Books »Secret Dead Men

secret dead man duane swiercynskiJam packed with quirky humor and two fisted action, I wasn't too shocked to learn that Secret Dead Men author Duane Swiercaynski also writes for Marvel comic books; this book was his first foray into fiction, though there've been a few since.

If you're religious, the story reads as a unique (even blasphemous) meditation on the soul and and the nature of after life; if you're not, then it's a metaphysical romp of a noir that even dips into shoot-em-up zombie head exploding territory.

Not the most sophisticated or flowery prose maker, Swiercaynski avoids the too common literary chip that bears down on the shoulder of most science fiction writers who, longing to attain some kind of non-genre validity, rely heavily on overly complex plotting and unsatisfying techniques like naming one character La'ai and another La'iaa. Swiercaynski's choice to write about complex ideas simply makes the book incredibly engaging.

Essentially, the story is about a collector, a man capable of absorbing souls and storing them in his brain (which he fashions into a hotel for their after life comfort). He uses this soul storing talent, plus an ability to change the appearance his face to bring down “the association” a mysterious Vegas force that destroyed his orginal body years ago.

The book is a great ride, it's quick and and it's fun and sometimes it even gets away from you a little bit, but somehow it all made a more sense once I started picturing Bruce Campbell as the protagonist.

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Posted on April 27, 2009

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