The Last Bad Job

Rated 4.00/5 based on 2 reviews
It’s a hell of an assignment: Five months on a New Mexico desert compound to cover what could be the next Jonestown. For one reporter, it could be a career-maker. But when a cult member close to him drowns herself, he flees, setting unimaginable events into motion. More

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Words: 70,340
Language: English
ISBN: 9780972180573
About Colin Dodds

Colin Dodds is a writer. He grew up in Massachusetts and lived in California briefly, before finishing his education in New York City. Since then, he’s made his living as a journalist, editor, copywriter and video producer. His poems, short stories and essays have appeared in more than three hundred publications, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology. He is the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job. His longer works have been finalists for the Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award and the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award, and semi-finalists for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize and the American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry collection Spokes of an Uneven Wheel will be published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company in 2018. He has also directed a short film and built a twelve-foot-high pyramid out of PVC pipe, plywood and zip ties. One time, he rode his bicycle a hundred miles in a day. He lives in New York City, with his wife and daughter. You can find more of his work at thecolindodds.com. ************************************************************************************************************************************
“(The Last Bad Job) shows something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.”
- Norman Mailer
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“These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.”
- David Berman, songwriter and poet - Silver Jews, Actual Air
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“…likely to become one of our premiere writers.”
-Grady Harp, Literary Aficionado
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“The world of WATERSHED is a vibrant one, packed to the gills with absurd and yet oddly-believable detail – everything from a September 11th memorial service that involves a full-scale recreation of the original terrorist attack, to a man who gets off on being locked in a coffin with a bag full of cats… Dodds manages to make all this and more seem not just possible, but vivid and tangible too…. It’s the real deal…a strong contender to be one of the most interesting books you’ll read this year.”
– IndieReader Reviews (4.7/5 Stars)
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“This cynical and surreal vision of a near-future America is intriguing and there is some genuine dark humor in the story… The use of language is interesting and the ideas are expressed thoughtfully, with attention to each word… unusual in both ideas and expression, blending elements of a suspense thriller with hints of paranormal fiction and a fair portion of social commentary to create a unique feel.”
– Publishers Weekly, BookLife Prize Review
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“Readers will never be quite sure what lurks around the next corner… An appealing mix of adventure and contemplation.”
– Kirkus Reviews, writing about WATERSHED
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“The masterfully dystopian WATERSHED unpacks the future of a modern America that, while spectacular, nobody was expecting… It’s a future that, as Leonard Cohen sang, is murder. The revelations of prose in WATERSHED makes that murder enjoyable… one of the few things worth believing in.”
– Two Thirds North
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"A highly readable, quirkily creative alternate reality that comes frighteningly close to real life… the present taken to its logical extreme… much more than social commentary. It’s a genuinely captivating edge-of-your-seat thriller, which kept me reading from beginning to end, looking forward to each new chapter.”
– The Lost Coast Review, about WATERSHED
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“Another Broken Wizard is a terrific coming-of-age tale that rings utterly true. Dodds has a gift for conveying the sounds of his people and their world. He can make highway hypnosis as fascinating as a gang brawl. And he has a natural radar for locating the perfect detail to evoke the sense of what it feels like to be caught between the past and the future, between loyalty and logic, and between the security of the known and the impulse to evolve. Though I came of age in the primordial mists, it somehow felt like he was giving me a tour of my own past. Another Broken Wizard is compulsively readable. I’ll be giving this book to some of my friends.”
- Jack O’Connell, author of The Resurrectionist, Box Nine and many others
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“WINDFALL is not your typical political thriller. Dodds deftly weaves in a solid paranormal thread that explores ambition, myth and morality in an indifferent America without resorting to pulpit thumping or cardboard villains.”
-The New Podler Review of Books
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“No one has done the Apocalypse better! From the opening scene to the final shocking line, this book is full of gruesome twists, profound insights, and absolutely brilliant writing. (The Last Bad Job) is definitely one of the best books I’ve read in the past ten years.”
-Boston Literary Magazine
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“Dodds… creates exceptionally vivid characters, a story which sneaks up on you at first, then gathers pace, and the book has tight writing which keeps you turning the pages right until the profoundly moving denouement. Simply put, Another Broken Wizard is brilliant. Read this book!”
-David Gaughran, author of A Storm Hits Valparaíso and If You Go into the Woods
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“Smart people compliment the smart and direct narrative in a way that keeps a reader… eager to turn the page to discover the next big move from these compelling leads… (WINDFALL) could easily stand up against the more famous works of the genre.”
-Rabid Readers Reviews
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“(What Smiled at Him) has an angry edge to it, recalling the spirit of the Beats. Many of the peripheral characters speak like prophets… Marv and Lynn are just as self-aware as their supporting cast, and their abundance of wisdom sometimes stretches believability; it’s tempered, however, by the flaw of their continually self-destructive behavior. Watching them ignore their better instincts… makes the characters more endearing.”
-Kirkus Reviews
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“(The Last Bad Job) is a kaleidoscope of destruction…it’s difficult not to giggle even as characters tell their horrific stories, the death and destruction nullified by the absurdity of the context. Whether the author is making a statement about apocalypse, religion or about finding meaning in life, I may be hesitant to make a claim. However, I was happy to warm my hands with the bonfire he created and chuckle at the world’s misfortunes…I don’t think I’ll ever look at an apocalypse the same way.”
- Papyrus Independent Author Reviews
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“WINDFALL, while a mesmerizingly fascinating and addictive story, steps beyond the usual campfire-cum-barbershop tales spread around town or discussed in literary circles… (I) encourage those whose hunger for the new in writing will be stimulated to become submerged in this very contemporary landfall of a book. Colin Dodds has arrived.”
-Grady Harp, Literary Aficionado
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“Dodds gets Worcester and shows it in all of its glories and cracks…He runs through the streets of the city and nearby towns and takes the reader with him…Dodds is a master of writing the town life and capturing all of the said and unsaid. His characters are so full of waiting, of pain, and of hope that never reaches past the next day.”
-Worcester Pulse Magazine

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“(Another Broken Wizard) kept me nostalgic for something that isn’t my story, isn’t my town, and I got really emotionally involved. I may have shed a tear at the beautifully foreshadowed climax, and I do not cry easily! Seriously. Give it a read.”
- Illiterarty.com
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“The Last Bad Job is a dark, weird apocalyptic trip with profanity, paranoia, and comedy–a beautiful elemental mix… I loved this book for many reasons: the detached but paranoid tone, the comedy and strong voice, the unpredictable turns and switchbacks, and the gonzo-style narrative.”
-Marissa van Uden, marissavu.com
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“What Smiled at Him manages to be somber, colorful, and often guffaw-out-loud funny. It reads fast but is loaded with trenchant observations on modern relationships, growing up, and happiness that will give the reader pause.”
-Kevin Kosar, author of Whiskey: A Global History
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“The Last Bad Job is a fantastical trip… I absolutely loved it in a weird crazy way… the characters are what really pulled me into this book… a very realistic post-alcoholic breakdown journalist who is also very introspective and likable all at once… The writing is flawless and the irony of the story is just absolutely fabulous… Colin Dodds has picked up a new fan – I’m definitely going to go back and pick up his prior books and stay on the lookout for more!”
-Kathy LaMee, Tracyriva.com

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Rod Raglin on May 27, 2015 :
An apocalyptic story with a sense of humor

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 story 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
Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)

Review by: Mary C. Moore on Jan. 08, 2013 :
Sex, drugs, and... a cult? Dodds takes us on one hell of an adventure. Seen from the first person perspective of a journalist, (a recovering alcoholic and somewhat self-absorbed, self-destructive persona) we are thrown into the story by observing the suicide of the girl he's been sleeping with, who also happens to be a member of a insane end-of-the-world cult. The journalist, who is not named, has been sent on assignment to observe the cult master "Dizzy" and his loony pseudo religious ways out in the desert. There are rumors of a soon to be mass suicide by members of the cult in anticipation of the coming of the end. The journalist is torn between disgust and enjoyment of the sexually free and absolutely manic atmosphere. His reality is shaken with the suicide and he grapples with the decision to stay and get a career making story or to leave and wash himself clean of the crazy. The choice is made for him by one of Dizzy's henchmen, and the journalist ends up fleeing a murder scene with blood stained hands. He seeks refuge in a small roadside hotel deep in the California valley and cocoons himself in paranoia and his old friend alcohol. From that point things keep unraveling as he gets tangled with an arms dealer and coke whore. As his world gets smaller and he keeps running, the journalist discovers maybe Dizzy's crazy apocalyptic premonitions weren't so crazy after all.

I throughly enjoyed this book. It was a nutty whirlwind of a novel, reminding me of A. C. Weisbecker's "Cosmic Banditos" but with a much darker and hellish undertone. The main character is totally unsympathetic and you know it's not going to end well, yet as a reader you stick with him, screaming the whole way down. The writing is masterful, thus I was not surprised by Dodd's impressive writing resume.

The end left a little to be desired. It was one of those vague and foggy ending where you are not sure what actually happened, or who was behind it, and you really wanted to know, but the journey to the end was so enjoyable that it didn't really matter.

I would highly recommend this to fans of dark humor and dystopian futures.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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