Review of Brambleman
February 27, 2014
by Paul Westerman
(on Brambleman‘s Amazon Page)
“I really had doubts about this book …”
Unexpected is the best word I can use to describe this book. All of the time I was reading it I expected something to appear that would make me dislike it, but it just kept getting better. Seldom do I rank a book with 5* because most books could have been better in some aspect such as plot, characterization, etc. This book is as good as it gets for what it is. I don’t think it is a book that everyone will enjoy as much as I did, but I recommend that any avid reader at least try it.
* * *
That’s the latest review of Brambleman (that I know of). Of course, I’ve been promoting the book lately and have moved nearly 2,500 copies in the last week or so, so I expect we’ll see more. I’m always grateful and usually appreciative of good reviews, but like everyone else, I do get some bad ones. One of these days I’ll tell you how I managed to get the only one-star review on Amazon I’ve gotten (so far). Let’s just say I earned it and I’m proud of it–my red badge of outrage.
Anyway, this latest review points out Brambleman probably isn’t for everyone, and I will cheerfully concede that point. It is a bit epic in length (it covers a hundred years) and deals with some tough issues along with a large measure of basic human horribleness, but in the end … well, you’ll have to read it to the end to see. It has touches of humor and horror, which I think says more than calling it funny and say. It is also a rather weird story, and defies genre classifications. It isn’t a historical novel, since it is set in contemporary Atlanta. but it does have a large does of history in it. . It isn’t a paranormal or fantasy novel, although it does have a measure of the supernatural, or what some people might call “magical realism.” I wouldn’t call it a Southern novle, since the main character is a border-state Yankee. Named Sherman.
Perhaps you could call it a literary novel, but that seems to me like the kiss of death. One particularly astute viewer described it as “Neil Gaiman meets Flannery O’Connor.” That’s pretty close to the way I pitched it originally: “Imagine Joseph Heller and Neil Gaiman collaborating to write To Kill a Mockingbird.”
For the story’s historical background, click here. To see my short answer to the question, Why did you write Brambleman? click here.
I would point out that Brambleman won the IBPA’s gold Benjamin Franklin Award for popular fiction, and popular always seems like a good thing to be for a book … and its writer.
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