Set in small town America, A Prospect of Death presents a Backwoods narrative of life in a place which outwardly seems like any other. The main character, Virgil, draws together eight unique characters and tells us how, over the course of several years, their lives knitted together through chance and coincidence and ultimately led to a tragic incident which changed them all forever.
I was browsing on Amazon about a month ago and if you are familiar with the site, you’ll know that when you look at a book, below it there’s usually a cache of other books that may be of interest to you. I can’t remember what I was looking at, but this little number popped up below. I had a look at the description which seemed intriguing. Scrolled down to see if there were any reviews, which there weren’t; popped over to Amazon.com to check there – no reviews. Went onto to Goodreads site to check – no reviews and no ratings there either.
Googled the book, googled the author, clicked the author profile on Amazon…….all drew a blank. Well totally fascinated by the fact that a book which has been available since July of last year, doesn’t seem to have provoked a reaction from anyone - friends or family of the author haven’t supported it - I did what any self-respecting reader would do……..I bought it.
Ok there are formatting issues with how the book is presented. We jump from scene to scene and character to character without any discernable break in the text that indicates chapter ends, switches of POV etc…..but this would be a minor gripe to be honest and once you kind of expect this you can re-adjust your reading compass and quickly re-establish your bearings when it occurs.
Well then what was the verdict? Wow, I’m conflicted by this one. It’s a simple tale of a small town in America and how certain of the townsfolk are living their lives. We see the relationships between family members – husbands and wives, mother and daughters and all the emotions that are on display; the hurts caused after casual cruelties both mental and physical are inflicted. We have loneliness and abandonment in some instances and love and nurturing and friendships and loyalty in other relationships.
Part of our cast of characters includes a doctor……..I’m still not sure about him to be truthful and a pair of feral twins that terrorise their parents and the townsfolk as a matter of routine.
Our tale unfolds and we learn some of the histories of our cast and we share in their aspirations and dreams for the future, as we slowly meander towards an event that will change everyone’s destiny.
The climax to this event and its unfolding both horrified and appalled me. Hence my conflicting reaction………I’m still unsure what I feel as the author forced me to reconsider my views on how I felt about some of the characters within the book.
Entertaining and interesting, ultimately disturbing and uncomfortable.
I would absolutely love to hear what anyone else feels about this one, I have to assume I’m not the only person who has read this, but you never know!
It’s less than a pound on Amazon UK and less than a dollar-fifty on Amazon US, if anyone feels so inclined to give this a shot. (163 pages long) Even if you don’t get past the first 10 pages and hate it….. I’d like to hear about it.
5 from 5 ...... had me asking myself questions, I wasn't sure I wanted to know the answer to.
Amazon UK purchase.