P. Pennington Douros
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The US Review of Books
The Beautiful, Winged Madness
by P. Pennington Douros
Reviewed by Lee Ware


"'It will be a story of love and Spirit, of artists and dreams and ideals, of reality and illusion, and of struggles, of yours and mine. It will be of us. And the story is not over.'"

The Beautiful, Winged Madness is a passionate story of love and art, illusion and spirit. Whisked away in a world haunted by madness both real and imagined, the story is kept together by the two central characters and the bond they form throughout the pages. Galloping across L.A.'s landscape, Anna and Guy push themselves with a sense of artistic purpose seeking a closeness to what they call Spirit that may prove only fully obtainable through death. Both are determined to find a purer love in life, and with the other's help, they encounter the beauty of just being alive.

Poetically written, Douros weaves a tale that teeters on the brink of sanity within the mind of his protagonist, Guy. The language of the novel alternates between philosophy, poetry, and vivid images captivating the reader with subtle insights and delightful moments of artistic portraits. A poet taunted by his psychiatric disabilities, Guy must come to terms with his visions that are derived from both heaven and hell and choose to believe in creative potential or shrink away from the possibility of brilliance and true love.

With the help from his new friend, Anna, the performance artist, Guy finds the courage to confront the demons of his own mind and thus of his life. Together they discover a greater love and higher spirituality that is both more fulfilling and more dangerous. L.A. itself becomes a place of bodiless voices and ghostly shapes where angels appear and the all mighty speaks to his children. "Then God laughed, loud and boisterous and jolly. It reverberated through Guy's head like the laughter of a delirious, demented Santa Claus." And while a growing sense of dread threatens to tear the characters apart, by the end, the Beautiful, Winged Madness, that glorious delirium, seems destined to prevail.