Saturday, December 15, 2018

".... the abyss between the ludicrous and the terrifying."


Hey ho!  Got a new review of The Ice Mine on Amazon by J  Frankel.   5 lucky stars:

Steven M. Adkins’ ‘The Ice Mine, “The Relation” of Ricardo Etienne Bream’ is a hallucinatory novella of a madman’s quest for a mythical place, in this case an Ice Mine. The narrator has lost his wife, children, home, and job through addiction to narcotics. He manages to kick his addiction and hopes to recover at least some semblance of a life, in the course of which he discovers among his books ‘Relations’ of other travellers who have gone in search of the Ice Mine, which may lie to the north, or the east, or the south. Most who light out to find it never return. The narrative has the feel of Browning’s strange Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, a poem he dreamed. 
Adkins’ prose is sonically rich, full of words like ‘blorp’, evoking comics as much as classic sci fi. The heart of his writing is surrealism and the great strength is his fine rendering of a marginal consciousness riven by guilt and self-hatred. He compares self-pity to the honey of bees, something he defecates at night and consumes in the morning. The story alternates between his adventures into terra incognito, encounters with mythical beasts and dangerous defiles, rocky wastes, storms and dust, and reflections on his life and the history of his people. It is a novel of alienation and nightmare, enlivened by the knowing prose, which straddles the abyss between the ludicrous and the terrifying.

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