(The following review of Love and Other Pranks was originally published in Manhattan Book Review. The review was written by Romauld Dzemo.)
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Tony Vigorito’s Love and Other Pranks is a unique, dazzling novel that breaks the conventional rules of storytelling and takes readers to places that sound so familiar yet strange. The time setting of the work covers three centuries, a story that starts off with a brilliant satire of Adam and Eve — perhaps a hint of the marvel of what awaits the reader in the world of the book. The reader is immediately plunged into a fictional world with very compelling characters, vacillating between the eighteenth century with Caribbean pirates pursuing treasure maps and modern-day San Francisco brimming with elements of the New Age and post-modernity. This is a novel with a lot of entertainment, featuring assassins, lovers, “prophets,” and a lot more.
A unique, dazzling novel that breaks the conventional rules of storytelling…A work of great imagination, Love and Other Pranks reads like a well-accomplished canvas, with exciting places to visit and very compelling characters to follow — and it’s hard not to imagine oneself as part of the exciting drama. Tony Vigorito combines wit with humor to create a work that will entice and have readers utterly enthralled. The writing is crisp and impeccable with thoughts that will stay with readers even after they are done with the story. Here is one of the lines I enjoyed most: “Laughter is our highest prayer.”
Somewhere, he notes that “Calling something an illusion doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It just means it can be whatever we want it to be.” It is also hilarious to read the part where the author compares orgasm to death. Vigorito creates a powerful sense of suspense throughout the work and this keeps the reader turning the pages, uncertain of what could happen next. This is a work that is absorbing, intense, and intoxicating in a satisfying kind of way. I enjoyed the originality of the work, the beauty of the prose, the plot lines and, of course, the biting humor that is introduced right from the very first page of the novel.