Cover Image: Can You Sign My Tentacle?

Can You Sign My Tentacle?

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Member Reviews

I have enjoyed O’Brien’s poetry, where it has appeared online in the past and was excited to see that he had put together a collection. And published by one of the best independent poetry and fiction presses (Intersellar Flight Press, Editor in chief Holly Walrath) that exist today.  His poetry is vibrant and shimmering, at turns formal and others colloquial. This collection is no exception. 

That said, I am too dense or not knowledgeable enough to understand many of these poems. They are meant to subvert the Lovecraftian tropes and claim them for himself and other BIPOC writers whom Lovecraft himself did not respect. I don’t get many of the references to personalities mentioned and I’m not broadly versed in lovecraftian lore (but also not completely clueless). But that is not Brandon’s fault nor his concern. I wish I did understand better, but I’m sure there are many to whom these poems speak more directly. 

So in order to rate it more fairly I found a list of criteria of poetical elements and include my results below. That is what my star rating is based on. Of course, it’s still to be taken with a grain of salt, even though I tried to remain objective in the elements. 

(1) BEAUTY, POWER, EDUCATION, or ENTERTAINMENT 9/10
(2) MESSAGE & INTEREST 10/10
(3) TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE 8/10
(4) RHYME andor METER 8/10
(5) ASSONANCE and ALLITERATION 8/10
(6) FORM & FLOW 7/10
(7) CHOICE OF WORDS & READABILITY 8/10
(8) OVERALL IMPACT 9/10
(9) ORIGINALITY 10/10
(10) POLISH & EXPERTISE 8/10

85/100 = 8.5 points = 4.25 stars
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There is no real other way to say this except to be honest- this is really weird. 

I love how weird it is. 

This collection of lyrical creations dots in and out of lovecraftish stories and monsters and relates them to human experiences. 

Don't go into this with any pre-conceived ideas. Just let them relate to you in their own way!
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I would like to thank Interstellar Flight Press, Netgalley and the author for this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

To be honest, I finished this book 3 months and half ago, so I don't remember this very well. But I remember that it covers some serious topics like racism, sexism, and violence, as the synopsis says.
There were a few poems which I enjoyed, but other than that, the book was just an okay read.

2 stars.
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Ultimately, I did enjoy reading this collection of poems. I thought the language was varied and the author had a clear artistic style to his writing. Despite this, I struggling with the meaning of some of the poems and felt that it just wasn't to my personal preference although the writing was excellent.
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This was a really unique book, I don't always love poetry but I found this one interesting and thought provoking. Will definitely have to give it a second read through in order to fully take in what it is saying.
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Lovecraftian horror, hip hop, and mediations on celebrity make for strange bedfellows, but O'Brien makes it work. It's a really interesting conceit to have cosmic horrors struck giddy with encounters with famous rappers. There is a lot to unpack here, especially in the poems not dealing with celebrity, but still dealing with the sometimes uncomfortable interstation of fantasy/SF and how race affects lives in our current society.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Brandon O'Brien 

An amazing and confusing poems, I.e. when i started reading i did not understand until i was on page 32 or 34 i did not remember what page but it was amazing. Moreover pages are skipped and that made me feel unfocused.

4.5
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Potentially a great read for super fans of Lovecraftian fiction but for a more casual fan it felt a little difficult to get into as many of the references were beyond me. Nevertheless this is a skilful and original poetry collection.
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amazing horror/poetry book, felt lost with a few lines and had no idea what they were talking about. i love horror and i love poetry, i just felt like this didn’t work well for me.  what intrigued me about this book was the cover, it was gorgeous! loved the simplicity of it.
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This book definitely has its audience but it is not for me. While I like horror and occasionally enjoy poetry this mix of the two was not for me. The writing was not something I enjoyed either. The art was pretty though.
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In this short poetry collection, Brandon O' Brien combines horror and pop culture references to talk about real life monsters, such as racism, sexism and homophobia.

This, unfortunately, was a big miss for me.

As a person who is passionate about speaking against the issues O' Brien tackles with his collection, I expected more from this. But in my opinion, this failed in all the ways it was supposed to succeed.

First of all, I didn't really get most of the horror and pop references that were used in this. So the bigger parts of the poems fell completelly flat for me.

And secondly, I didn't enjoy or sometimes even get the writing and the metaphors.
I know how most people say that poetry is something deep and how it is supposed to make you feel things etc etc, but I am just gonna say that, at some point, we have to move on past the "poetry is putting pretty words one after another" way of thinking. Because it is both pretentious and leads to poems that do not make any sense.

If you want to read poetry that tackles things such as racism, homophobia, sexism etc, that also uses pop references, may I suggest Dear Azula, I have a crush on Danny Phantom and Turning to wallpaper which, despite themselves not being perfect, landed the mark better than this one.
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This book was okay but I had to dnf it as I just wasn’t for me, I could really keep with the story and was confused most of the time. I would recommend it to others as even though it wasn’t for me it could be for someone else. I got 25% in and just couldn’t continue. But I did like the poetry style of writing.
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I took more time than I should to finally start writing this review so I do admit that the book is not that clear in my head anymore, but there are some things that I could not forget about this great reading:

O'brien has the ability to get the reader's full attention, to crave more and more of his beautiful writing. I love the way that he mixes many different things in just one poem and makes it work so well, he can make you feel so much with so little and I do believe that more people should be reading his words. My personal favorite is "Commit", that one really spoke to me and now it has a special place in my heart. 
I was expecting a bit more horror in the book so I had different expectations for it and that may have affected my enjoyment of the reading, but it doesn't change how good this book was.
Thank you Netgalley, the author and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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2/5 I like the artwork but couldn't finish it and that's what I get for picking this up solely on the fact that the cover is beautiful and it was a poetry book. I'm also not the biggest fan of horror but this would definitely be up horror fanatics alley!
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for the advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

One of the most original and imaginative works of poetry I've read. Each poem is written in the way of a chaotic but fascinating story. If you're a fan of / familiar with H. P. Lovecraft's work, this collection is your cup of tea and will definitely be interesting for you. Otherwise, not knowing about the references may decrease the joy you're getting from reading this collection. In any case, with its strong style, Brandon O'Brien, sometimes by humoring and other times by grabbing and shaking his reader, offers a great poetry experience.
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Unfortunately, I think this poetry was just not my style. That's not to say that I do not think it is a good book, I just do not think this is the book for me. I think that a lot of people would enjoy this read, it just was not formatted in a way that was enjoyable to me. That being said I would still love to give this book a second chance some day, I just think as of right now I personally did not mesh with it. However I still would be likely to recommend this book to others if I knew they were looking for this style of poetry.
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I haven't read a lot of poetry but the cover of this book pulled me in. It is gorgeous!
I was confused by a lot of the poems but the others felt like a work of art. 
I really liked the vivid descriptions and the gore. 

Thank you to netgalley for providing me with this copy.
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Like many people, the cover drew me in, but after reading the synopsis and seeing the themes and what was to be discussed in this collection, I was even more intrigued.

Although there were some really beautiful and thought provoking pieces included in this, the majority of what I was reading didn't make sense to be and seemed like a lot of random sentences and structure.

This may just be a me problem. I'm still very green to the world of poetry, let alone speculative poetry (which I think this was my first dip into), so I was just incredibly lost.

I really appreciated what the author had to say in the Author's Note. It gave me more understanding on what he wanted to achieve and had it all been more like that, essay form (I understand I'm asking for something completely different) I probably would have gobbled it up more so than I did with this.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'm the intended audience to fully appreciate it.
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this review can be seen in my goodread page. 


Before I started my review, I would like to thank the publisher of this book, or Netgalley for providing an e-ARC of this book.

This book wasn't my cup of tea. I signed up for getting this book ARC copy because I thought this was a contemporary book, since both the cover and the title were cute. But yeah, turnsout this was a poem collection, so try to read it, and try to understand the prose.

However, I couldn't understand some of the poems, until I read the author's note. Maybe I should signed up for poem reading class (since I was not a native speaker, now, if you read this review, you know why). And also, I couldn't feel the suspense nor the horroric atmosphere described in this book.

I really appreciate the poet's prose. It was beautiful and cute.

And, for a non-native speaker of english, I learned a lot from this book. It increase my vocabulary knowledge.

Alright then, but seriously I don't know how to end this review. But thanks for reading, and I hope it's useful for the poet to grow a lot more better.

Bye!
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For me this book was all about being in the right mindset while reading it. 
The first time I picked this up, this was really just some words on the page. Which made me sad because Lovecraftian things are often my jam.

I thankfully came back to try and read it again, 
This time I found so much more enjoyment in this, and it felt like walking into the pages of a familiar book,
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