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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2011
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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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2011
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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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2011
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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2014
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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2013
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2011
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
on April 4, 2015
All about self-destructive behavior--boozing, drugging, wanton sex, and more boozing. Come on--seriously not even the least bit interesting. Thought it would actually have a plot but the main character never ever understood that it was time for him to grow up and become responsible. His best friend was totally self-destructive. No sadness at his passing. It just seemed inevitable. Main character seemed to care so little for his parents--it was just a chore for him to be there to help his Dad recuperate. And not even believable that his father would have had open heart surgery for a goiter. Found myself skimming the book to get it over with. Should have just erased it from my Kindle early on!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2011
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2015
This story or pity party on paper is a sad reminder of what is wrong with people today. Looking for excitement through booze, drug, or sex in the back seat, is just an excuse to not grow up and take responsibility for your own actions. Sorry I wasted my time.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2013
Through chapter 12 it was about getting drunk, taking drugs, cussing, fighting, and feeling sorry for yourself. I couldn't take it any more, that is reading about this boring life style.
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