Monday, December 12, 2016

Odd Man Out - James Newman - A gut-wrenching novella that's perfect for our times

5 of 5 Stars      Review copy

Odd Man Out  was originally released as a signed Limited edition from Thunderstorm Books, but this truly is a book everyone should get to read and so now it's deservedly getting the wide release treatment from Bloodshot Books.

It's been a few years since The Boy Scouts of America changed their policy to allow gay members. In Newman's Odd Man Out a conservative Christian Church is struggling with allowing the scouts to continue using their building as a meeting place.

There's a vote that does not go in the scouts favor and this brings back memories Dennis Munce has managed to block out for nearly three decades.

What follows is the story of of what happened during a trial run of the Black Mountain Camp for Boys in the Summer of 1989.

James Newman is a gifted storyteller with an eye for detail. Alongside the tables sat about thirty beige metal folding chairs, like the ones my favorite wrestlers were always hitting each other over the head with on WCW Saturday Morning.  It's not like I'm reading an account of events, but more like I've been transported to the actual place and time.

The banter among the teenage boys was much like what I heard from my cruder friends growing up. Although the campers in Odd Man Out were wonderfully diverse, there was one in their midst who was decidedly different. Wesley Westmore.

When you're young there is no greater sense of relief than when the bullies' sights are no longer turned on you.

By now, I think you might have a pretty good sense of where Newman's tale is headed. There are monsters in Odd Man Out, but they are not the monsters of fiction.  Here the monsters are real.  Just as real as you and I.

It's as if the writer anticipated the fallout from the recent Presidential election.  True, these behaviors have existed for a long time, but this story could not be more relevant.  It's a tale that had a profound effect on me.  If you're willing to keep your mind open and experience the true horror of this novella you might just be in for a mind-altering read.

I give Odd Man Out my highest recommendation.

James Newman's Odd Man Out is available from Bloodshot Books in paperback and e-book formats. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge.  Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE using the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

From the author's bio - James Newman lives in North Carolina with his wife and their two sons.  His published works include The Wicked, Animosity, and Ugly As Sin, and the collection People Are Strange.

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