Monday, 23 April 2018

Guest Review: Journey To The Center Of The Dream by Ted Prokash

Journey To The Center Of The Dream by Ted Prokash
Self published in America in November 2016.

Guest Review by Tony Nesca:
I'm delighted to introduce Canadian author Tony Nesca, half the team behind Screaming Skull Press, whose review today is the 30th Literary Flits Guest Review! I've got Tony's epic poem Last Stop To Saskatoon to read - watch out for that review here very soon.

Tony Nesca was born in Torino, Italy in 1965 and moved to Canada at the age of three. He was raised in Winnipeg but relocated back to Italy several times until finally settling in Winnipeg in 1980. He taught himself how to play guitar and formed an original rock band playing the local bars for several years. At the age of twenty-seven he traded his guitar for a Commodore 64 and started writing seriously. He has published six chapbooks of stories and poems, five novels, two books of poetry and has been an active contributor to the underground lit scene for ten years, being published in innumerable magazines both online and in print. He currently resides in Winnipeg and shares a house with his wife, his teenage nephew and his mother.

Tony's rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : from £8.75 (PB)
Wordery : from £7.73 (PB)
Waterstones : unavailable
Amazon : from $3.09 / £2.28 (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

"It's kinda like the 21st Century version of ON THE ROAD, except it's something one would read for entertainment purposes, not out of a fear of shirking drab literary obligations." - Reverend Norb, Wisconsin punk rock legend. 

Journey to the Center of the Dream follows four brave Midwestern rubes on a dogged march through America’s dyspeptic underbelly, via the twisted bowels of her underground rock n’ roll scene. A sublime first-person odyssey. An epic poem of our New Dumb Age. Journey is an exploration of the America not pimped by the Department of Tourism or the Chamber of Commerce, a search for all that remains worthy in the hearts of men. 

Angst, drugs and rock n' roll. Get in the Minivan.

Tony says: This is Ted Prokash's third book and it is, in this reviewer's opinion, his best work yet - now that is saying a lot considering that his first two offerings, A Fool For Lesser Things and The Brothers Connolly were excellent novels, reminiscent of books that appeared in that glory-filled, ultra-creative time that was the 1920's. Journey to the Center of the Dream is more visceral, more streamlined, a work that comes from the guts loaded with rock and roll electricity. all sinew and bravado.

The story is about Marlow, Leo, Dante, and Dessy, four alternative, quasi-punk rock and rollers (a bit older than usual) with a band called Black Darkness, that embark on a cross-country bar-tour of the United States. A journey of drugs, booze, and music follows punctuated with keen observations on the loss of art and culture and anything with a reward of more than just the immediate. What is great about this book is that we are not being offered the rarefied life of elite rock stars snorting cocaine off of naked bodies and demolishing 5 star hotels, we are seeing a tour of seedy bars and dark basement gigs, with most gigs poorly attended and poorly promoted, but all present into the music and the scene with guts and glory, and with the band kicking the jams, man, kicking it hard and loud. This is rock and roll. This is pure and real. The prose flits and grooves and moves and snarls its way through the whole book like a wolverine on the prowl and it surrounds the reader with movement and style and down and dirty intelligence.

This reviewer gives Journey to the Center of the Dream an enthusiastic 5 stars out of 5. A fantastic read!

Thank you Tony!

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Books by Ted Prokash / Contemporary fiction / Books from America


  1. Thanks for sharing, I like that this isn't all wrecking five star hotels.

    1. Completely the other end of the fame spectrum I think!

  2. This sounds great, a better version of the road is something I can always get on board with!

    1. I liked On The Road! Though I do have the Matt Dillon narrated audio which helps!

  3. Sounds like a realistic look at the life of a band who hasn't quite made it to fame and fortune. Not what I would have expected based on the cover!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I don't think this cover really does its book justice!