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June 23, 2013

END OF MEN by C.B. Murphy

END OF MEN                                                   4.5 STARS
by C.B. Murphy


OVERVIEW: (from Amazon) 
C. B. Murphy’s End of Men is a satiric tour de force about the ambiguity of identity where art intersects relationship. Inspired by The Magus, the book takes a successful Chicago couple through life-altering experiences ending on an Italian island run by a Warholian student of Aleister Crowley and his Iranian-feminist femme fatale. Adrift in midlife angst, financier Ben withholds the secrets of his wild past from his younger wife Kay. In horror at becoming a suburban “Beige,” Kay longs for her own walk on the wild side. As assistant curator of a feminist-themed outsider art exhibit, the End of Men, Kay contacts Ben’s estranged friends, the narcissistic Gordon and the exotic Shiraz, who run a film school on a Mediterranean island. Their secret is that it is a struggling place where underpaid Eurotrash produce factory art while working as grips and extras on Shiraz’s underfunded masterpieces of neo-feminist surrealism. When the self-styled enfants terribles premier their film at Kay’s museum, Ben’s past crashes through its barriers. Caught in the nether zone of grief and confusion, he accepts an invitation to “vacation” at the island described as an artists’ paradise. In Magus territory now, Ben and Kay become pawns in bizarre psychological games of erotic adventure with the promise of a renewed marriage through the reawakening of Ben’s wild heart. In this swirling circus of eccentricity, Ben’s ability to distinguish what is real quickly erodes as he and Kay become performers in Gordon and Shiraz’s final film, a reenactment of the immolation of Jacques de Molay, the last Knights Templar. As simmering violence threatens to become more than cinematic metaphor, Ben and Kay realize the manipulations have become dangerous.


END OF MEN has a storyline filled with webs that are skillfully woven by the author, C.B. Murphy. The book evolves around a successful Chicago couple as they go through life changing adventures. He keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what will be next.  As a little twist he adds a little humor.  You will get the ride of your life while you are Reading an interesting story filled with characters that you actually want to get to know.  The author throws in some history along the way.  This is an adventure you won't want to miss.  Mr. Murphy writes a believable story

The main characters, Ben and Kay are  dealing with problems in their marriage after Ben's father's death.  Kay contacts Ben's old college friends.  From there it has an interesting mixture of art, sexuality and much more.  The author also adds the element of danger to the mix.  What more could a reader want??  Just one thing, it will make you stop and think about your values and your life.  I would recommend this book to everyone. 

I would give this book, 4.5 STARS

I received a complimentary copy of END OF MEN from the author, C.B. Murphy for my unbiased review.

The cover image was by the author also.


Biography (from Amazon)

C. B. Murphy is a writer, visual artist, and filmmaker. He studied writing with Mark Wisniewski (contributor to 2003 Best Short Stories edited by Salman Rushdie), Linda Lightsey Rice (Southern Exposure), Ian Leask (The Wounded), and Melissa Bank (The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing). In 2005, he received first prize for fiction at the Southhampton College Writers Workshop, judged by Billy Collins (Poetry 180), Matthew Klam (Sam the Cat), and Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes). An excerpt from CUTE EATS CUTE was published as a short story in Ellipsis Magazine.

For several years, Murphy was a cartoonist for The Chicago Reader which ran his weekly comic strip, "C. B. Murphy." The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art selected his book--January is Alien Registration Month--for its permanent Artists' Books collection. His artwork and illustrations include, The Second Mongolian Invasion, Nuclear Pup, and Masonic Kabbalah Circus, all of which are in the University of Cincinnati collection. Murphy's short films have screened across the U.S. including at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Willis Gallery in Detroit.

Over the course of his professional career, Murphy was a commodities trader, industrial metals salesman, product development manager, international sales manager, and ideation consultant. Working for the Chicago-based Selfix company as a Product Development Manager, International Sales manufacturer and importer of household items, he designed prototype products, traveling to Asia to develop the company's import and sales programs. During the late '80s, he worked for select Fortune 500 companies as a contractor in various capacities.
Murphy studied a variety of subjects, including experimental film and poetry with Richard Grossinger, (Planet Medicine), and anthropology at the University of Michigan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in perceptual geography from the University of Minnesota, where he studied under Yi-Fu Tuan (Escapism, The Good Life). Currently writing his second novel entitled, The End of Men, Murphy also volunteers as an Assistant Art Instructor for Level-4 offenders at Stillwater Prison. He resides with his wife and two sons in the river valley town of Marine on Saint Croix, Minnesota.

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