Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4.5 Stars for An Epitaph for Coyote

Epitaph for Coyote
Genre: Mainstream
Something was missing from the perfect life of Henry Pluck – something only a bug exterminator named Rosa Santana can help him find. Problem is Rosa is anything but perfect, and she has an odd compassion for roaches.
Rosa has other imperfections soon to infiltrate Henry’s nice square life where he goes from one cube at home to another at work. Henry is a perfectionist at his job, eating efficient sandwiches around neat little stacks of paper. He was virtually indistinguishable from any other salaried clerk in Vegas Baby, Nevada. Under Rosa’s influence, he slowly realizes there is a whole world between the narrow-minded blocks of life.
He learns what a defunct building feels like before a wrecking ball. This is a portrait of a lonely man coming to terms with his flawed interpretation of perfection. It is a journey into a wild, mysterious world in a four thousand year old movie where coyote run free under the sky’s blanket of cosmic irony, predators and prey.
Henry Pluck reminds me of a quote from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, “You've got two empty halves of coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.” In the movie a guy thinks he is riding a horse when it just sounds like it. There is no horse. Henry thinks he’s riding around on some fine stallion, but he’s just banging two coconuts together. Further he reminds me of David Brent, from the British hit TV series The Office because he believes himself to be something he is not and he stumbles trying to discover his real self making the most hilarious observations about life. Like Brent, and any well-drawn character from a Monty Python movie, Henry is colorful and hilarious. This book made me laugh out loud.
And with every good main character you need another one that is their complete opposite, this is where Rosa steps in, a girl very sure of herself and what she believes. It is her certainty that makes Henry uncertain. The setting for these two character to meet and explore life’s mystery was very appropriate – Las Vegas, baby. Las Vegas is a city wrapped in self-delusion. A person can become lost in its glitter, forgetting the life, and desert surrounding it. Bryan R. Dennis captures the city with beautiful descriptions, and harsh realities. I lived in Las Vegas for five years, and can say with absolute certainty Dennis does a great job of capturing the glitz and glum.
In the end, as with any journey it needs to be tied up. Dennis does to up loose ends, leaving a white light of hope for Henry to follow and begin anew. I highly recommend this book to an audience that is willing to reflect into the mirror of not just Henry’s life, but their own life – and not just willing to reflect, but willing to change.
An Epitaph for Coyote can be found at Smashwords and Amazon

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