Controlled Accident

After writing the review for Towards Speculative Realism, I remembered that I’d written an amazon review for my friend Gray Kane’s novel Controlled Accident. I greatly enjoyed the book, as the review shows. It’s available at Amazon or Smashwords.

My encounter with Kane’s story ended up being quite a personal affair as his characterization of Louis throughout the novel vividly captures the experience of coming of age around a host of strong personalities while attempting to forge one’s own identity. This central theme makes the work ideal for those of us in all periods of life (except for maybe the alphas among us) as this conflict is repeated throughout our maturation from young adult-hood to old age. In a period where we seem obsessed with the formation and authenticity of our identities, viewing it through Kane’s mind is a welcome exercise.

I’ve described the book to my girlfriend as “Chuck Palahniuk for more intellegent readers”, as the text is littered with images and phenomena that inhabit our surroundings but are little discussed. We are exposed to a host of subcultures and seldom told tales through the collection of eccentric personalities that populate the world of the novel: The Mexican Revolution, Exhibitionist Performance Artists, Shady Canadian Business and Publication schemes that give the novel a quality of the fantastic, but never go so far as to make the scenarios unrealistic. Instead, the events of the novel take on a magical quality in real space that gives depth and breadth to what could have been more mundane interactions.

In my view, the crowning achievement of Kane’s novel is the personalization of the characters and their interactions. Little tics like Matteo’s repeated touching of/for his mohawk (watch for it), add to the personality of the characters in a way that makes them more real. The standout moments are in the segments of one on one dialog (JAck and Matteo, Louis and Roxanna) that are a jambalaya of wit, deception, cleverness, concealment, and exposure. They fall somewhere between fencing and passionate sex (which aren’t really that far apart when you think about it). The language and ideas expressed by each of the characters opens itself to engagement with your own thoughts and feelings; carrying you along with Louis (and others) on their journeys as a companion rather than a spectator.

I recommend this book as more of a ride than a text. A happening where one always senses something novel on the horizon and is propelled forward to see what’s on the other side.

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~ by Michael L. Thomas on December 10, 2010.

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