Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness presents “Simple reviews from a simple reader…”
“When the moon crept up out of the ragged horizon, Johnny saw it differently than he had the night before. Just as Lenore had benefited from the glow of the moon’s soft light, so, it seemed, the moon had benefited from the reflected glory of its light on Lenore’s skin. Without her, the moon looked bloated and grossly pale, like a dead thing pulled from a secret grave.”
Johnny Burris leaves the city and his junkyard home, fleeing into the Ozarks countryside. While on the road, mysterious streaks of blue light in the night sky drive him into a forgotten bit of nowhere lost in the hills. Johnny thinks he’s found home and good work in an odd little gas station from another time.
Johnny quickly gets pulled into a world where the cars aren’t the only things all chromed out and everything seems touched with the energy of the flying blue streaks that led Johnny there.
Enticed and torn between two sisters, one an outcast for her normality, the other a beautiful monster, Johnny becomes the pawn of their father. The old man is both the town’s mechanic and its Doctor. He’s looking for a replacement and Johnny Burris is the man with just the right skills.
When Johnny learns the truth behind the doctor’s plans, he runs, taking one of the “normal” sisters with him. But the town, and the girl, turn out to be even more than he imagined. And his w hole world comes down to just one choice, live as a monster, making monsters or die like a man. If he chooses to die, who will he take with him?
“The man he met was small and stooped by more years than Johnny could imagine. The old man trembled with the effort of standing. There was no indication of how he had gotten himself into the garage. He was alone, without any kind of support, a mystery man condensed out of the air. He was just an old man but like everyone else Johnny had seen since coming to Em’s Garage, he was something more. Under the stained white shirt he wore buttoned to the neck, there were two coils of tubing that pulsed in an alternating rhythm. It was as if the big arteries of the heart had been run outside the body. They beat, one on constriction, one on expansion, keeping unwavering time.”
I’m going to try my damnedest to avoid muscle car puns and/ or sayings here, if feels to easy taking that route… Ahem. Let’s try again.
Since cutting my teeth on Robert Dunn fiction with The Red Highway I’ve been looking for another opportunity to jump back into his world. Enter Motorman, and not a moment too soon. Motorman is a great read and a great time, a pulp feature enjoyed in a back seat at dark drive in. Robert weaves a menagerie of vibes and themes between the pages, breathing life into a fresh story that has a timeless feel. Like meeting an old best friend for the first time. Imagine Frankenstein meets The Road Warrior meets Weird Science meets American Graffiti meets Reanimator. It’s a blast, a hoot, & a holler.
Johnny is a solid main character living amongst a cast wildly interesting and memorable characters. He’s a simple man with a complex skill set. Has can speak machine. His arc is tragic and heartwarming, there and back again, fitting perfectly in this world peppered with classic cars, classic tunes, and classic modifications.
I dug the vibe throughout, like I should have a pack of smokes rolled up in my sleeve while reading. Some fuzzy dice hanging from my bookmark. The landscape presented by Mr. Dunn is vivid, theatrical, tangible. Scenes came alive for me, making the connection process well oiled… Ahem. Motorman, a quick read, felt like Robert had just as much fun writing as I was having reading. It’s a great wavelength for a reader to tap into, not so much reading, but being told a story.
It’s a cast of characters, and a world, that I hope we get to visit again sometime.
Motorman is a high octane, alcohol fueled funny car tearing down a haunted highway! Gripping like burning rubber screeching down tarmac and striking like the ghostly images of lost compares reflected in chrome rims…
Highly recommended. Check it out.
“’Around here, people like you and me—we’re the damaged ones. Here, the beautiful people are the ones with scars.’”
Overall score: 4.5/ 5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher/ publicist on the promise of an honest review. These are my unbiased feelings.
Robert Dunn was an Army brat born in Alabama and finally settled in Nixa, Missouri. A graduate of Drury College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications/Film he also earned a second major in Philosophy with a minor in Religion and carried an emphasis in Theatre. This course of study left him qualified only to be a televangelist.
An award-winning film/video producer and writer, he has written scripts for or directed every kind of production from local 30-second television commercial spots to documentary productions and travelogues.
A writer of blognovels and contributor to various fiction websites his work has also included the book length prose poem, Uncle Sam, the collection of short stories, Motorman and Other Stories and novels Behind the Darkness and The Red Highway.
Mr. Dunn now resides in Kansas City where he continues to write genre fiction and experiment with mixed media art projects using hand drawn and painted elements combined through digital paint and compositing.
Praise for Robert Dunn
“The Red Highway is not one of the best books that I’ve read so far this year, or that I’ve read in a long time…it’s one of the best books that I’ve ever read! It was an incredible read, one that has so many layers that I was completely enthralled with the story. 5+++ stars!” -2 Book Lovers Reviews
“A thoroughly gripping read. Dunn is a writer with guts and the chops to grab his readers by the eyeballs and dare them to look away.”
–Hunter Shea, Author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon
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