I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

KATKA - A NOVELLA by Stephen Meier

Genre: Fiction
Rating: Good
ISBN: 9781439216330, $12.99, 107 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Katka by Stephen Meier is a rough, uneasy novel of avarice, love, and deception gone very wrong. When Gavin and Katka join with Simona to scam buyers of mail order brides in the Czech Republic, Gavin set events into motion with disastrous results. Gavin talks Katka, his girlfriend, into selling herself to a buyer and then taking his money and running, but things get twisted and Katka disappears with the client. Left with Simona, Gavin decides to carry on and make some real money. As Gavin’s success increases, his guilt and doubt also rise, and he begins to worry this world has taken more than he’s willing to give. He finds himself thinking of Katka, the life they could have had, and the life he consigned her to, and wonders if he can undo the biggest mistake of his life. Written with grit and masterful prose, Katka is a literary punch in the stomach that takes your breath away, and leaves you with unforgettable images and even more unforgettable characters."

Actually, Stephen Meir’s novella leaves you with many questions: (1) Is this story fiction or a cathartic memoir?; (2) Was Katka really so innocent?; (3) Was Gavin really so naive?; (4) Could there really have been a different ending?

Gavin went to the Czech Republic and partied hard with beautiful women. Katka found her way to America, along with other beautiful Czech women, to pleasure men. The business of sex...mail order brides or white slave trade.

As for Stephen Meier’s writing style, it is somewhat unusual with no chapters or paragraph indentations. There are a few grammatical mistakes, but in general, Meier’s story works and will keep you turning the pages.

Kaye Trout - March 12, 2009