Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book Review: Haunt by Laura Lee Bahr (Wonderland award winner 2011)

Haunt by Laura Lee Bahr

288 pages Fungasm press Introduction by John Skipp

Haunt is a strange and beautiful LA noir that feels to me like a lost David Lynch movie with dark supernatural underpinnings. First conceived as a very adult choose your own adventure novel Bahr does amazing things with the plot of this novel using the various choices that you as the reader might consider and showing you the various paths this story takes.

Told mostly in second person “you” are different shades of the main character at times working in a office, at times running to the Caribbean to be a beach bum musician or as a semi-famous reporter but mostly you are interested in solving the suicide of Sarah, who you believe who died in her apartment. Why so interested? She haunts you. Might be the woman of your dreams, and worst of all she is dead.

This novel won the bizarro writers association’s wonderland award for best novel and it deserves it because it is indeed like reading your way through a hall of mirrors. It is a cool looking and formatted paperback that adds to atmosphere of the novel. Laura Lee Bahr has a strong and unique voice that drips off these pages. Thankfully the universe put her in a friendship with Splatterpunk legend John Skipp who was the right champion for this book. As bizarro as this book is it very likely would have left most publishers scratching their heads.

There is a part early in the novel about the haunted nature of a typewriter and the sound of it clicking away. I loved that passage, that reminded me of my childhood hearing my mother’s typewriter clicking away. There are creepy moments, and laugh out loud moments. A great reading experience for anyone who likes to have a strange trip.

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