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Another Broken Wizard [Kindle Edition]

Colin Dodds
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jim Monaghan didn’t want to go back to Worcester. But unemployment and his father’s surgery forced his hand. Tending to his father and embarking on an ICU romance in the day, Jim seeks out his childhood best friend, Joe Rousseau. But Joe has problems with a local gang, and his plan to resolve the matter only makes things worse. Jim follows his friend into Worcester nights defined by drugs, guns and fistfights. And as the danger escalates, he makes a painful choice to try to save Joe. And then he has to live with the consequences.

A book about straddling childhood and adulthood, straddling a fading industrial home town and the information-economy world of our attenuated aspirations, straddling the love for a friend and the urge toward self preservation, Another Broken Wizard is a portrait of Worcester, Massachusetts—its place in the 21st century and its past.


“Dodds gets Worcester and shows it in all of its glories and cracks…He runs through the streets of the city and nearby towns and takes the reader with him…Dodds is a master of writing the town life and capturing all of the said and unsaid. His characters are so full of waiting, of pain, and of hope that never reaches past the next day.”
-Worcester Pulse Magazine

“Dodds… creates exceptionally vivid characters, a story which sneaks up on you at first, then gathers pace, and the book has tight writing which keeps you turning the pages right until the profoundly moving denouement. Simply put, Another Broken Wizard is brilliant. Read this book!”
-David Gaughran, author of A Storm Hits Valparaíso

“Masterfully written with all the grit and grisly humor of returning to one’s dingy blue collar hometown, Another Broken Wizard is the compelling, tightly-woven story of a couple of 30-year old boyhood chums who don't grow up until it's too late.”
-Boston Literary Magazine

“It kept me nostalgic for something that isn't my story, isn't my town, and I got really emotionally involved. I may have shed a tear at the beautifully foreshadowed climax, and I do not cry easily! Seriously. Give it a read.”
- Illiterarty.com

“Another Broken Wizard is a terrific coming-of-age tale that rings utterly true. Dodds has a gift for conveying the sounds of his people and their world. He can make highway hypnosis as fascinating as a gang brawl. And he has a natural radar for locating the perfect detail to evoke the sense of what it feels like to be caught between the past and the future, between loyalty and logic, and between the security of the known and the impulse to evolve. Though I came of age in the primordial mists, it somehow felt like he was giving me a tour of my own past. Another Broken Wizard is compulsively readable. I’ll be giving this book to some of my friends.”
- Jack O’Connell, author of The Resurrectionist, Box Nine and others

“Dodds has written a fine novel. He has a voice wholly his own, and he captures the elemental good and bad in the American male. Joe’s recklessness and gang feud creates a looming peril that keeps the reader on edge.”
-Kevin Kosar, author of Whiskey: A Global History


Praise for What Smiled at Him

“The novel has an angry edge to it, recalling the spirit of the Beats. Many of the peripheral characters speak like prophets… Marv and Lynn are just as self-aware as their supporting cast, and their abundance of wisdom sometimes stretches believability; it’s tempered, however, by the flaw of their continually self-destructive behavior. Watching them ignore their better instincts… makes the characters more endearing.”
-Kirkus Reviews


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment – A Tragedy, was named a semi-finalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than ninety publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1091 KB
  • Print Length: 283 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FA2Z58
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars by mandy twaddell "another broken wizard" review October 28, 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a breakout novel from an author of substance. Dodds has an ear for language that is entirely his own, reminding me of no one. I found myself rereading sentences for the sheer pleasure of their newness. Original perceptions pour off the pages.

The plot concerns a young man returning home to the scruffy New England mill town of Worcester, Mass. He has come to visit his hospitalized father, and their relationship is a good one. Jim Monaghan also looks up his high school buddy, Joe. From the outset, it is clear that Jim's move to New York has given him a measure of maturity, whereas Joe, although charismatic, has a stagnant worldview.

This crowd of rudderless young men finds escape in drinking, fighting, and settling old scores. The decline in Worcester's manufacturing base leaves a darkening landscape for their aspirations. Still, there is a certain spirit that prevails among these men...part loyalty, and part affection for what is theirs. Anger and disappointment are part of the mix.

Dodds saves his strongest characterization for the town itself. He portrays "Wistah" in its present condition showing how it shapes those who live there. The culture of the territory is deftly drawn.

The reference to King Phillip's War is a successful device, and there is plenty of fodder in the relationship of Jim and Joe for book groups.

"Another Broken Wizard" is my first experience with an e-publication. The big houses missed a winner here.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing, great story line! September 20, 2011
Format:Paperback
Masterfully written with all the grit and grisly humor of returning to one's dingy blue collar town, Another Broken Wizard by Colin Dodds is the compelling, tightly-woven story of a couple of 30-year old boyhood chums who don't grow up until it's too late.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense! August 9, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
There's no shortage of literature out there about disheartening homecomings, skewed friendship, and loss, but for my money no book brings all those factors together with as much verve and insight as Another Broken Wizard, by Colin Dodds. As with the best of literary fiction writers, Dodds has a real talent for cracking open the minutiae of everyday life to reveal the complex web of emotion and history that ties his characters together and to their place on earth. In this book, that place so happens to be Worcester, Massachusetts. I've never been there, but after reading Another Broken Wizard I don't think I'll ever have to go. Dodds brings the town and its inhabitants to life with as much gritty realism and psychological depth as all five seasons of The Wire combined. It's an angry book and it's a sad book, but for me it's grace note is that, while reading it, more often than reaching for the box of Kleenex, I chuckled at the human comedy and warmth that underlies the struggle of these characters lives. Seriously folks, this is a great read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a story that is sometimes hilarious and sometimes painful and sometimes outrageous, but it is always wise and literate and beautifully told.

A family medical situation brings a young man back to his hometown and to his best childhood friend. Thus, this story of troubled, beloved people and places unfolds.

The author creates such an uncanny sense of place and characters that they seem to move into the room with you, filling the space with their sweetness and toxicity. When you finish the book, those flawed people and places do stay with you - and you really don't want them to go.

A fine literary and human experience. Highly recommended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Was into this one from the start. Plot flowed very nicely, novel was intriguing and highly entertaining. What I found most enjoyable though were the in-betweens, the insightful observations and notes on life and how it is what it is, how situations come to be the way they are. Particularly enjoyed the father-son interactions and the way they flowed, also the philosophical lines throughout the book on the role and effect of TV on relationships, and life. How it can yield bonding, yet on the flipside render isolation. Also, Worcester MA. Certainly a place I won't soon be forgetting, and I've never even been. Loved this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We all have a friend like this May 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The one whose laugh can remind us of youth and fun antics, but who just never gets past Neverland. A sweet, funny, sad read about going home again when you have grown beyond.
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29 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For shame, Mr. Dodds February 18, 2012
By Wookie
Format:Kindle Edition
I was so excited to find a book set in Worcester, and this was a great book until I ran into the first specific reference certain police officers. There was no reason to use their real names. Whatever experiences the author may have had with these police officers, there was still no reason for not changing their names.

It's a pity. This was a good read until I realized what the author had done. I won't bother finishing this book. Thank heavens I had borrowed it and had not paid for it. Not cool, Mr. Dodds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars chandleresque take on Worcester/friendship August 2, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I read this book because it was about Worcester mass, where i am from. not many books come out about Worcester. but it was mr. dodds's writing style was what kept me reading this book, as much as anything. he has a lyrical and minimalist and almost noirish chandler style. "Everyone loves the dead, right up until it costs something..." or "The beers came fast and Dad finished his before I knew it. He ordered another, taking me for a designated driver. I took a long swig of my own just to stay competitive. The fish came on wooden blocks."
Also: as for Worcester, it gets a the same noirish treatment here--and it's an acute depiction of one of the many post industrial New England towns....for example, "The Fountainhead apartments beat the future to a punch that was never thrown, and look out of place. Three concrete slabs in the middle of a lawn."
But he also brings it back with some tender moments--as if he can't quite go noir all the time. "First you`re an infant, then you`re a kid, and you get put in a town, then in a school. You pretty much have no say in it. But you find these friends who will always know you, no matter how far you wander. They become another family, the family of your heart, corny as it sounds."
Natural voice. Natural storyteller.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Writing Style But Otherwise A Let Down
This was well written, well constructed and well formatted. It is intended to be a deep and emotional novel on many levels, following an unwelcome return to a home town, family and... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Sharon Joan-Figuerola
3.0 out of 5 stars you really can not go home again.
Every group has a fellow like Joe in it. Our lead, Jim returns home to care for dad following a procedure. He has been laid off and as an only child feels obligated. Read more
Published 6 months ago by V. A. Garnett
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
The story is simple, much of the narrative is almost banal, but somehow the whole comes together. Perhaps part of it is that I lived for a while in Springfield and am familiar with... Read more
Published 6 months ago by R. Bowman
2.0 out of 5 stars Very boring
I don't know why I continued to read this book. I guess it shows the immaturity of the youth of today. Booze, drugs, getting high, and a lack of responsibility. Sad.
Published 6 months ago by Joyce A. Holtz
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and real
Loved this book. The characters were very real to me. I really like Worcester; it's a beautiful, old, broken place that's long past its "glory days" and the descriptions of... Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars A very sad tale
An interesting look into the lives of a sector of contemporary life. Recommended to those living in Worcester who want to recognize their hometown in print
Published 7 months ago by Carol Goyette
4.0 out of 5 stars <3
Loving every bit of Worcester and the characters and character development that I recognize from my youth. Read more
Published 7 months ago by L. R. Rodwill
1.0 out of 5 stars it's a drain!
It was a drain of my time and energy. Nothing happened that you didn't think was going to happen and nothing good happen.
Published 8 months ago by Meme
2.0 out of 5 stars this is a book about losers who never grow up
Everyday is appointing. A bunch of almost-thirty-year-olds never discover true responsibility. This story is full of one toxic relationship after another. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jeanne
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay read, but there are better
The story is depressing, the characters pretty dumb, and the basic theme seemed to be that you can't go home again. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Larry D
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More About the Author

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He's the author of several novels, including WINDFALL, Another Broken Wizard, The Last Bad Job and What Smiled at Him. Dodds' screenplay, Refreshment - A Tragedy, was named a semi-finalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.

WINDFALL
A story of the second American civil war, alternative energy and demonic possession, WINDFALL is part political thriller and part paranormal epic.

To all appearances, Seth Tatton is a middle-of-the-pack attorney just keeping his head above water. But he has a side job, working for a shadowy cabal of politicians, billionaires and military leaders. With each assignment, he learns more about their plot and, and grows more intrigued.

Even in Seth's secret life, things are not what they seem. There's something inside of him. And it has big plans for him, plans that it and others like it have nursed for centuries. But when Seth is assigned to watch a troubled young woman, all of those plans fall into question.

A semi-finalist for the 2013 Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize, WINDFALL is the latest novel from Pushcart-Prize nominated poet, and author of The Last Bad Job and Another Broken Wizard, Colin Dodds.


THE LAST BAD JOB
From the author of the widely acclaimed novels Another Broken Wizard and What Smiled at Him comes The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing "something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people."

It's a hell of an assignment: Five months on a New Mexico desert compound to cover the next Jonestown. For one reporter, it could be a career-maker. But when a cult member close to him kills herself, he decides to run for it, and begins a dark and comic journey through sex, drugs, cults, suicide, the end of the world, and what comes after it.


Praise for The Last Bad Job
"No one has done the Apocalypse better! From the opening scene to the final shocking line, this book is full of gruesome twists, profound insights, and absolutely brilliant writing. Definitely one of the best books I've read in the past ten years."
-Boston Literary Magazine

"Dodds takes us on one hell of an adventure... The main character is totally unsympathetic and you know it's not going to end well, yet as a reader you stick with him, screaming the whole way down. The writing is masterful..."
-Mary C. Moore, author Angelus, Daemonis, and Sapiens

"The Last Bad Job is a dark, weird apocalyptic trip with profanity, paranoia, and comedy-a beautiful elemental mix... I loved this book for many reasons: the detached but paranoid tone, the comedy and strong voice, the unpredictable turns and switchbacks, and the gonzo-style narrative."
-Marissa van Uden, marissavu.com


WHAT SMILED AT HIM
Childhood friends Lynn and Marv, now in their late twenties, have taken different roads. One is a struggling musician, the other a salesman for a software company. One night far from home, a mix of alcohol, recklessness and coincidence reunite them with Caroline, the longtime object of their desires. Married into a wealthy Chicago family and unhappy, she begins an affair with Marv.

A few weeks later, when Caroline is arrested and charged with murdering her husband and infant son, the unwelcome mystery pursues the friends through their searches for love, stabs at success, self-destructive lapses and leads one of them to his death.

What Smiled at Him is an unorthodox, contemporary mystery in which the protagonists have the means to solve a mystery, but flounder at the threshold of solving it.

Praise for What Smiled at Him
"The novel has an angry edge to it, recalling the spirit of the Beats. Many of the peripheral characters speak like prophets... Marv and Lynn are just as self-aware as their supporting cast, and their abundance of wisdom sometimes stretches believability; it's tempered, however, by the flaw of their continually self-destructive behavior. Watching them ignore their better instincts... makes the characters more endearing."
-Kirkus Reviews

"'What Smiled at Him' manages to be somber, colorful, and often guffaw-out-loud funny. It reads fast but is loaded with trenchant observations on modern relationships, growing up, and happiness that will give the reader pause."
-Kevin Kosar, author of Whiskey: A Global History


ANOTHER BROKEN WIZARD
Another Broken Wizard is the story of Jim Monaghan, who didn't want to go back to Worcester. But unemployment and his father's open-heart surgery forced his hand. Tending to his father and embarking on an ICU romance in the day, Jim seeks out his childhood best friend, Joe Rousseau. But Joe has problems with a local gang, and his plan to resolve the matter only makes things worse. Jim follows his friend into Worcester nights defined by drugs, guns and fistfights. And as the danger escalates, he makes a painful choice to try to save Joe. And then he has to live with the consequences.

A book about straddling childhood and adulthood, straddling a fading industrial home town and the information-economy world of our attenuated aspirations, straddling the love for a friend and the urge toward self preservation, Another Broken Wizard is a portrait of Worcester, Massachusetts--its place in the 21st century and its past.

"Dodds gets Worcester and shows it in all of its glories and cracks...He runs through the streets of the city and nearby towns and takes the reader with him...Dodds is a master of writing the town life and capturing all of the said and unsaid. His characters are so full of waiting, of pain, and of hope that never reaches past the next day."
-Worcester Pulse Magazine

"Masterfully written with all the grit and grisly humor of returning to one's dingy blue collar hometown, Another Broken Wizard is the compelling, tightly-woven story of a couple of 30-year old boyhood chums who don't grow up until it's too late."
-Boston Literary Magazine

"It kept me nostalgic for something that isn't my story, isn't my town, and I got really emotionally involved. I may have shed a tear at the beautifully foreshadowed climax, and I do not cry easily! Seriously. Give it a read."
- Illiterarty.com

"Another Broken Wizard is a terrific coming-of-age tale that rings utterly true. Dodds has a gift for conveying the sounds of his people and their world. He can make highway hypnosis as fascinating as a gang brawl. And he has a natural radar for locating the perfect detail to evoke the sense of what it feels like to be caught between the past and the future, between loyalty and logic, and between the security of the known and the impulse to evolve. Though I came of age in the primordial mists, it somehow felt like he was giving me a tour of my own past. Another Broken Wizard is compulsively readable. I'll be giving this book to some of my friends."
- Jack O'Connell, author of The Resurrectionist, and Box Nine



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