Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"CURRENCY OF SOULS" by Kealan Patrick Burke
When I finished reading Kealan Patrick Burke's latest novel, Currency of Souls, this morning, that was the word that came first and foremost to my mind.
It takes some mighty large cajones to write a book like this. To take a large cast, give each and every one an uber-detailed, dark and dirty past, throw them in a cocktail shaker called Milestone, throw the contents onto the bar like a toss of the dice, and to have the balls to honestly record on the page whatever insane asylum train wreck comes up...
What the hell is this book even about? Debt? The Devil? Revenge? Regret? Sixties lounge singers? Native American Mythology? Murder? Fathers and Sons? Husbands and Wives? It's like an unsettling feeling that you can't quite describe... or one you don't want to describe.
I know that the story moved me. I know that the story stretched my imagination to its limits to keep up with what it was being force-fed. Like a grisly car crash, I know that I couldn't look away once I caught a glimpse.
I know that it doesn't come close to falling into the contemporary genre categories.
I know that when I finished reading it I felt like I was privy to information that I never wanted to know, but that I now need to know.
I know that I loved every second of it.
As a reader, every once in a great while you get the opportunity to experience a story that doesn't just go against the grain, it scratches it up beyond comprehension leaving broken and bloody fingernails behind... and still succeeds as a brilliant story. Every once in a great while, you get to come across as story that questions everything you thought you knew about what the concept of story means. Burke has made me question everything about reading and writing, and for that, I thank him.
Check out Kealan's website here.
Rated 5 out of 5
(Originally reviewed in "The Daily Cave" on March 14th, 2007)