Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson

Review: The Never-Open Desert Diner
James Anderson
Crown Publishers

If you haven’t read this one, I think you are missing a good book.  Feels like a flashback to an earlier time when reading was enjoyable, the story absorbing, tender but authentic, and well spun.  The title says much more than I first thought.  Lots of other things are not open in this desert.  Doors are locked and behind them the pasts that hold people in the desert.  
The dust cover front leaf says, “The Never Open Desert Diner powerfully evokes an unforgettable setting and introduces readers to a cast of characters who will linger long after the last page.”  Generally, these descriptions go overboard, but this one describes what I found in this book.  Ben Jones and Walt will remain with me for a long time.  They might be archetype characters.  The author does have an MFA after all and has done some editor type work.  He probably knows a little about that sort of thing.  Whatever or whoever they are, the reader becomes involved immediately with them.

A brief synopsis of the story line is that Ben Jones stumbles across an archway in the desert that he’d not seen in his 20 some years of delivery truck driving this route.  He decides to check it out since he needs to answer the call of nature anyway.  He discovers a house behind the arch that he assumes is deserted.  It isn’t and the story goes from there.  The scene where he meets the resident of the house is laugh out loud humor.  This book has plenty of wit, humor, danger, and pathos.  The bad guys are really despicable, too.  All that teamed with the cast of characters mentioned above make for a good read and it is.  Find a copy and see what you think.   

It’s the most satisfying fiction read I have run across in quite a while.  Action, dialogue, story all worked for me. Good work, James Anderson.

I received this book from the publishers in return for a review.

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