Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thawed Out and Fed Up-Ryan Brown

Thawed Out and Fed Up

Ryan Brown

Gallery, Oct 4 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9781439171561

In a steady rain in Welshland, Texas Sam Bonham wakes up in the alley next to Rack ‘Em Up. He notices blood all over his clothing, not his; and he has his fillet knife tucked in his jeans. He has no idea what happened last night, but assumes he is back in a shitload of trouble; nothing new to him. Six months ago he walked out on his wife Georgia and became a deadbeat dad to their son Sam, Jr. At the Busy Bee Diner, he overhears two cops talking about the vicious stabbing death of Georgia’s boyfriend Slick on her lawn; the body was found by San, Jr.

Having had a fight with Slick Motley earlier in the day, he believes he killed Slick in a rage though he cannot remember anything from last night; Sam flees East Texas. He stops in strange Blistered Valley that looks like a movie set of a late nineteenth century town. An outlaw gang runs the town. However, the oddity that stuns him most is meeting cryogenically frozen John Wayne who insists he is Ethan Edwards. Although the septuagenarian Duke is in no shape for a High Noon brawl, he mentors Sam into what it takes to be an American hero like he was during The Searchers.

This whimsical fantasy follows the redemption of a badass who goes from selfish loser to risking his life for strangers as a hero. The transformation of Sam is deftly handled while his thawed out teacher helps him understand what makes any person a hero. This is an entertaining refreshing allegorical thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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