It’s no surprise I enjoyed Joe Clifford Fausts’s joy ride of a novel, Drawing Down the Moon. Dating back to a dive into the Beat Generation about a decade ago, I’ve grown fond of “road novels.” My first, The Audacity of Dope (2011), was about a songwriter leading bad guys (and girls) on a merry chase from Texas to the Carolinas to Kentucky to Oregon to Virginia to the District of Columbia for its grand finale.
I might have left out a couple places. Oh, yeah. Florida. And a little Tennessee.
Riley Mansfield and Melissa Franklin, Dope’s protagonists, share a resourcefulness on the run with Ricky Gold, the “not his real name” weather reader of a cable-TV network, and Kada (short for Cicada), whom he encounters in an ill-fated stop for gas at a West Texas bar that sells the other kind of fuel, too.
Kada is sort of muddled New Age. She knows a little about a lot. She is fashionably eccentric in a fashion of her own. Gold’s infatuation with Kada turns potentially deadly. Both are bullshit artists forced to face harsh reality. As it turns out, bullshit artists face harsh reality well.
Shortly are they off on a road trip across four states after they arrive at Kada’s domicile just in time to find her live-in, unofficial husband murdered and his murderer dangerously nearby. They are amateurs, especially early, and it is something of a miracle that the world-weary weatherman and the self-proclaimed Wiccan survive the early scenes.
I’m not going to spoil it for you. Gold (nee Richard Argent) showed up in Texas fleeing the dissolution of a relationship with Molly, an ambitious news “personality” who has gone to the Middle East, chasing the archaeological excavations of an opportunistic evangelist.
Merely attempting to escape two killers, one of whom the reader will get to know better, Gold and Kada soon become vigorously pursued by the law, which is blind to the existence of one assassin posing as an FBI agent and another posing as an ex-Navy SEAL.
The two are inexplicably assisted by a pair of retirees looking for some adventure. World weariness is a common invitation for trouble in Drawing Down the Moon.
I didn’t just love the book. I was casting its movie in my mind.
It’s a tangled web Faust has weaved, but by the slam-bang, water-gushing climax, all fabric is satisfactorily taut, if a bit wet.
Also, there’s gold in them thar mushy worms, as well as the unlikely attraction of meteorological mediocrity to charming quirkiness.
I hope you’ll seriously consider Joe Clifford Faust’s whimsical thriller, in part because thrilling whimsically is hard to do, and I salute the author for his knack. http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Down-Moon-Clifford-Faust-ebook/dp/B00S71378G/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450712585&sr=1-1&keywords=joe+clifford+faust
If you haven’t read it already, my first novel, The Audacity of Dope, would make an excellent companion to Drawing Down the Moon, and in this analysis am I invariably skewed, but Riley Mansfield and Ricky Gold, while not exactly kindred spirits, would at least understand each other. http://www.amazon.com/Audacity-Dope-Monte-Dutton/dp/0982697112/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Among books I’ve authored here are two more novels, Crazy of Natural Causes, this year’s effort, and 2013’s The Intangibles. http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1
Coming soon to your electronic devices is Forgive Us Our Trespasses, my second KindleScout winner. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know when it’s available.
My non-fiction — mostly sports but other subjects from time to time — is posted at http://www.montedutton.com.
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