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Minions of the Moon Hardcover – January 15, 1999
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Silent Corner" by Dean Koontz
A dazzling new series, a pure adrenaline rush, debuts with Jane Hawk, a remarkable heroine certain to become an icon of suspense. See more
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When customers seek their memories in Half Remembered Things, Kevin Grierson's New York shop, they gawk at the price tags attached to the toys of their childhood. Kevin reflects, "The past is always just a bit more expensive than we thought possible."
And so it is for Kevin, a successful middle-aged antiques dealer whose past is exacting a price: he journeys down dark memories of peddling his young body to strangers, destroying himself with booze and speed, striving to become predator rather than prey on the streets of New York in the 1960s. The problem, as he sees it, is that his Shadow--more than an alternate self but less than an independent doppelgänger--is the bad guy, the one who would bring back the old habits. But his Shadow is not purely evil, and Kevin is not purely good. The two of them have much to learn if they ever hope to be reconciled.
Minions of the Moon is an absorbing, beautifully wrought novel of dark fantasy--its complex web of stories told in interweaving strands, its dreamlike images balanced by a clean, matter-of-fact prose style. --Fiona Webster
From Publishers Weekly
Life can be brutal for a boy growing up on the streets of Boston at mid-century, especially if he's gay and his mother's crazy, and particularly if he's haunted by a doppleganger, a phantom double. Kevin Grierson grew to adulthood in a tough Irish-American family with uncles who were prone to beat him up for his own good. Making it through college and moving to New York, Kevin tries unsuccessfully to balance a career writing advertising copy with a secret existence centered on drugs, alcohol and promiscuous, tawdry, often dangerous sex. His doppleganger lurks constantly in the background, manifesting itself whenever Kevin gets in trouble, giving him bad advice, hijacking his body for his own ends whenever he's too drunk or too stoned to resist. As the years go by, Kevin lives from one crisis to the next, struggling constantly with both his double and his addictions. Then he discovers that he's not alone. There are other people with supernatural powers in the world, and some of them aren't very nice. Worse still, there's a mysterious group called the Sojourners who seem interested in collecting Kevin and his double for their own secret, presumably unwholesome, purposes. In his first novel in 10 years, Bowes (Feral Cell) has produced a well-written and unusually gritty urban fantasy of a sort likely to appeal to fans of the work of Charles de Lint. Although the novel takes place over a period of decades, there isn't really much plot here. Grierson, however, is a fascinating character whose life consists of a series of small, grim and involving urban adventures.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not a straightforward narrative; it meanders back and forth through the protagonist's life, allowing us to understand his passage through times of addiction and degradation into an acceptance of his past and of the Shadow that is a part of his existence. It’s hard to say this is an enjoyable book -- it is too intense for that -- but once I had started it I found it difficult to put it down. I highly recommend it.
At points the novel has very obviously been stitched together from many separate short works (as author admits in the preface), but once you get into the storyline and the reality as weaved together by the author, you'll let yourself go on a spook tour of Kevin's psyche.
Inventive, clever, unique, vivid, pervasive.
Someone recently said to me, 'I like books in which as a reader I'm not 100% sure of what's going on.' Me too.
The tip o' the hat to Mr. Hyde in the Shadow is well done. The novel is gritty enough to have a nice hard-boiled feel without being unbearably grotty.
Why not five stars? Too disjointed. It does not quite hold together well enough as a novel to make it really memorable.
Good read all the same. Not a waste of time.
Some olk will freak out because it's sf. Some will freak out because of gay themes. But all who stick with it will realize there are universal statements for all open-minded folk to revel in. And by the way, he spins a good yarn.
Bowes has only gotten better over the years, but this is where it began. I'm so glad it's back in print.