“Thank you for dragging me into the depths of hell…” This time I will have to thank screenwriter Ed Neumeier for dragging us into a story, he didn’t exactly write.
We’re living in strange times, in which moving from the kitchen to the bedroom seems to be the allowed exercise we can do, if we want to stay home and save the world.
High trafficking in video streaming pages and some people have strangely become “tik-toker” amateur actors, to escape lockdown insanity. Almost every company related to online entertainment have found a new source of income by offering products for free or almost for free to maintain a captive audience, that at the moment, can’t really go anywhere else.
Corporate giant Amazon and their Kindle e-books, were not going to be the exception of the rule. I am a book hoarder; myself, I admit it. And I remember my wife and I in past years deciding over renewing our subscription to Kindle Unlimited, promising to each other, this time we were actually going to finish the books we had flipped through our kindle readers, before attempting to download more of those.
In this pandemic-virus consumed year, we didn’t have to decide, as our subscription was renewed without any cost for two extra months. A boy in a candy store and let’s surf again, the Kindle universe.
Specific keywords usually bring me what I need. This time though, the result was interesting. Being a fan of SCI FI & Stormtroopers valiant warriors, I was much in the mood to find a future wars indie story that would fit with the times we’re living and that would help my stubborn insomnia. But keywords, this time, found me something else.
The very recent e-book self-published by an indie author, Eva Rojano, and this writer has apparently dedicated a piece of literature to her probable mentor in writing, in the most dramatic way possible.
It is Ed Neumeier, one of my long-time heroes, a screenwriter who actively worked in Hollywood in past years and saw the peak of his career as a writer back in the 90’s when co-writing alongside Michael Miner the first script for the RoboCop series, adapting the ultra-fascist Heinlein’s Starship Troopers into the big screen some years after.
Albeit the main name of this novel is somewhat generic: “The Black Butterfly” (main title), “The theatrical performance, part1”(subtitle) since I found at least, ten more titles with similar names in Amazon Kindle only, it was the book’s intro pages, its comic book-fun style & its almost manual-handcrafting what made me stay on KU until I had consumed the totality of it.
This book wasn’t written by Neumeier per se, but it is very evident it was a disciple of his, the one that penned it. Needless to say, the curiosity to find out what was behind the rare dedication that Rojano directed at Neumeier, was the initial ‘hook’, that made read through the free sample, before downloading the file to KU.
Quoting a portion of it here, since the dedication is longer and way more passionate than this short excerpt:
“Edward, you’re the writer that made me realize I was running late to be, what I have always wanted to, and I feared to say out loud: A storyteller.
Thank you for dragging me to the depths of hell, just for me to realize that I could survive there and learn to dance with the Devil….”
The overall proposal of the book seems simple at the beginning, but it gets elaborated as the story progresses:
A high-level prostitute of name Anna Serena gets to meet Matt James, the mature attractive sugar daddy that will irremediably be made to rescuing a damsel in distress, Richard Gere, à la mode style.
My verdict is, though, than more than just a copy paste of Pretty woman, the Black Butterfly is reminiscent of Paul Verhoeven’s underrated and mostly dusty Showgirls from 1995, by exposing in a gritty way the problems that women that opt to a life of open sexuality in exchange of money can bring into their already, complicated lives. So no, this book is not really a romantic tale a la Charlotte Brontë and Serena is in no way a Jane Eyre, but a different kind of ‘sex heroine’ that has managed to overcome the scarcities of her own life…well, maybe so a Jane Eyre of these modern sinful times.
The book also offers some erotic scenes that are smartly described and not very explicit. There is even some comedy included in some of passages, again, much in the wavelength of Neumeier’s satirical stories, but without the obsession with the gruesome violence or guns of high firepower we get to see both in the RoboCop and Starship Troopers movies. I could almost picture the Black Butterfly as Netflix series though.
Neumeier should be proud of this product and applaud his apprentices, as the ultimate joke Rojano scribbles, is making an almost unforgiving satire of Hollywood and our fame-obsessed American culture.
I hope the series really continue and Mrs. Rojano has really learned to “Dance with the Devil” (Whether she refers to Neumeier or not) and this very new author doesn’t abandon her typewriters anytime soon. As a Kindle Unlimited consumer, book hoarder of many years, I’d be seriously disappointed.