Self-published in America in February 2014.
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Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
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How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Four young men have noticed a peculiar man wandering around the streets downtown where they work, muttering to himself with a trashbag slung over his shoulder. After one of them hatches a plan to capture the strange old man's words, the group quickly realize that the fellow has seen and done things that defy the imagination. A metaphysical tale of action and adventure that takes you beyond the bounds of normal human experience and into a world of secret colors and hidden doorways, of uncoiling panthers and recoiling nailguns, 'First There Wasn't, Then There Was' is a novella unlike any other.
I read Troy Blackford's short story collection Flotsam nearly three years ago so already had an idea of his genre-defying style and the darkly surreal way in which his stories interpret the world. This novella-length story certainly didn't disappoint on that score! We begin by meeting four young men whose only genuine commonality seems to be their smoke breaks leaning against the wall of their office building and I loved Blackford's portrayal of this group, recognising in it similar cliques with whom I have worked over the years.
First There Wasn't, Then There Was is a real lesson in not judging a person by their appearance. The apparently homeless tramp about whom the leaners set themselves a challenge of learning more, turns out to be an ingenious storyteller with quite an adventure to recount! Adventure, thriller and fantasy blend in his tale which I enjoyed reading. I did feel that some parts of the novella felt too rushed and I would have liked stronger character development alongside the action, but otherwise this is a fun story.
Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Troy Blackford / Horror fiction / Books from America