Marie Lecrivain reviews Stealing Heaven From the Lips of God by Dee Rimbaud
from bluechrome publishing
buy the book
I am, bare-naked and vulnerable, another angst-ridden voice in this
confessional universe; another graphomaniac peddling my private life in
the public domain; anonymous and desperate, another cog in the zeitgeist,
no different than anyone else."
admit I had a couple of problems with Stealing Heaven.
The time-worn adage "never judge a book by its cover" is almost
universally ignored, especially by the marketing divisions in the
publishing industry. A book cover with attractive artwork is the first
thing a bibliophile like me will notice. The front cover of Stealing
Heaven is a montage of designer street drugs, graffiti colors, and
in-your-face body parts (literally the eyes and mouth). This is coupled
with a tag-line of, "£1.00 ($1.75 according to recent
currency conversion rates) will be donated to Crew 2000."
the back cover, instead of a synopsis, an explanation for Crew 2000
(http://www.crew2000.co.uk/) is provided. Crew 2000 is a non-profit
organization in the UK whose philosophy is that drug use is a "public
health" issue and not a "moral" issue. Their aim is to
provide educational literature and outreach programs for those who use, or
would consider using drugs (per Rimbaud).
it possible to justify presenting a moral tale, even one with redemption,
under charitable auspices? Anyone purchasing Stealing Heaven is
being asked to put aside their own moral standard. The key to this is
compassion, which I called upon again and again while reading Stealing
Heaven. Robbie, while brilliant and introspective, is weak and
ambivalent; even toward the end, his behavior skirts the edges of how an
addict should, at least by social standards, behave. From the most extreme
POV (or most puritanical, depending on how you look at it), renouncing all
drug use and committing oneself to find the inner strength to resist the
demons that plague recovering addicts every day is the only way to conquer
addiction. Compassion, in this case requires the reader to accept Robbie
with all his faults and frailties, as he tries to accept them himself.
pros far outweigh the cons.
has created an arresting, believable, and even at times sympathetic
character in Robbie. I have no frame of reference for drug use (I have
never tried "soapbar," but if anyone could actually tell me what
that is, then maybe I have), but I can very much empathize with Rimbaud's
Robbie in the love department. Which one of us (unless you are a poet or
living under a rock somewhere), has not experienced the palpable AGONY
that comes with opening your heart to another:
The mild irritation I felt over the outward appearance of Stealing Heaven dissipated once I read the book. It reminds me that compassion is the redemptive force that makes love possible, and even real.
- review by Marie Lecrivain 8/2005
© 2005 SubtleTea Productions All Rights Reserved