Thursday, September 19, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Moosejaw Frontier by Chris Kelso

Juan wakes up in the racist town of Moosejaw after suffering a near fatal snake bite. As he battles for the right to live he begins experiencing vivid nightmares of a symbiotic dream-twin who seems determined to take over complete control of Juan's existence. 'Moosejaw Frontier' is a terrifying journey through the various plateaus of reality, fiction, and one man's intrinsic desire to become more than just a minor character...



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An experimental fantasy that is an exercise in metafiction and an entertaining examination of a writer’s psychosis, Kelso’s novella dares to challenge the boundaries of imagination. This book has something of a coherent “plot,” but this “story” isn’t going to give you cuddly characters or anything close to a conclusion. A writer’s conflict with reality is presented here; the characters are incarnations of ideas, rough-sketches of incomplete people and events that linger on the threshold of time and space. 

The book is rather short; I found myself turning pages quickly because I wanted to see what Kelso would do next, and I wanted to know where the fragmented narrative would lead. Just as in life, there is no true “ending” to a story that extends into forever. Different writing styles are also used in this piece; if writing and art are nothing more than self-indulgent habits and needs expressed by the artist, here is self-indulgence that is aware of itself.

This is bizarro fiction. Don’t read this book if you’re looking for the same, recycled stories that are published on a daily basis. Read this book for its ability to challenge what you believe about your own self-awareness.