“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”
Zakk reviews Wallflower by Chad Lutzke, 102 pages published by Chad Lutzke, March 3rd, 2017.
“There are the curious, and then there are the dangerously inquisitive—those of us who reach beyond a morbid interest and into something morally questionable. Something that will pacify a nagging itch in our psyche if only we dive in head first. Without thinking. Without rationale, to experience for ourselves what we can’t understand by merely gawking at the ugliness from afar.”
After an encounter with a homeless man, a high school graduate becomes obsessed with the idea of doing heroin, challenging himself to try it just once. A bleak tale of addiction, delusion, and flowers.
“Don’t thank me, man. All you did was sell your soul for a dirty black bean. You may think you saw God, but that was a decoy. That garbage Chaz pawns off as heroin ain’t nothing but baby food. I drink straight from the teat. The junk I get blows your mind, runs through your body like liquid gold…a great ‘gasm to behold.”
I’ve been reading Chad Lutzke for a little while now, first making my acquaintance with his entertaining family zombie story One for the Road, then moving on to a smattering of short stories and on through Night as a Catalyst, a wonderful collection of short works. Chad’s collaboration with pulp favorite Terry M. West, The Him Deep Down, nearly set my kindle on fire, and more recently a stand alone novella, Of Foster Homes and Flies, played with a couple of themes that tap directly into my psyche, coming-of-age yarns and real-world horrors. While I’ve been entertained by everything I have read from Mr. Lutzke, Of Foster Homes and Flies was the first time I had been moved by his work.
Enter Wallflower, Chad Lutzke’s follow up to OFHaF, the second time I’ve been shaken. There is something about a tale of youth coming into their own, for better of worse, that I find highly entertaining and accessible. Secretly, I yearn for the worse in these type of tales, maybe that’s a shortcoming of mine but it’s my desire none the less. I’d rather face darkness on the page than in the real world, and that real-world darkness flows through Wallflower like a swollen river, threatening to swell beyond it’s banks as a young man looks for understanding in the eyes of the devil.
Chad has a knack for writing believable, grounded characters dealing with honest problems, fears. Wallflowers is no exception. You, the reader, will walk in Chris’ shadow. You will try to warn him off of his choices and you will see the petals of the flower start to wilt as the walls begin to close in on him.
“Every one of us has our demons and we’re all scared of something, running from something. Hiding something.“
If you are not put off by the horrors of the real world then I’d call Chad Lutzke’s Wallflower a must read. Recommended.
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and/ or publisher and I am reviewing it voluntarily. These are my honest, unbiased feelings. I did not receive any sort of compensation.