-par and best and broken up by my sad attempts at humour. Seriously, I wrote this as a comedy, and it's more like a parody of something that doesn't even exist yet.

[SPOILER TERRITORY]
I adore the characters of Hairy7 and Mel, however their existence is one of lazy exposition buckets. Wage Slave is another "funny" character, who ends up dissapointing and contrived. The only character in the whole thing who lives up to his potential is Charlie, who was purposefully designed to be completely passive. A character of bark, not bite. The idea seemed funny to me at the time. On paper, it is practically an underline on the point of "this books sucks".

I wasted 3 months on this. I shared it on facebook. This is a public embaressment. I hate this book. I hate myself. I can't tell if that's fitting or tragic. The only brightside is that, due to me mental deficiency, maybe I'm being too hard on it. However, I shall never be able to believe anyone who says anything reasonably nice about it and will categorise any such comments as pity. I am my own double edged sword. Dude, I'm a mess, so is my book, you should read it. For the world to know how much talent I lack is precisely what I deserve. Self- pity, over. Self-destruction, just begun.

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