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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Review: Captain Clive's Dreamworld by Jon Bassoff

Captain Clive's Dreamworld 
by Jon Bassoff

Thank you to Eraserhead Press and Night Worms for this copy.

Publisher: Eraserhead Press
Publish Date: October 1, 2020
Kindle Edition
Genre: Horror

After becoming the suspect in the death of a young woman he was investigating, Deputy Sam Hardy is "vanished" to a town in the middle of the desert called Angels and Hope. A company town built to support a magnificent amusement park (one to rival Disneyland) known as Captain Clive's Dreamworld. When he arrives in Angels and Hope, Hardy begins to notice some strange happenings. Virtually no customers ever visit. None of the townsfolk ever seem to sleep. And girls seem to be going missing with no plausible explanation. As Hardy begins investigating, his own past is drawn into question by the town, and he finds himself becoming more and more isolated. The truth—about the town and himself—will lead him to understand that there’s no such thing as a clean escape.

My Review:

"Orwell, the guy who wrote 1984, feared the leaders would conceal the truth from us.  Huxley worries that they wouldn't need to because the truth would no longer matter to us.  Which is worse, Deputy?"

Well this was definitely quite the interesting read.  I always have loved stories where a small, seemingly idyllic town is uber creepy and there's something sinister going on underneath the painted smiles.  Angels and Hope certainly fits that bill. I absolutely loved the little nods to things such as the Three Witches and the subtle but notable political tones reflecting where American seems to be heading these days.  It gives me the shivers that when I used to read books such as these, I could keep them in the realm of fantasy and fiction and thus not get squeamish or offended.  But blind following, for whatever the reason, such as what we see here for Captain Clive is almost understandable and all too realistic considering what I've been seeing over these past few years in real life. But I digress...

There were definitely a couple scenes that made me raise my eyebrows (also, EW) and I was expecting the story to go a different way than it did.  But I'm always one who is (usually) happy to be surprised.  Bassoff does a fantastic job of building this insane story where it bursts vividly in your imagination.  Angels and Hope is certainly a place I hope to never, ever visit.  Ever. And I appreciate why the story ended the way that it did, which also gave me new perspective on the town itself.

We all have demons.  We all have secrets.  How we manage to get punished or how we punish ourselves for these can sometimes come about in the most unexpected ways.  Bassoff writes so viscerally, that I can see why one of his books have been opted for adaptation.  I will certainly be keeping my eye out for more by this author.  Can someone please pass me some moonshine "medicine"?  


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