Saturday, December 31, 2005

REVIEW, JANE'S GAME, a bizarro novel by Mike Philbin

a bizarro novel by Mike Philbin
Review by Kyle Kucek for Insidious Reflections

The technicians at the Fountains Institute for Molecular Research thought they knew what they were doing when they wrote Jane's program; they had written and rewritten her so many times why should this time be any different? JANE'S GAME by Mike Philbin is a brutal piece of psycho-sexual horror fiction - you have been warned.

That is the synopsis given for Mike Philbin’s bizarro novel, “Jane’s Game”. But it doesn’t even summarize the insanity that ensues when reading this 190-page opus of mayhem. And you have been warned.

The book starts off with a description of Jane, the female protagonist, who is a beautiful model who has just stepped out of the limelight. After that you’ll find that the pace kicks up a notch and hardly ever lets up.

There’s humor, there’s violence, there’s sex-- there’s a ton of plain crazy shit that happens that are hard to simplify into one storyline. Basically, an artist, Paul Kasparek, comes across a naked Jane in his studio and raises her, but discovers that she isn’t what she seems. Some of the best scenes are when Paul is dreaming, which features a unique narrative.

One of the novel’s strongest points is description. Throughout the novel, especially the dream sequences, Philbin details with intricate words and plenty of interesting metaphors and similes.

The weak points were at times you couldn’t tell if it was a dream sequence or not since there were so many at once. There were also a few typos here and there, but not a big issue.

Overall, Jane’s Game is a great novel that can be enjoyed on many levels, especially if you enjoy fresh, inventive ideas presented in an interesting way. The plot summary does not simply sum up all the madness that occurs, and you have to read the book itself to truly know what you’re missing.

Philbin is definitely an author to look out for, with bizarre tales and subject matter that are sure to assist you in realizing there is some truly original work out there in the independent world. Kudos, Mike.

Be sure to check out his independent publishing company, Chimericana Books, for Jane’s Game, Chimeraworld #1, #2 and #3, Horror Quarterly, The Best of Chim+Him+Her, The Life & Death of Hertzan Chimera, and more.

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