Friday, 27 May 2016

REVIEW: Robert E. Dunn - Motorman

Genre: Horror / Sci-Fi
Publisher: Necro Publications
Publication Date: 15th May 2016
Pages: 105


A copy of Motorman by Robert E. Dunn was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author via Hook of a Book, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Necro Publications.

This is one of those occasions where I get a chance at reviewing a new book coming out after connecting with the author on Facebook and Twitter and discovering he is one of the good guys. Robert E Dunn and I connected a few months ago and I have to say it has been a pleasure getting to know him. We did the cover reveal for Motorman a couple of months back, and what a cover it is.

This of course brings in the normal disclaimer that just because we connect on social media, this does not gain any favours from me when it comes to reviewing.

This is my first experience of reading Mr Dunn. This is what I thought.

Johnny Burris is a mechanic. A very good one by all accounts. After his latest job goes wrong due to a murder in which he was involved, he is on the run.

He ends up hiding out in a small town where no one knows him. He manages to get a job as a mechanic again. He tries to keep himself to himself but cannot help but be charmed by two sisters. Their daddy is a strange type of doctor that notices Johnny’s good hands and wants him to take over his work when he is gone. Work not on cars, but creating monsters from severely injured humans.

Johnny has a choice to make. Put his hands to good use or start running again.

This is a story that I cannot give you too much detail on it for fear of spoiling it for you. In terms of our characters, Johnny is the main man. He seems to be a decent sort of a fella. Not too smart but not the dumbest around and he certainly has a flare for working with his hands. He has found himself in his current situation more by bad luck than anything else. He really just wants to disappear and work on cars. The two women he is torn between, Emma and Bella are sisters. Not your normal sisters though. They are dedicated to the work of their daddy, a weird doctor with even weirder methods of looking after his patients.

The plot is really in two parts. You have Johnny on the run and trying to make a life where no one knows him then you have the surreal world he has entered where the doctor and the sisters live a secret life involving keeping people alive at all costs.

Surreal is the main word that stuck in my mind both while reading this one and for a few hours after I had finished it. Robert Dunn has created a strange town with even stranger inhabitants living an even stranger again life. Trying to describe the atmosphere that this book exudes is not easy. It’s sort of like Frankenstein meets Westworld.

There are a few elements within the story that still have me wondering what they were about. There is a constant reference to a blue light and blue gunge but you never really find out where this has come from or who introduced it. I don’t know if there are plans to expand on this novella any but a bit more of an explanation about that would be good.

The one thing that really blew my mind was the idea behind the doctor’s creations. What Mr Dunn has done in this part of the book is create something that is both mesmerising but horrific at the same time. Again I cannot give you details for fear of spoiling the book for you but when you read it you will totally understand. As I mentioned before it is like a modern day Frankenstein utilising todays modern technology and the images this presents to you are fascinating and creepy as hell. The final couple of chapters of this story are exceptional for having you on the edge of your seat with your jaw hanging open wondering just what the hell is going on.

This is a fairly quick read being a novella. I would love to see it expanded on and either further novellas using the same main story line or a full novel. I think the idea behind the story has a lot of mileage left in it and could make a wonderfully gruesome story. Robert Dunn certainly has the imagination and the writing skills to pull it off.

To summarise: a story that is hard to pin down to a specific genre. A bit of sci-fi with a bit of horror with a bit of stuff that is impossible to categorise. A quick read that has some of the best imaginative writing I have read for a while. Puts a new perspective on how much people love their cars!

General rating:

★★★★ enjoyable first read of Mr Dunn

Horror rating:

★★★★ scary weird.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy Motorman or any other books from Robert. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Running from a night of humiliation and murder, Johnny Burris leaves the city and his junkyard home, fleeing into the Ozarks countryside. While on the road, mysterious streaks of blue light in the night sky drive him into a forgotten bit of nowhere lost in the hills. Johnny thinks he’s found home and good work in an odd little gas station from another time.

Johnny quickly gets pulled into a world where the cars aren’t the only things all chromed out and everything seems touched with the energy of the flying blue streaks that led Johnny there.

Enticed and torn between two sisters, one an outcast for her normality, the other a beautiful monster, Johnny becomes the pawn of their father. The old man is both the town’s mechanic and its Doctor. He’s looking for a replacement and Johnny Burris is the man with just the right skills.

When Johnny learns the truth behind the doctor’s plans, he runs, taking one of the “normal” sisters with him. But the town, and the girl, turn out to be even more than he imagined. And his whole world comes down to just one choice, live as a monster, making monsters or die like a man. If he chooses to die, who will he take with him?

Robert Dunn (1960) was an Army brat born in Alabama and finally settled in Nixa, Missouri. A graduate of Drury College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications/Film he also earned a second major in Philosophy with a minor in Religion and carried an emphasis in Theatre. This course of study left him qualified only to be a televangelist.

An award winning film/video producer and writer, he has written scripts for or directed every kind of production from local 30-second television commercial spots to documentary productions and travelogues.

A writer of blognovels and contributor to various fiction websites his work has also included the book length prose poem, Uncle Sam, the collection of short stories, Motorman and Other Stories and novel, Behind the Darkness.

Mr. Dunn now resides in Kansas City where he continues to write genre fiction and experiment with mixed media art projects using hand drawn and painted elements combined through digital paint and compositing.

And for more about Robert, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Page

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