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Another Broken Wizard [Kindle Edition]

Colin Dodds
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $2.99
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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
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,683 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 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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19 of 19 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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14 of 14 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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11 of 11 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Writing Style But Otherwise A Let Down August 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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 friends.

Although the writing was good, I never really got invested in this story, and was never transported to that town. My main problem was my dislike of the two friends, who didn't seem to have a shred of decency between them. It wasn't the language, or the drinking, or drugs that I objected to, it was the sheer selfishness and contempt for other human beings that turned me off right at the start.

His main reason for his return was to care for his father, but in my opinion, he made a pretty half-hearted job of that and the poor guy would have been better off alone. His immaturity made it impossible to give any support, emotional or otherwise.

For me, the story never seemed to go anywhere, the character didn't grow, and even on the last page, I was waiting for something to happen, and it never did.
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9 of 9 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A downer. October 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was free and the reviews were good, so I thought this would be a good change of pace. Instead, I feel dirty and like I've wasted the afternoon.

I curse my compulsiveness for making me stick with a story I wanted to leave into the first chapter. It has a weird Raymond Chandler quality where you're watching a train wreck slice of life from someone you don't think you'd like in real life, and then kick yourself for not having sense to look away.

Long story short, the moral of the story seems to be that loyalty for its own sake is not a virtue, at least when it involves self destructive losers who will only take you down with them. I don't get the sense Jim figured that out, even at the end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Good
Published 12 days ago by Gail M Lipomi
5.0 out of 5 stars ... you hang on a little while it gets much better. Give the story a...
A little slow developing the story but if you hang on a little while it gets much better. Give the story a chance and I think you will enjoy it.
Published 21 days ago by Harriet R. Preston
4.0 out of 5 stars I think even though the story was sad and heart breaking I kept...
There was something about this story that kept me coming back to read it even though I wasn't "enjoying" it as much as I thought I usually do when I am enthralled in a... Read more
Published 25 days ago by D. Luby
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but this book is just anticlimactic. I kept reading, thinking...
It could be interesting if you are interested in driving around on streets and setting in a car in a parking lot. A real downer.poP
Published 26 days ago by Melinda Forsberg
3.0 out of 5 stars Growing up, Going home, rediscovery, bad friendships, tragic losses
December 30, 2014
A Review by Anthony T. Riggio of the novel Another Broken Wizard by Colin Dodds

When I started this book, I thought it would be entertaining and a... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Anthony T. Riggio
3.0 out of 5 stars You can't go home again as a 29-year-old...
"Another Broken Wizard" is a coming-of-age story for people nearing their 30's, in which a disheartened guy who had left his hometown for college comes back-- temporarily... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Anita Kelley Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down!
Went to Clark and lived in Natick. The book captured the feel of the locale and the depressed existence of the characters. Highly recommend!
Published 1 month ago by Eileen L. O'Brien
2.0 out of 5 stars Full disclosure: I only got this because it was free and I thought...
No actual Wizards. I know, I know. I should have read the description. I didn't. I had just come off reading Jim Butcher's EXCELLENT "Skin Game" (which Another Broken... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid mature writing
What a journey through the moral ambiguity that permeates our modern existence. This book is a laser-beam focus on a period of great change in a life. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Steve Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderfully crafted sad story
I enjoyed the style of writing and descriptions. I was able to feel what it would be like to be right there in the scene
Published 1 month ago by nanci
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More About the Author

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. His poems have appeared in more than one hundred fifty publications, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Dodds is also the author of several novels, including WINDFALL, Another Broken Wizard and The Last Bad Job. One of his screenplays, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.


"(The Last Bad Job) shows something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people."
- Norman Mailer

"These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them."
- David Berman, songwriter and poet Silver Jews, Actual Air

"...likely to become one of our premiere writers."
- Grady Harp, Literary Aficionado


"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 many others

"WINDFALL is not your typical political thriller. Dodds deftly weaves in a solid paranormal thread that explores ambition, myth and morality in an indifferent America without resorting to pulpit thumping or cardboard villains."
- The New Podler Review of Books

"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. (The Last Bad Job) is definitely one of the best books I've read in the past ten years."
-Boston Literary 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 and If You Go into the Woods

"Smart people compliment the smart and direct narrative in a way that keeps a reader... eager to turn the page to discover the next big move from these compelling leads... (WINDFALL) could easily stand up against the more famous works of the genre."
- Rabid Readers Reviews

"(What Smiled at Him) 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

"(The Last Bad Job) is a kaleidoscope of destruction...it's difficult not to giggle even as characters tell their horrific stories, the death and destruction nullified by the absurdity of the context. Whether the author is making a statement about apocalypse, religion or about finding meaning in life, I may be hesitant to make a claim. However, I was happy to warm my hands with the bonfire he created and chuckle at the world's misfortunes...I don't think I'll ever look at an apocalypse the same way."
- Papyrus Independent Author Reviews

"WINDFALL, while a mesmerizingly fascinating and addictive story, steps beyond the usual campfire-cum-barbershop tales spread around town or discussed in literary circles... (I) encourage those whose hunger for the new in writing will be stimulated to become submerged in this very contemporary landfall of a book. Colin Dodds has arrived."
-Grady Harp, Literary Aficionado

"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 takes us on one hell of an adventure... The main character (of The Last Bad Job) 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

"(Another Broken Wizard) 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

"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 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

"The Last Bad Job is a fantastical trip... I absolutely loved it in a weird crazy way... the characters are what really pulled me into this book... a very realistic post-alcoholic breakdown journalist who is also very introspective and likable all at once... The writing is flawless and the irony of the story is just absolutely fabulous... Colin Dodds has picked up a new fan - I'm definitely going to go back and pick up his prior books and stay on the lookout for more!"
- Kathy LaMee, Tracyriva.com

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