Book Jacket


rank 1529
word count 17145
date submitted 11.10.2010
date updated 28.10.2010
genres: Literary Fiction, Gay
classification: adult

The Dignified Weight of Grief

Mel Plehov

An existential crisis. A powderkeg of unacceptable behaviour waiting to explode. Conflicts with capitalism, sexuality and grief lurk in the subtext of an ever-darkening storyline.


This novel focuses on one central character who is trying to piece the last year of her life together. She is openly confused. She is anti-social and nihilistic; she speaks her mind and has too much in common with us all to be dismissed as a lunatic.

This is Nikita, dripping with casual nihilism and drowning in the consequences of her own actions.
This is Kate; she has a past that, as you very well know, will not stay buried for long.
And as their lives come crashing towards each other like personified freight trains hurtling through adultery, addiction, vacuous morals and mountains of cocaine, they realise that they might just have more in common than they first thought.

If you're wondering, the opening chapters aren't that gay, so I've uploaded chapter 20 so you understand why it's in a gay category.
The book is finished so I will try to upload more chapters as and when I can.

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addiction, atheism, cannabis, capitalism, cocaine, coming of age, consumerism, contemporary, cult, dark comedy, depression, doomed youth, drug use, ec...

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Kenny the K wrote 1263 days ago

A good and quite engaging style of writing this. Unusual.

Brittani Alisa wrote 1264 days ago

The story is captivating enough just by the way you speak its very coolly . . .and down to earth and what w typical girl in her situtation might be thinking and speaking. . . .the very start was a little hard for me to understand with the whole cat mother talk but I think that because you have a reason for it but you are not making that reason clear to your readers- we dont know how your mind works or what you are thinking so maybe you could revise that little section only so that we readers can have a peek inside your mind.
Overall very good and I put on my book shelf because I enjoyed your style of writing . .. good luck!

Lenore wrote 1272 days ago

This stream of consciousness is a little difficult to get into, but the narrator is unique, enough to convince the reader that there is a crisis in the making and a heroine in need of an attitude adjustment. It would be helpful not to guess, but rather have an opening salvo that attracts immediate attention, but, then, my book suffers from the same malady, so I understand the problem. Perhaps the opening is what it is and depicting the anxiety of life and our inability to be unique enough to have an opening dramatic moment.

Readers may tire of our heroine because they might not grasp exactly what is happening to her. Perhaps a little less conversation and some background substance as to what is going on? By the end of chapter 3 I'm still waiting. The author is certainly making a grand effort and I think I understand the dilemma in trying to describe this state of mind, but the reader may need a little more direction to help with the flow. Good clean copy, well punctuated and a gift for dialogue. Good luck.
Surviving the Seaweed

Cat091971 wrote 1275 days ago

Interesting enough. Wish I had time to read on. Backed, based on what I've read so far.

"Lies & Love"

CarolinaAl wrote 1276 days ago

Unique. Creative. Entertaining. An imaginative story. Vivid, complex characters with believable issues. Clever dialogue. Apt descriptions. Observant narrative. Assurd writing. A satisfying read. Backed.

Eunice Attwood wrote 1279 days ago

You have captured the essence of your characters brilliantly. A well thought out story line, with captivating characters. Happy to back. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

Pia wrote 1281 days ago

Mel -

The Dignified Weight of Grief - ... Of course I know stuff. I'm just not sure how it all fits together yet .... Nikita is not sure about a lot of things, like whether her handbag is her own. She is floating like driftwood, yet her observations are sparkling through a haze of inebriation. Loved here swimsuit walk and the first meeting with Kate. Then the mazing drunk scene ... toilet graffiti - permanent records of human evolution ... The possibly married man ... he has beautiful eyes. Blue like the anti freeze and soapmixture you buy from Halfords ... The best thing about having sex in a basement shower ...... and a cracking line to follow. If she survives the crisis, she may recognize her match. Innovative ...

Backed, Pia (Course of Mirrors)

James David Audlin wrote 1281 days ago

Oh, and Kundera... even your title reminds me of Kundera...

James David Audlin wrote 1281 days ago

This is absolutely brilliant stuff. What leaps out at me is the wonderful narrative voice, reminiscent to me of Gibson, Stephenson, Miéville, and all the cyberpunk writers - even William Burroughs, who wrote cyberpunk before it was invented. The narrative voice is raw, rough, real - and yet, without ostentation, brilliantly eloquent. The evocations of Manchester are harshly beautiful. The characters, especially the narrator, are very alive (one would guess there's a large amount of autobiographicality to the interior musings, though at the same time one cannot help but think of Molly Bloom). The originality of this work has left me impressed and delighted, and wishing I were editing at a publisher so I could wave a pen under your nose and say "Sign here." My only caveat, and forgive me, is that you really need to go through the manuscript with care and clean up the errors - especially punctuation use. Good luck!, and saying that is no kindness, but selfishness, because I want a copy of this in my own library.


lisawb wrote 1282 days ago

A unique style, contemporary and different.

Backed and has been for a while,


Robert Craven wrote 1283 days ago

Mel - what a cracking start, dark & propels the reader toward the inevitable. Look forward to reading the rest when this is complete. Unique story by a unique voice.


Fabrice Stuyvesant wrote 1285 days ago

Hi Mel. Your work stands out. It's an original voice. It provides an insight into a world that will shock and or disturb most. I read the first two chapters. I hope there will be a strong storyline developing rather than the narrative remaining anecdotal. You're very talented. Loved the bit with the wrong hand bag and waking up in a coffin.
Look forward to reading the rest!
Fabrice, Club Wars

chvolkoff wrote 1285 days ago

I really love the narrative in this book. However, I am a little bit confused, probably because it is classified as "gay", and also because I don't know what an "emo" is :)
But the voice is truly original and appealing, and the approach to the story is great if somewhat confusing to me. I especially enjoyed the gig and how things finally come together. I don't know where this is going, but I am happy to back it, it shows great promise!

KW wrote 1285 days ago

". . . but what if I could be something else?" Possible? Well, yeah, this is fiction after all. What the fuck, huh? "I'm just not sure how it all fits together yet." Neither am I, but I want to read more to find out. Okay, I know I read this before, but I enjoy your style and still agree about the "mountains of cocaine." It's my nose that fights with me. Okay, maybe the pocketbook as well. SIgh . . . So, is it true: "She's a text sex whore." That can't be a good thing, can it? Backed as before.

Cly wrote 1285 days ago

Hi Mel,
I finally got a chance to take a look at your book . . . finished the first two chapters. You have a very unique voice, casual and vaguely familiar, as if listening to a friend telling a story. That combined with the quirky way in which you describe situations made it easy for me to dig in and lose myself.
Very well executed narrative.
Good luck!
Cly (Hybrid)

marywood18 wrote 1286 days ago

Intrigueging, excellent writing, different approach, I wanted to know more - that marks it as good in my book, well done, love, Mary, An Unbreakable bond.

Vanessa Darnleigh wrote 1286 days ago

This isn't really my kind of read but I understand why many would appreciate it...the writing in itself deserves my vote!
Good luck

lisawb wrote 1286 days ago

Different, interesting, quite complex and engaging. A unique premise that grabs the readers attention and has a certain presence about it.



Lockjaw Lipssealed wrote 1287 days ago

Why yes, it does take a special person to see "positive" as a negative.

I just finished explaining to another writer that there are a number of ways to draw the reader into a book, and you use curiosity! It's hard not to wonder what is going on here and where this will end up. And you write very well....this is where the positive/negative thing comes into play. This isn't the kind of book I would normally pick up, but I can't deny that it kept me reading...and that's not a bad thing!


missyfleming_22 wrote 1288 days ago

I like the dark feel to your writing, there aren't a lot of bright spots in this novel so far! But it works that way! You have great characters and the kind of story we can relate to right now. I enjoyed this very much, it's a great story and I'm involved! I hope you upload more soon, an impressive piece of work so far.

Mark of Eternity

Walden Carrington wrote 1289 days ago

I enjoyed your narrative style in The Dignified Weight of Grief and look forward to seeing the complete work. Backed with pleasure.

hikey wrote 1289 days ago


This makes for a dark,gritty and realistic read and I wonder how much is drawn from your own experiences.
A hard and fast narrative , credible voice and strong dialogue captured my attention.


yasmin esack wrote 1289 days ago

Your theme is appealing and I found the story and characters immensely stirring.
This is definitely a cut above the rest when it comes to Drama and fiction.

Editors will like this one for sure mainly for your clever style.

The mind setter

Crowel wrote 1289 days ago

I think you said it yourself in the pitch. Everyone can relate to Nikita. Her voice is very believable, talking about things that are current - "bezzie mates get as wasted as possible and then check facebook the next day for all the pictures." I think that this is your greatest skill. You also have a somewhat awkward style of writing with the switches and the little hints of humor that work really well. The language is sometimes vulgar, very realistic and never offensive. Cursing effectively is hard to do. I've read some on here that I found unnecessary but you have done it well. Backed with pleasure.


Pamela Wootton wrote 1289 days ago

This book is very interesting to say the least. Nikita is certainly my type of girl. Narratives and dialogues very believable. Although it reads like a momoir (which I dislike) I do like your tale of good and evil.
BACKED with pleasure. Good luck with your writing career.

Beth Anne Wilkins wrote 1290 days ago

I backed you well written book and need more time to read. Sounds very interesting in a different setting of good and evil. Beth Anne good luck

Beth Anne Wilkins wrote 1290 days ago

I backed you well written book and need more time to read. Sounds very interesting in a different setting of good and evil. Beth Anne good luck

SusieGulick wrote 1290 days ago

Dear Mel, I love best of all, your line, "Americans, they just don't get me." :) As I read your pitch & story, I thought, "I'm so thankful that I am here & not there in your story." :) One more thing to be thankful for. :) Your tight dialogue & paragraphs made for a quick read. :) I've backed your story :) - could you please take just a moment to back my memoirs book? :) Thanks so very much. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."

lizjrnm wrote 1290 days ago

This is a gritty tale that reads like a memoir! Well written - love your narrative voice. Backed with pleasure.

The Cheech Room
A Fine Pickle

melplehov wrote 1290 days ago

My kind of girls. Did you write "mountains of cocaine?" Wow! I love the line: "Pints of gin and toxic are surely symbolic of where stuff started fucking up." Probably best to stick with the cocaine. After all, there are mountains of it. What can I say? I'll be back to read more since I have "a fitted red T-shirt - Rolling Stones," too. Backed for now. By the way, I love your use of first person. It's my voice of choice as well. "Where is my saxophone?" Not to mention, the self control.

KW - loved your comment, hilarious! thanks, i think?! And you're totally right, why bother with gin when there's mountains of cocaine?

TMNAGARAJAN wrote 1290 days ago

An interesting Opening. I am sure, the book will have good chemistry with the present generation readers.

Andrew Burans wrote 1290 days ago

You have written a very interesting and unique storyline, which I do like, and created a most memorable main character in Nikita. The dialogue is realistic and well written and the pace of your story flows well. All of this along with your descriptive writing makes your work a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

eurodan49 wrote 1290 days ago

While not my usual read, your voice grabbed me and I kept reading.
Interesting opener…definitely not something I would have though about. Your wordmithing’s way up there and the only think that had a negative impact was the repetitive use of some words…like I didn’t get it from the first. Something to watch, some readers might find that “patronizing” (in place of a better word).
While you take the reader into the head of your MC, and the “telling” is first class, some “showing” would help. Strong character’s POV is good but let reader see what your MC does (visual is considered big thing now days).
Only had time for the first two chapters but did enjoy the read.
I’m backing your work on the voice’s strength. Good job and good luck up the ED ladder.
PS. Could you pls take a look at mine? Comment/backing will be appreciated.

KW wrote 1290 days ago

My kind of girls. Did you write "mountains of cocaine?" Wow! I love the line: "Pints of gin and toxic are surely symbolic of where stuff started fucking up." Probably best to stick with the cocaine. After all, there are mountains of it. What can I say? I'll be back to read more since I have "a fitted red T-shirt - Rolling Stones," too. Backed for now. By the way, I love your use of first person. It's my voice of choice as well. "Where is my saxophone?" Not to mention, the self control.

SusieGulick wrote 1290 days ago

:) comment to follow - read & comment on 5 hours later :)

Dadoo wrote 1290 days ago

This is very good.

It's hard to do first person right. You need an interesting character with honest reactions.

You do it right. I often see it used as a tool, a technique that the author choses for their own reasons. In your book, it is integral. I don't think the story could have been told as powerfully without it.

Your narrator really captures that sense of bewilderment that we all get on occasion, when at a crossroads and trying to understand how we got there in the first place. I like her observations, which interestingly, put me in the omniscient position looking at her remembering herself as the life of the bar, dancing and jumping between the others, when I know that she is really the wasted girl stumbling and bumping into people.

There are really two impressions in my mind, hers and the reality, and yet your writing makes them merge and mingle, the reader picking out the moments of clarity.

The first few chapters (all I have time for today, sadly) are polished beyond what I normally see in a new writer here. or maybe I was just so caught up in the reading that I didn't notice anything. Either way, I like the flow of your writing.

You'll find that some people here will want to give you advice on first person, perspective, etc. Some can be very opinionated. I just want to say, you don't have to listen to them. You obviously know what you're doing.

Best wishes with this book Mel. It will do well here.