Author: Malachi Stone
"Remember the halcyon days of AM car radio music so lo-fi you had to buy the album and read the liner notes in order to decipher the lyrics? If so, you'll get "revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night" when you catch the twisted nostalgia of CONJURER'S OATH"
At first I wasn't sure what to do with this when it was sent to me to review—I started up a blog to review bizarro and this came across my virtual desk to review. It's not like "Lost in Cat Brain Land" or "Death by Zamboni" bizarro, but it is most definitely in a category of the strange and unusual. I nearly put it down, but kept going, knowing that the little glimpse of backwoods Americana was going to get weird, and quick.
And it sure does get weird.
One moment you are viewing a small town and its various moving parts of humanity, and the next—BAM! Stone deftly flips the tables on the reader, and I immediately get a vibe from Lost Highway and From Dusk Till Dawn, and a whole gamut of speculative fiction—there's the obvious David Lynch feel, the Tarantino brutality, and a lubed-up Mr. Science.
The writing is perfect, although sometimes I wonder—"is this Illinois?" but then again, yeah, it sure can be. Sorry. Stone does a wonderful job in developing his characters, although for some reason, I just can't get into Rahab/Dee Dee... just a personal thing, and it does not take away from the story.
For the bizarro "purists" (if there is such a thing, and golly I hope there isn't), this is not what your expecting.
But that's the point, isn't it?!
This is so out there, so beyond what is normal and acceptable at times; I think that it really has a place in the bizarro shelf. Get it, read it, and keep your head above water. Great stuff!
3.9 Stars (4 rounded up on Amazon).
Additional Info: There are some pretty graphic "love" scenes, some not involving humans. As one reviewer put it, you need to keep an open mind, and you need to keep it open with a pair of very large clamps.