Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Mr. Moon's Review of A Life On Fire
I gleefully spend most spare hours I can with my nose in a book. I have stacks of horror and bizarro novels that litter my house. Books that shock, books that scare, and books that make me laugh out loud. And now, it’s time for something different…Chris Bowsman’s A Life on Fire.
A Life on Fire is one man’s journey into the flaming hell of depression. Gerald McManner is a young man at the cross-roads of life. His young wife recently committed suicide, leaving Gerald a total mess with more questions than joys. His job is monotonous and grates on his nerves. He has built a wall around him casting friends out of his private hell. Gerald turns to beer as a means of dealing with his pain and feelings but soon he finds himself in a twisted reality that defies logic time and time again. As the story progresses reality falls away for poor Gerald until he is forced to face up to the pains of life and either give up or carry on.
Bowsman has crafted a very emotional story and peppered it with weirdness and heartache that never lets go. There are some of the things I love about horror (monsters and turmoil) and some of the things I love about bizarro (twisted realities and enduring weirdness) but this novel stands out on its relentless emotional power. This is not a ‘feel good’ read. In fact, several passages punched me right in the heart with the force of a mallet and seriously brought me down. THAT IS HOW POWERFUL IT IS. The scenes with his wife were unflinchingly real and heart breaking, giving deep depression center stage in a way that almost turns the pages for you. Once you start on A Life on Fire you have to see how it turns out despite the emotional toll it takes. Again, I feel this demonstrates the quality of the work.
A Life on Fire is one of the most powerful novellas I’ve read in the past few years. It takes a twisted and fearless look at human sadness and resilience in a way fans of horror and bizarro should eat right up. I highly recommend A Life on Fire if you are looking for a read that will push your emotional buttons and constantly leave you wondering what can possibly happen next. Be warned, dear reader, as this is a story that will stick with you…as most great works do.
Click here for your heartpunch!