Topping From Below

by Laura Reese | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0312144350 Global Overview for this book
Registered by book-man-8 of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on 3/7/2007
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by book-man-8 from Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Wednesday, March 07, 2007
This is the first erotic novel / thriller by this author. And now I'm a little bit speechless: because it's a thriller like not many other thrillers. The tension is rising from page to page to reach... I just couldn't stop reading! It's no book for people with a rather soft mind. I think the mental "hard-core" part is much stronger than even the extreme physical one. I also think that men will have an absolutely different view of those "events" than women - because men will possibly find a somewhat "easier" access into those roles. The book tells the story of Nora who is looking for the murderer of her sister, Franny. And with this search - this "journey" as she calls it - she gets into an obsessive relationship with M., who is pushing her own limits to the utmost. It tops the imagination of most of us and still, the fascination is incredible - scary!

I'm making a bookray out of this one. The following bookcrossers take part (you can join anytime!):

"perryfran" from Rockville, Maryland, USA (int'l if...)
"awakeagain" from Hackettstown, New Jersey, USA (USA / Canada pref., int'l if necessary)
"charlenemartel" from Alouette, Quebec, Canada (int'l)
"amberC" from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia (AUS pref.)
"penelopewanders" from Hasliberg, Bern / Berne, Switzerland (Switzerland / Europe)
"okyrhoe" from Athens, Greece (int'l))
"AliceF" from Coventry, Warwickshire, United Kingdom (UK pref., Europe if necessary)

IMPORTANT note: due to far-away Bookcrossers/readers it is not possible to take in account all your mailing preferences. If you need help, just send a PM! Book-Man-8

Journal Entry 2 by book-man-8 at on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (3/14/2007 UTC) at

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to "Perryfran". Enjoy - I'm awaiting your comments!

Journal Entry 3 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Monday, March 19, 2007
Received today. Thanks again book-man-8 for another of your bookrays and for the post card! This one looks like it might be a little bizarre and I'm looking forward to it but I have 2 other bookrays in front of it. Hope to get to it in a couple of weeks.

4/8/07 update: Started reading today. Hope to finish in a week or two.

Journal Entry 4 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Wednesday, April 18, 2007
This one definitely is not for everyone. Disturbing, compelling, erotic, graphic, and sometimes way over the top in its descriptions of sadomasochistic behavior and beyond. Having said that, the story keeps your interest and is a good mystery/thriller including the obligatory “red herring.” The story of Franny and her degradation by M. was sometimes hard to read and it was hard to imagine that someone could get pleasure from the abuse that was heaped on her! I also found it a little hard to believe that Nora would get involved with M. when she suspected him of murdering Franny – talk about risky behavior. And then to actually get into the masochism was a little far-fetched. Although I couldn’t relate very well to the graphic sadomasochistic sex, I did relate to the setting of the novel in Davis, California. I lived in Sacramento about 18 years ago and some of my work took me to Davis frequently – the descriptions of the area were right on.

Thanks book-man-8 for sharing another compelling read! I have awakeagain’s address and will get the book in the mail tomorrow.

Journal Entry 5 by wingperryfranwing at Bookray in by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (4/19/2007 UTC) at Bookray in by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to awakeagain in Hackettstown, NJ

USPS DC# 0303 3430 0000 6374 6336

Journal Entry 6 by awakeagain from Port Murray, New Jersey USA on Monday, April 23, 2007
Rec'd this bookray today. Will be starting it soon.

Journal Entry 7 by awakeagain from Port Murray, New Jersey USA on Monday, April 30, 2007
Halfway through the book I decided I want this as a reference work and ordered my own copy.

This isn't a topic often found in print, especially not as openly displayed. I admit to being surprised by the ending but since there were clues all along (most especially the title) I shouldn't have been.

On it's way to charlenemartel today.

Journal Entry 8 by charlenemartel on Tuesday, May 22, 2007
This arrived safely with me a couple of weeks ago and I thought I had journalled it. My apologies for not double checking. I will be reading it and getting it on its way on the 31st of May.

Thank you for sharing.

Journal Entry 9 by charlenemartel on Sunday, July 29, 2007
Things have been crazy here and I apologise for having the book this long. I have packaged it, together with the second novel (as amber expressed an interest in recieving that one too) and it's good to go on Tuesday morning.

I will drop you an email on tuesday Bookman, to confirm I have in fact mailed it.

Once again, deeply sorry for the delay in the ring and I thank you for your understanding.

Journal Entry 10 by charlenemartel on Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Winging its way to AmberC in Australia as of Aug 15th. Sorry for the delay. happy reading everyone!

Journal Entry 11 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Friday, November 16, 2007
I came home from a meet-up congratulating myself that for once I came home with less books than I had taken, to find 2 more books waiting for me. A very pleasant surprise, I had forgotten they were coming. I will be reading these next.

Journal Entry 12 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Monday, November 19, 2007
I found this hard to put down even tho some of Franny's story was hard to read and I must admit I skimmed one section. I could understand how Franny became involved with M and even why Nora did even if it wasn't the brightest thing to do. M was very well drawn as an emotionally manipulative man who enjoys pushing limits.

Journal Entry 13 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Saturday, January 26, 2008
OOppss...I forgot to journal when I had posted this. I can't remember the exact date but it was before the end of November. Sorry about that. It went by slow boat.

Journal Entry 14 by wingpenelopewanderswing from Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Arrived safely in the alps. A few rings and rays in front of it, but hope to get to it soon. Thanks for making these available!

Journal Entry 15 by wingpenelopewanderswing from Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Wow. The suspense in this book and the power play which goes back and forth is quite astounding. I've read a few other books in this genre - sort of - but this is really the best I think in that it manages to be a psychological thriller at the same time. Up until the last minute you're never really sure who is pulling whose chain, so to speak. The characters all seem quite plausible in their innate good and evil, strengths and weaknesses. I had read another by this author which I also found intriguing, but not as well written as this one.
Thanks so much for making it available. I'll be
sending it on soon.

UPDATE: I realized the other book I was referring to was not by Laura Reese, but Jaid Black. My mistake.

RELEASE NOTES:

On its way from the freezing rain of the Alps to hopefully warmer climes in Greece. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 17 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Arrived in my p.o.box today. Thanks (again!) book-man-8 for including me in the ray and penelopewanders for posting it to me!

Journal Entry 18 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Excellent read! Even if some parts are stomach-churning.
But that's the whole point -> For the author to capture the reader's attention, to take the reader on a journey beyond the pale, to succeed in disorienting the reader - paralleling the debilitating confusion experienced by the spellbound Franny & Nora after a session with the calculating M.
You think you've had enough, and yet you continue reading on, to the gruesome end.
And when it's over, it's not easy to shake the story. Rather than relief and catharsis, a strange sensation lingers. As with Nora's philosphical musings in the opening pages of the book, you are still processing it all in your head -> deciphering your fascination with the extreme, the nature of human behavior, evil's manifestations, free will...
Laura Reese's choice of first person present narration through the voice of Nora is highly effective in placing the reader deep in "the heart of darkness". I appreciate the triple level of storytelling - Nora's present, Franny's past (her diaries and short stories), M's chilling accounts of his past exploits, threaded into a tightly woven plot. The transition between these segments are achieved skillfully, with the tempo maintained throughout at full throttle. Nora - and the reader - is perpetually in a state of heightened tension, so that there really is no time to rationally process all the incoming information.
Of course there are details in the plot and characterization which are incredulous if one stops to think clearly, but the journey is such a thrilling one they don't detract from the experience.

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Will post to AliceF as soon as I get an address.


Journal Entry 19 by AliceF from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Gratefully received by post today from okyrhoe: thanks! Looking forward to taking my time over this one :-)

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