Monday, March 21, 2011

A glowing review of DEGENERATES

Reviewed by Frederick Fuller, March 20, 2011



N.D. Ostroff


I was raised in the Chicago area in the 1950s when Riverview Amusement Park was in full swing. They had a roller coaster called The Bobbs that was made of wood. It shook as if I were sitting on an erupting volcano. At one point it headed straight for a 12x12 solid beam, which I was sure would decapitate me. Just before my head was to leave my body, the car dropped like a lead cannon ball, leaving my stomach to confront the beam. As I read Ostroff's novel Degenerates, I was back on The Bobbs headed into the beam. Whatta ride!

In the Prologue little Tommy Fielding watches his father blow his mother away with a shotgun, and then is forced to watch his father kill himself with the same shotgun. At that point I knew that Tommy was not going to grow up to be a choirboy and that the rest of the pages would be bloody.

Chapter one, twenty years later, Tommy, encouraged by Jeffery who is a huge Great Dane residing in the boy's mind, kills and savagely mutilates two women because Jeffery convinces him that killing makes him stronger, makes him God and eventually he will have the power to bring Mommy back to him. Thus, Ostroff had me by the throat and I could not get away.

Tommy is the key degenerate in the story who is an infamous serial killer terrorizing Philadelphia. Ostroff skilfully leads his characters to the City Cafe where the horrifying culmination takes place. Along the way we meet the other degenerates.

There is Astor, an astoundingly beautiful young woman who escapes a brutal marriage to a young medical student, Darrel, but carries with her grief from the death of their child, which he seems glad to have lost. Ironically, Astor was Tommy's first girlfriend, and she is still in love with him.

Emily comes from a home where her mother is a fanatic Christian who drives the girl away. She turns to cocaine for which she will do literally anything to get. Only seventeen when she leaves home, Emily is a true tragic figure whom Ostroff draws beautifully.

All of his characters are drawn with skill. Ed Kirkpatrick, a writer who crawled inside a bottle of booze years before we meet him, winds up cooking short order at City Cafe. Astor and Emily find their way to the restaurant to wait tables, and Tommy is hired as dishwasher.

At the restaurant we meet Judy Forester, a sixty-year-old woman who bosses the front of the cafe and who remains grief stricken over her husband's death twenty years before.

Matt runs the kitchen. He seems to be a combination of compassion and skill whose expertise is vital to the success of City Cafe.

Into the mix comes Aaron, a young policeman who is working his first CSI case and learns that experienced officers around him are worth listening to.

Degenerates is a very worthwhile read. Ostroff's prose is crisp and clear; there isn't a boring page in the book. I will warn anyone who finds violence repugnant to pass this one by. But any writer who wants to experience great prose and well-sculpted characters should make Degenerates a must read.

~ Reviewed by Frederick Fuller, March 20, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Every Child’s Fantasy

Every Child’s Fantasy


Neil Ostroff

When I set out to write my middle grade novel, TIM MADISON GALACTIC WARRIOR, I thought to myself; what is every thirteen-year-old boy’s fantasy? At first, the obvious came to me: girls. But then I thought about it a little more and rendered the conclusion that boys that age just aren’t really that interested in the opposite sex. There had to be something else. And then it hit me.

Home alone.

What could be more fun for a kid then to have an entire house at his disposal? Not only that, in this house is a machine that can cook any food you desire, plus you can control the weather outside and the environment inside the house.

How awesome!

There’s only one catch… the house and everything in it is an illusion. You are actually on board a magnificent spaceship and training for a battle that will determine the fate of all mankind.

Please read my science fiction adventure; TIM MADISON GALACTIC WARRIOR with your child and get ready for a non-stop thrill-ride filled with strange gadgets, bizarre creatures, technical marvels, and in the end something surprising to play a key role in winning the epic struggle. Thanks.

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Authors den

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Forget Mainstream Publishing And Write What You Want

Forget Mainstream Publishing And Write What You Want


Neil Ostroff

My latest novel, PULP is a prime example of a book that would never see the light of day in commercial publishing yet still manages to capture a large indie audience with its strange, off-the-wall storyline. Originally rejected because of its “extremely bizarre content” by several major publishing houses who had requested partials, the book is now running strong in the online community.

Though it just went live a few days ago, hundreds of copies have already been sold due to an intense online marketing campaign. The internet allows the author to connect with like-minded readers from everywhere around the globe. Odds are, there are thousands, perhaps millions of people out there who think just like you. So write what you want.

The comments I’ve been getting over PULP fuels my passion to continue writing novels on the edge of the extreme. Here’s a short summary. You be the judge.

Struggling thriller writer Kevin Turner just received a panicked call from his ex-girlfriend Tina, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant prostitute. One of her clients, the mayor’s married son, died in her bed and she needs Kevin’s help to dispose of the body. As if Kevin doesn’t have enough problems. His current girlfriend is the spouse of the gay woman who signs his meager paycheck, his sixth credit card has hit its limit, he received word that his eight-month wait for his second advance check was being withheld by Gotham Publishing until he made the absurd changes in his manuscript that they wanted, and he just discovered his recently deceased father, who Tina claims she’s in contact with, owes ten grand from an internet gambling debt, which Kevin would now have to figure a way to pay. When Kevin discovers Tina’s psychotic brother has chopped up the body, and the police are finding the pieces spread across the suburbs, it sets off a chain of events more bizarre and horrifying than the plot of one of Kevin’s own novels.

Download a copy for just $1.00 at:

Or buy the paperback or Kindle edition at:

Please let me know what you think and never be intimidated by what is labeled not saleable. Get the poison out of your mind.

E-Books are Like Lottery Tickets

E-Books are Like Lottery Tickets


Neil Ostroff

Today’s technology means that even the most outrageous, out there, politically incorrect story has a chance to foster an audience. A story universal in its theme, yet at the same time so appalling in its intensity, can exist. Though the theme of my novel FROSTPROOF is universal (a man down on his luck will do almost anything to survive) its means to achieve that goal is somewhat disturbing.

Just how far would you go to change your life? For Niles Pierce, the main character in FROSTPROOF, he risks everything. His wife, his home, his safety to try and change his life. The only problem is the man he’s chosen to help him is a psychotic killer who believes he is turning into the messiah. To prove his transformation he kills random strangers and then explains why he did it and what it feels like. All the while Niles is trying to cope with the horrendous acts while figuring a way out of the mess. The ending will leave an impression on readers long after the last page.

My point in telling you this and why I titled this article the way I have, is because like lottery tickets, books that otherwise would be to extreme for the mainstream have a chance to hit a big audience. You’re deepest, darkest thoughts could strike a chord with millions of people, and thanks to technology, be delivered almost instantaneously.

Like winning the lottery, you’re “non-commercial” e-book could bring you millions in royalties. I hope you enjoy FROSTPROOF.

Signed copy at:

Writing Books that Publishers are Afraid to Publish

Writing Books that Publishers are Afraid to Publish


Neil Ostroff

When I started writing DEGENERATES I knew it would be a hard sell to the traditional publishing community. It’s a dark novel filled with drug use, hard luck stories, and the grim realities faced by a segment of the population that mainstream society tends to dismiss.

Being in the restaurant business for more than twenty years gave me the unique opportunity to work with people from all walks of life; addicts, ex-strippers, people struggling to get through the daily grind. Working side by side with these people left impressions on me that I knew had to be put to paper.

With DEGENERATES I was lucky enough to score a top New York agent who meticulously shopped the raw manuscript to various publishing houses. The reaction was always the same. “Too intense, too dark for the mainstream population.” Thus, the manuscript was shelved.

But it would not die. The characters would call to me in the middle of the night, begging me to give them life. That’s when I decided to self-publish DEGENERATES.

The book is a cacophony of the hundreds of sick, twisted, sometimes heart-wrenching stories my co-workers would tell me about their lives. From the seventeen-year-old who prostituted herself for drug money, to the young wife on the streets after leaving her abusive husband, to the struggling, alcoholic writer. They are united in a restaurant named City Café.

Just surviving isn’t enough for this crew, however, as they are tested to their limits when a psychotic young man is hired to wash dishes. Just when their lives seem on pace with success, a string of horrific episodes nearly destroys them all. I hope you enjoy DEGENERATES.