Elizabeth A. White has postedreview of Brambleman. Hers is the first cohesive, independent report of the book, and I’m happy to report that she read what I wrote. (For many writers and reviewers, this isn’t always the case.)
In summing up, she writes:
Like his first novel, Chain Gang Elementary, Jonathan Grant’s highly ambitious and engaging second novel, Brambleman, once again took me somewhere I wasn’t quite expecting. Though the book presents a tremendous amount of historical information about the events of 1912, by constructing the story around the premise Charlie is himself working on a text about the events – a book within the book – it all flows naturally. Indeed, as he did in Chain Gang Elementary Grant demonstrates once again that he is particularly adept at weaving hard-edged sociopolitical topics into the fabric of his fictional narrative without being heavy-handed, never sacrificing his storytelling to “just the facts.”
Brambleman goes far beyond “just the facts” actually, as there is a decidedly supernatural element to the tale, one that becomes more pronounced as the story unfolds. In fact, before you know it Grant has taken what initially appeared to be the simple story of a down on his luck writer and turned it into a reflection on personal spirituality, vengeance, and destiny. Because of the topics it touches on, both fact and fiction, Brambleman is not exactly a “beach read” kind of book. What Brambleman is, however, is an extremely well-written book that will both entertain and inform. And you can’t really ask for more than that now, can you?
You can read her entire review here.
You can read her review of Chain Gang Elementary here.