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Another Broken Wizard Paperback – August 8, 2011
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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.
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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.
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.
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 fun read. Was I wrong!
The author is, undoubtedly a Massachusetts/Boston native, as you can almost immediately discern who insures that you understand the English being spoken by the main character of this book. Jim Monoghan returns from New York because his father must have a serious operation and since his parents’ divorce, he is the only one the father wants to attend to him post-surgery. While his mother lives nearby in a town within several minutes of Worchester Massachusetts, she doesn’t offer to help or perhaps is incapable. Jim has just been laid off his executive job in Manhattan due to a corporate reorganization and takes a hiatus from the girl he’s been dating for a long period of time. He intends to return and keeps his apartment in New York City.
Jim is thirty years old and hated living in Worchester when he left for college and did not want to return to ever live there. The very first thing he does, even before going to his father’s apartment, after driving up from New York City is look up an old friend, Joe Rousseau, a high school buddy who was nothing but trouble as a youngster. Here is thirty year old Joe sporting a “pony tail” and I immediately saw the incongruity between Jim Monoghan and Joe Rousseau, Joe stuck in his teen aged years and Jim a more mature and responsible person (or so I thought).
Jim quickly regresses to Joe’s level of maturity and it was at this point, I should have dropped the book as one never to pick up again. For whatever reason I continued on and the development of Jim’s regression and the development of the other characters became somewhat interesting. The renewed re-association becomes a downward spiral; I immediately knew was inevitable and would end in tragedy.
Reading on I began to revisit my own growing up, not too different than Jim’s and my separating myself from my friends as I began to realize hoe immature they were started to take on a clarity.
The book continues in several major drunk fests and a decline into the world of cocaine and almost juvenile sex sessions and street fights and the horrors mounting disasters.
As I read on, the relationship between Jim and Joe is both sad and heroic as to Jim’s blind allegiance to Joe and his near-do-well life style. The story becomes a rude awakening and a struggle to understand this relationship even after tragedy occurs.
One of the distractions the author provides is the constant and detailed description of the business’ and emporiums that Jim experiences as he drives to his father’s house, to the hospital and to meet Joe to rendezvous with immaturity.
The author wrote this book and I could almost see that the book was probably a memoir of his own struggle to grow up and discover himself. The overall story was interesting and somewhat entertaining and one will easily relate to events in their own life that almost changed the course of their lives.
The author was a descent writer and I will probably read some other works to see if my criticism holds true about the boring over described scenery of the drives through Worchester and its nearby towns.
I purchased the book through Amazon in the Kindle format and rated the book overall, three stars out of five.
This is a story of Jim Monaghan returning to his hometown to care for his father who is having surgery. We travel with Jim as he wanders around, mostly depressed and downtrodden. Within the few weeks we're with Jim, tragedy strikes, loves are found and lost, and a mean caretaker joins his dad.
Also, it needs some major editing and grammatical help. Quite a few mistakes.
I hate giving bad reviews for books, especially books written by very talented authors like Colin Dodds, but I have to be honest or I would not be able to live with myself.