Saturday, April 27, 2013

Plow the Bones - by Douglas F. Warrick - A collection that stretches the imagination

5 of 5 Stars     Review Copy

Plow the Bones is the inaugural release in a new series called Apex Voices from Apex Publications.  Each book will feature a collection of shorts from authors you might not have heard of, but whose voices deserve to be heard.

Truth be told, up until now I had never heard of Douglas F. Warrick.  Thankfully, that has been corrected by Leslie Conner, writer, and Apex editor, who asked me to read this collection and post my review which you are reading now.  Thank you.

Not being familiar with Warrick's work, I had no idea what to expect.  What I didn't expect was to be overwhelmingly impressed with these 13 stories, each one stranger and more imaginative than the last.

It's long been said that the opening line is key to grabbing the reader's interest and making said reader want or need to read more.  Warrick certainly has a knack for opening lines.  The first entry in Plow the Bones is "Behindeye: A History" and here is its opening line..."There is a man whose pupils are full of moths.  Dry moths, dying moment by moment and collecting in drifts behind his eyes, deep down in that secret and endless world behind his face."  Then there's, "When the ventriloquist died his will dictated that all of his puppets be burned."  The opening line of "Funeral Song for a Ventriloquist."  Both of those and others just made me want to keep turning pages.

I found each of the stories in this collection to be delightfully offbeat;  fanciful and disturbing at the same time.

There is truly something for everyone.  An intriguing ghost story in, "Her Father's Collection."  I loved the story of the night clowns in, "The Itaewon Eschatology Show."  "Come to My Arms, My Beamish Boy" is an insightful look into Alzheimer's, and there's even a story on the music scene featuring a golem band.  You read that right, a golem band.

The Plow Bone concludes with my personal favorite, "Across the Dead Station Desert, Television Girl," the story of a new service which provides, well, here's the ad copy from the Television Girl website.  "Television Girl!  The newest innovation in erotic partnership! Television Girl!  All of your fantasies fulfilled in a safe, solitary environment!  Television Girl!  Authentic sensual partnership, no strings attached!"  Nothing could go wrong with that idea, right?

Need I tell you Plow the Bones is for adult readers?  I didn't think so.  Right now, it's available in paperback from Amazon .com and is one of the best books I've read in 2013.

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