Cursed - Jeremy C. Shipp 4.5 Stars. Throughout the story the main character uses lists to weigh options or outcomes. This is a technique many of us use to maintain, organize or prioritize the things in our lives. But, what happens if the list is irrational, impractical or even unimaginable? So, what happens if the characters are unreliable, or are they? Cursed is humorous while at the same time deeply philosophical. The reader has to decide if they believe the characters or determine another plausible explanation as to what is driving these people to act or think like they do. In other words, is any of it real? It's a psychological and some might argue sci-fi mystery. Each character is defined by their flaws. Their personalities evolve through habits, neurosis and personal relationships. By doing so, each takes on a unique, tangible form which lends to the imagination visualizing, relating, sympathizing and even becoming attached to the cursive people interacting in the story. The perspective through which it's told, present tense, also enhances the immediacy of the story. I felt as if I was a voyeur following the characters around. It was an interesting sensation to be part of it, or rather feel as if I was part of it. The escapism is unique and fascinating. Similar to Purple Jesus, Shipp takes seemingly unrelated or random objects and gives them extraordinary meaning. Or in some cases, literal meaning. For example, there is a woman who carries around a tennis ball and literally duct tapes it to her hand. She believes if she 'drops the ball' the world will end. This is humorous, but how many people carry with them imaginary 'balls' they are afraid to drop? Readers who enjoy cult-fiction authors similar (style) to Chuck Palahniuk and Ron Cooper, will love Shipp's writing. It's outside the box, modern and pushes the traditional limits of story structure, but by doing so opens the world that keeps reading and writing interesting. Shipp has a modern, contemporary voice and style that is humorous, quirky while at the same time possesses a conscious and deliberate timing. He is in control of the chaos he creates and because of this, it works in a number of ways. The comedic relief is impeccable and never reduces the seriousness of the plot or cheapens the characters.