Cover Image: Can You Sign My Tentacle?

Can You Sign My Tentacle?

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Member Reviews

The way of Brandon subverts some cosmic horror concepts is a magnificent thing. Making supernatural creatures looking for a autograph of some black celebrities, tensioning the concept of utopia and describing the urban mechanisms even thinking about death makes this book a wonderful lecture.
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This review is based on NetGalley ARC provided in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher!

This poetry collection was everything that I didn’t know I needed. Part Lovecraftian horror, part hip-hop, and part social reform, ‘Can You Sign My Tentacle?’ is a ride, and one that you won’t soon forget. It felt like a fever dream wrapped up in a poetry collection, and I mean that in the best way possible. The way that it not only manages to do exactly what it says on the tin, but also cover important social issues is spectacular. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.
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I really enjoyed this poetry. While at times I didn't quite understand what was going on - thats ok. This book wasn't made for me as white reader, but I was able to empathize and understand the author and his heart pouring out onto the pages. I will say, the first section, with Donald Glover, was the section that clicked for me. I loved the intertwining of all things Childish Gambino, Donald Glover, and the character's he's played on screen. 

Really great book of horror poems, eye opening and relevant pop culture and social impacts mentioned. It was tough to read at times, and other moments left me nodding along.
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This is a really interesting collection, almost like a series of mini-collections spliced together. There's a series of poems wherein entities of the Cthulhu Mythos interact with famous Black musicians; a series of "Lovecraft Theses," wherein the author speaks to Lovecraft; a series about building Utopia and how damn dystopic Utopia is; and a smattering of other poems about colonization, chattel slavery, and Blackness.

My favorites were, I think, "Birth, Place," "Kanye West's Internet Bodyguard Asks Hastur to Put Away the Phone," "tar baby," and "drop some amens." But every poem in this collection is doing something interesting, and almost every one has at least a couple of phrases that made me go back and reread and think. I loved lines like "light takes its own life before it can be food," "violence makes good background noise / for anything," "know that my landlords are / greater than yours."

I think that inverting the Lovecraft mythos to confront and deal with its own racism is a natural thing to do. I've seen this done plenty of times in prose (see: the works of Victor LaValle and Matt Ruff, both of which O'Brien mentions in his Author's Note), but never before in poetry, and O'Brien does it very cleverly here, mixing themes and imagery in a way that poetry lends itself to. O'Brien's Author's Note is also really key, contextualizing the poems and providing a kind of critical and emotional lens through which to view them.

I'd recommend this book of poems, and I'll probably find myself rereading a few of them later on.

I received an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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a lot of these poems felt like the author simply mashed a bunch of words together and hoped that you'd derive meaning from it. the book feels more like a collection of word clouds than anything else. in the first poem alone, i found myself searching every other phrase in case it was a reference to something that i didn't understand. 

however, i enjoyed parts of some of the less-oblique poems, such as "the repossession of skin."

<i>someone has to sleep and wake in that skin.
you're just sweating and masturbating in it.</i>

this book is only 75 pages in total, but it felt so slow and difficult to read. i would send this entire book to an editor for feedback and changes, and i would not recommend it to any reader, as is.

*i received an advance-reader-copy from the publisher, for free, in exchange for an honest review.*
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Ok how can I express my feelings about Can You Sign My Tentacle? As standalone poems I actually really enjoyed quite a number of them. The themes explored within the poems are current, relevant and relatable. I can understand the author relating to the theme of horror - and actually the themes of racism, sexism etc are in themselves horror without the 'horror elements' as metaphor. I found that I couldn't read the book in order so in that sense it was different to other verse novels which have been popular with 'non poetry reading' audiences. I'm not sure if that was because I wasn't gripped by the novel as a complete story, or if I was seeking out verses that I could ponder over a little more deeply. I would definitely like to read more from the author - probably without horror metaphor though.
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4 stars.
This is a strange one for me, I've tried poetry books in the past and I haven't been able to truly relate or feel very much from them.
But this, it hit differently. It was beautifully written and definitely gave me creepy and unsettling vibes, like I was watching something in a fever dream-like fashion.
It covers topics of racism among other things.

One of my favourites was "time, and time again" I actually teared up. I also really enjoyed the autograph poems. The cover is also very beautiful!
Reading the author's notes gave me so much insight too.
Thank you, NetGalley for early access to this beautiful collection!
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A unique alignment of verse and imagination that represents new worlds that are reflective of our times. As a poetry and science fiction fan, I was intrigued by this title.
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i did not understand one thing i just read. i told myself "that's it mate, fuck this" and DNFed at 24% in it. i LOVE horror and when i saw the synopsis of this book saying it's a horror in poetry form, i had to try it. unfortunately, it didn't work out for me AT ALL. i don't really understand the normal poetry sometimes, never mind a horror which just doesn't make sense to me. i read this and my mind was like "wtf did i just read" at all times. literally every poem that i read. it's a BIG no no for me and i definitely do not recommend this even if u're a horror fanatic lol
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4/5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley for providing this e-arc!

It was a fun quick, yet slow, read! Not too attached but I wouldn't mind reading more poems that are similar
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I'm not usually a poetry person, but this one drew my attention with its cover and title.
Some of the poems definitely went over my head, but even I could recognize their themes of lovecraftian horror and such creatures' view on racism, sexism and more. I found them fascinating even as I didn't always get them, and when I did get them I liked them.
The poems always flowed well and were fitting in their different formats. Some were connected, and I liked the reoccuring themes and topics, making the collections of poems an overall experience rather than just a bunch of singular entities.
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this was...... not my thing. at all. 

listen, i like horror as much as the next person, but in poetry form? that's harder to pull off in my opinion. a full length novel has more of a chance to build suspense and create an atmosphere. a poem has to do that much more quickly. and here, it didn't pull it off. i didn't feel like i was reading a horror collection of poems, i just felt like i was reading something boring that didn't make much sense.
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Like the name suggests this is not your normal book of poems. I think that they were good. I don’t normally read or understand poetry but, I felt that these poems were good. I feel like I would read more from this author.
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This was a good and fast read. I enjoyed it all and would buy the hardcopy when it comes out. The cover art drew me in and I must say I was not disappointed. I love the writing style as well.
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NetGalley ARC Educator 550974

Titillating poetry, confounds the mind and engages the senses. True LoveCraft style. Might confuse you, will lure you in and you'll want more.
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The illustration is what caught my eye at first. I know you should not judge a book by its cover but the illustration was eye-catching. Can You Sign My Tentacle? Is really in a genre all its own. It is told through poetic verses inspired by musicians and Horror fiction creations. I definitely want to see if there will be an audiobook accompanying this one on its release.
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Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this book!

Can You Sign My Tentacle is a compilation of poetry. I managed to finish it in one sitting, some parts I liked, some I barely got over at all. I'd just say that it is not really my cup of tea but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
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I requested this one because it might be a 2021 title I would like to review on my Youtube Channel. However, after reading the first several chapters I have determined that this book is not my tastes. So I decided to DNF this one rather than push myself to finish it only to give it a poor review.
I am very hit or miss with Horror poetry
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I’m not sure exactly what I just read, but I am absolutely here for it!  Equal parts HP Lovecraft, Childish Gambino, and Emily Dickinson makes for a weird and wild read. 

Honestly the poems sound like the thoughtful rambling of someone stoned out of their mind, you know where you’re not sure if it’s profound or just seems profound for a moment.  

The cover artwork is killer and I wish there was more throughout, but alas there is not.

Overall 3.5 stars.  If you like horror and hip hop, this is definitely worth a read.
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