Friday, June 22, 2012
HEY WAITER! There's a fly in my bourbon!
A REQUIEM FOR DEAD FLIES by Peter N. Dudar (2012 Nightscape Press / 280 pp. / tp)
Lester MacAuley decides to take a brief break from his peachy private school teaching position to help his brother Gordon build a distillery at their late grandparents' farm. Gordon has dreams of brewing his own bourbon for a living, and Lester feels it's his duty to help him...but for more reasons than the physical work involved. Despite being in their early 20s, the MacAuley brothers are haunted by a deep, dark past, particularly one summer they had spent at the farm as young boys, where their grandmother's dementia nearly cost them both their lives.
Dudar's debut novel is a psychological ghost story with plenty of family drama, revealed in tight layers as Lester recollects his life from a mental institution. The bond shared bewteen him and Gordon is both loving and tragic, and the more we learn about their grandparents, the more everyone's sanity comes into question.
A REQUIEM FOR DEAD FLIES is a fine look at family secrets, the bond of brotherhood, and is a refreshing take on the classic ghost story. Just make sure to have some bourbon (and a fly swatter) on hand for maximum effect.