June 30, 2011
Sympathy for THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK
Jason Jack Miller’s Debut Novel Available on Amazon.com
It’s been a long time since I’ve been truly impressed with a debut novel, but I am with this one. Instead of writing a book report, I’ll share my feelings about what’s being categorized as “Appalachian Gothic.”
This book is so real it’s incredible. The characters are real; they live and breathe and struggle with addictions. The setting is real; I’m there as the West Virginia winter turns to spring in the mountains and in the city. The heartache is real; I groaned out loud for the pain of Preston Black both past and present. And most of all the music is real; I wanted to sing along and tap my foot to the jam. I really wish there was a soundtrack to this book—I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
Miller knows his characters and his music and has created a milieu so real you can’t help but be caught up and swept toward the inevitable doom that his devil has planned.
You catch a few whiffs of something sinister through the first half of the book—plenty to let you know what’s coming as you get invested in the hopes and fears of Preston Black, legend in the making. There’s somewhat of a long build-up, but when it finally hits the fan, it’s a shitstorm of epic proportions, made all the worse because your heart’s tied up with Preston, who only wants to find his father and make it as a musician.
Miller knows how to turn a phrase, and he does so to great effect. I often laughed out loud at his wit and humor.
All in all, THE DEVIL was a terrific read, and extremely satisfying. This is what great fiction should be. I hope for more from this talented writer.
Visit Jason at his blog: http://jasonjackmiller.blogspot.com/
Comments to this post