This blog will touch on the experiences I have as a writer (not to be mistaken for my experience as a writer, i.e. how many books I've written, etc); the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the grief, the satisfaction and the frustration, the magic and the reality - have I left anything out, oh yeah, the rejection, rejection and more rejection, the humiliation and the embarrassment, the jealousy and the resentment - that pretty much covers it, except for why I do it which perhaps I'll realize along the way. Are you totally confused? Good, let's begin.
Thank you Colin Dodds for your hard work and commitment to this worthwhile endeavor.
The Last Bad Job is an apocalyptic story with a sense of humor. Author Colin Dodds populates his novel with such small “d” despicable characters, seedy settings and immoral scenarios this reader didn’t really care that the majority of them would come to a gruesome, meaningless end.
What makes this novel standout, makes it exceptional is the writing – natural dialogue, characterization through action, exact diction and an imaginative plot that doesn’t let you catch your breath.
Our protagonist, best described as an anti-hero, is an investigative reporter assigned to do a story on an apocalyptic cult and it’s leader, Dizzy Sheehan. The assignment entails living with the group and right away he compromises his objectivity by participating in cult activities like having sex with the female members. This is the first, but certainly not the last demonstration of his almost complete lack of any sense of morals or integrity.
As time ticks down toward the predicted dooms day he escapes the compound and, when one of the leader’s bodyguards comes after him, kills him in self-defense.
Rather than give himself up to the authorities and explain what happened he goes on the lam. Why he chooses to become a fugitive isn’t explained? This one of a couple of plot directions that stretched the suspension of belief for this reader.
While the reporter/fugitive is in hiding the members of the cult, anticipating the end of the world, commit mass suicide. He has all the inside information that would make this Pulitzer Prize story and yet he doesn’t write the story or contact his editor. Again, Dodds gives little explanation for this behavior other than he’s an alcoholic whose gone from recovering to rediscovering and isn’t too mentally stable.
As the reporter’s life spins more and more out of control, and Dizzy’s prediction of the apocalypse begins to unfold he comes to believe he has been chosen for some special purpose and, indeed, he has.
Dodds really does a job on journalists depicting them as self-absorbed, cynical for no good reason, arrogant and condescending – hey, I’ve got colleagues like that. None of his characters are likeable which usually is a fatal flaw for a novel, but in the case of The Last Bad Job, the author’s dark humor and unique insights kept me reading.
His phantasmagoria twist on the apocalypse is the work of remarkable inventiveness.
Unfortunately, for a novel so filled with imagination Dodds chose an ending that has become a cliché for novels dealing with this subject matter.
I downloaded this novel free from Smashwords as part of my commitment to review the work of independently published authors. This review will (eventually) be posted on
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