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Detailed Book Review
   
   
   
Bonneville Stories         
Bonneville Stories
By Mark Doyon
ISBN: 978-1-929763-09-2
Price: $12.95
Shipping: $4.00
        
In the fictional town of Bonneville, good people lose limbs, fight lightning, and slip into sinkholes. They pitch over bicycles, tumble off ladders, and expire without warning. They spin the wheel and take their chances.

It's all in a day's work.

Some blame God, others blame kismet, and still others rail against random happenstance. All told, maybe there are no accidents. With Bonneville Stories, Mark Doyon delivers ten compelling tales of fate and the freedom to choose.

Echoing the wondrous oddity in the works of Roald Dahl, Ray Bradbury, and Donald Barthelme, Doyon's stories explore a quirky milieu evocative of the novels of Kurt Vonnegut and Frederick Exley, and of the television shows Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone.

Mark Doyon, a fiction writer and musician with the rock bands Wampeters and Arms of Kismet, grew up in Fairfax County, Va., a stone's throw from Bonneville and the Shenandoah Valley.

Bonneville Stories is also available as an ebook on Amazon.com for the Kindle.

        
Book Review Details:
        
Reviewed Appeared In: Compulsive Reader
Reviewed By: Robin Landry
Text Of Review:

Doyon has what all great writers have; that special something that makes their work compulsively readable, and characters that live on in our imaginations until, with time we're not sure if they were real or just people we've read about.

It's not often a book comes along that is the perfect marriage of great writing, and great characters, but with Doyon's new book of short stories you get both. Considering this is Doyon's first book, this is an author to watch.

Each story stands alone and yet is a part of a mosaic that paints an over-all picture of sharply drawn characters living out their strange lives. In one story we meet Jake Toole, a young boy who loses his hand to a firecracker accident. In one sentence Doyon gives us a complete picture of the character. "Like the device that had taken his gloved hand, his fuse was a short one." Next Doyon paints a picture with words of Jake's mother with the artistry of Monet.


Lorna Toole was doughy and strapping and beautiful . . . Her shoulders sat squarely on her frame like a truck body on its chassis, and she projected the steely resolve of a locomotive. Her slow, deliberate steps sent little seismic waves through the floorboards of her living room. She cut an imposing figure. Ironically, her round face was delicate and disarmingly feminine, even doe-like. It radiated goodwill. From a distance, she looked like a waning Dick Butkus in a flower print dress, ambling downfield. Up close she looked like Bambi on Doritos.

If I were a better writer I could wax more poetically of this wonderful set of stories but since Doyon is the far better writer, I'll just give more examples of how good this young man is.

Another favorite is a story called "Chemical Sky." It tells the story of a simple window washer who wakes up to a new life after falling thirty feet from a ladder while washing a millionaire's windows:.

Lately she had felt as if she were living someone else's life . . . Before it happened, she understood the relationship between work and what it brought her. Now she understood only that a stroke of misfortune had brought her a run of ripping luck. It was as if she had awakened one morning to discover that excruciating pain was the price one paid for celebrity and untold wealth. It seemed a little expensive.

Even when discussing death, Doyon gives us a twist of humor: "Five years after Uncle Roy boarded the sky trolley, Sully's father followed via the cancer train."

Doyon has what all great writers have; that special something that makes their work compulsively readable, and characters that live on in our imaginations until, with time we're not sure if they were real or just people we've read about. In a way, Doyon's characters are more real to us because he manages to instill in his writing slices of reality that hit us where we live, marking us forever with a sudden truth about the human condition. And isn't that what great art is all about?

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