Book Review: King Perry by Edmund Manning

Posted: July 10, 2013 by sidlove in 4 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Susan's Reviews
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Reviewed by Susan Lee

TITLE: King Perry
AUTHOR: Edmund Manning
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 343 pages
BLURB: In a trendy San Francisco art gallery, out-of-towner Vin Vanbly witnesses an act of compassion that compels him to make investment banker Perry Mangin a mysterious offer: in exchange for a weekend of complete submission, Vin will restore Perry’s “kingship” and transform him into the man he was always meant to be.Despite intense reservations, Perry agrees, setting in motion a chain of events that will test the limits of his body, seduce his senses, and fray his every nerve, (perhaps occasionally breaking the law) while Vin guides him toward his destiny as “the one true king.”

Even as Perry rediscovers old grief and new joys within himself, Vin and his shadowy motivations remain enigmas: who is this offbeat stranger guiding them from danger to hilarity to danger? To emerge triumphant, Perry must overcome the greatest challenge alone: embracing his devastating past. But can he succeed by Sunday’s sunrise deadline? How can he possibly evolve from an ordinary man into King Perry?

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.


I’m not quite sure what to say about this book. Truly…I’m rendered speechless. It’s like looking at a Salvador Dali painting and thinking:“This is BEAUTIFUL. But…what the heck is it?”

“King Perry” is beautiful…but what the heck is it?

The best way that I can describe this book is a fairy tale, set in the 1990’s about a magician/genie/wish-granter…whatever you want to call him…named Vin Vanbly (not his real name, but we’re never exposed to that). He comes to meet and be drawn to an investment banker named Perry at an art show. What happens next, all the way till the end of the book, requires a complete suspension of reality and a healthy dose of drugs or alcohol! 🙂

They embark on a carefully crafted and calculated adventure that Vin takes Perry through as a way for him to find his inner King. There are twists and turns and surprises all along the way and eventually, there are proclamations of love and healing…and story-telling…grand story-telling.

King Perry is simply one of the most romantic books I’ve ever read. Yet, in its essence, it is not a romance book. It’s more a self-help manual.

The relationship between Vin and Perry is beautiful…but it’s never meant to last…not in a traditional sense. And though Vin truly does everything out of love for Perry, I did find myself uncomfortable at times with the power play and the intense emotional manipulation that was going on. Thankfully, it seems, Vin toed the line but never crossed it.

I don’t know what to think about this book. Am I happy to have read it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Maybe. Did I find it satisfying? Not so much.

I found it odd, emotional, beautiful, uncomfortable, quirky, lovely…and…hmmm…just off a bit for me. But, I get the sense this book will continue to share secrets with me in the days and weeks to come. The kind of book that plants a seed and eventually something grows. We shall see…

Susan’s Rating: four-stars_0

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Susan Lee is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

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  1. Edmond says:

    Hi Susan,

    I just spotted your review and read it tonight. Wow, what a beautiful, gorgeous review of the book. Thank you! You really do the book great honors – even if the story wasn’t fully to your taste. Thank you for reading something really weird and different.

    Last year I read this craaaaazzy book called The Prince and The Program by Aldous Mercer (Dreamspinner Press). My mind was boggled by it and it was Not. My. Thing. But it was also fascinating. But would I recommend it? Uh….I’m not sure. Maybe. Maybe not. But it was fascinating!

    Reading your review made me think of my experience with that book and remember that it’s hard to read really different books. You were so respectful in your review, even with the parts you didn’t like, that I was really touched. Thank you.


    P.S. The series continues to deal with Vin’s emotional manipulation – so you’re perceptive to note that it’s a big deal. It’s a problem in his world that will have to be dealt with. You nailed it.

    • syleegurl says:

      E –
      You know what’s interesting? Much as I had anticipated, this book haunted me. It continued to speak to me and reveal things to me in the days, weeks following my read and review. I still don’t know if it’s everyone’s cup o’ tea so it’s hard to say I’d do a blanket recommendation. But, I can clearly say that I very much enjoyed it and so look forward not only to King Mai, but the entire series to come!

      thanks for your comment! And for writing such an interesting, thought-provoking, heart-warming book!


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