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Archive for June, 2014

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I don’t usually write reviews. Maybe I should. I left this over at Amazon for the lovely and talented Mr. John Boden:

Given previous reviews here, it would be too easy to fall into repetition. Yes, this book is unique (for real, not incorrect “unique” as in “different,” but correct “unique,” as in “singular”.) It is a gritty, nihilistic tale slipstreaming behind the guise of our collective childhood nostalgia. Best, it’s subtle. This brand of unpleasantness has been done before, but always in a look-at-me manner that disarms the entire project from the start, rendering it toothless. I’ve never seen nor read anything along these lines that didn’t have me rolling my eyes and thinking, “Yeah, yeah…” long before finishing. With DOMINOES, nothing got rolled at any point, except perhaps my small, black soul. The overall experiment itself is unique as a collective assembly—beautifully constructed in every way. It is a book you do not want to have on your shelf because you’d rather it be lying around so passers-by can see not just the spine, but the whole thing. But the inside is where it gets really exciting…

…refreshing? I’m questioning this word because it feels wrong, but I know it’s actually right. As I said, this kind of thing has mostly waffled embarrassing, like, say, someone insisting that KISS is still shocking today. DOMINOES had finally gotten it right, and has set the bar high. Anyone attempting this from this point onward will have to top this, and to them I say, “good luck.” So, in that way, it is refreshing. But Boden’s style overall is refreshing in terms of horror. While this book seems short, seems like an easy read, it isn’t. It can be. If you want, I suppose. But it can, and probably should, be much more. It is a slow, burning read. You can skim the keywords and enjoy your stabs in the eye that way, or you can drag your stabbed eyes over each line slowly, carefully, and savor the embedding gravel from the pavement as you go. This is a thinker, and the more you think, the darker it gets and the sadder, more uncomfortable you feel inside. And if that isn’t getting what you paid for with some horror reading, I do not know what is.

Kudos to Boden, Bouchard, and the powers that be at Shock Totem. I need this to be a series. I need this to not be the end of this kind of experimentation. I need what’s next. We can all blame Boden for that.

Pick it up. No joke.

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