Another Broken Wizard

Rated 5.00/5 based on 3 reviews
Jim Monaghan really didn’t want to go back to Worcester. But his father needed surgery just when Jim lost his job. Once there, Jim seeks out his childhood best friend, Joe Rousseau. But Joe has problems and a plan to resolve the matter that only makes things worse. Jim tries to help his friend, but as the danger escalates, he has to make a painful choice to save his friend. More

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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

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Reviews

Review by: Samantha Wasko on Aug. 03, 2011 :
Dodds is an expert storyteller, and Another Broken Wizard is no exception. The character depictions are skilled and heart wrenching but it is the dialogue that truly shines. It is witty, painful and all too real. His illustration of Worcester is extraordinary - the ultimate portrayal of a working class New England town. Another Broken Wizard is an engaging page-turner. I highly recommend it, and I look forward to more works from this author in the near future.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

Review by: curiousreaderMA on Aug. 02, 2011 :
I read this book because it was about Worcester mass, where i am from. not many books come out about Worcester. but it was mr. dodds's writing style was what kept me reading this book, as much as anything. he has a lyrical and minimalist and almost noirish chandler style. "Everyone loves the dead, right up until it costs something..." or “The beers came fast and Dad finished his before I knew it. He ordered another, taking me for a designated driver. I took a long swig of my own just to stay competitive. The fish came on wooden blocks.”
Also: as for Worcester, it gets a the same noirish treatment here—and it’s an acute depiction of one of the many post industrial New England towns....for example, “The Fountainhead apartments beat the future to a punch that was never thrown, and look out of place. Three concrete slabs in the middle of a lawn.”
But he also brings it back with some tender moments—as if he can’t quite go noir all the time. “First you‘re an infant, then you‘re a kid, and you get put in a town, then in a school. You pretty much have no say in it. But you find these friends who will always know you, no matter how far you wander. They become another family, the family of your heart, corny as it sounds.”
Natural voice. Natural storyteller.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Robert Wasko on Aug. 01, 2011 :
Colin Dodds has written a taut character study carried on the back of a plot-line that propels the reader from page to page. Jim, literally set afloat by having been laid off from a financial job in New York City, is also figuratively afloat in a sea of emotions. His parents are divorced and his father is about to undergo surgery. Jim returns to his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts both to take care of his father to find a place to drop anchor. He looks for moorings with his lifetime friend Joe, who optimistically schemes to get out of his own troubles, with his bitter mother, with his school friend Emily, with Olive, a new acquaintance by virtue of a chance meeting at the hospital and, to a lesser extent, with Serena, the girl he left back in New York.
Jim's interactions with these various friends and family members add dimension to his character as he struggles between loyalty to his father and to his mother, between unabashed friendship with Joe and the risks created when Joe actions become criminal, and among the varying levels of emotional support offered by Serena, Emily and Olive.
The novel is well conceived and well executed, both in descriptive narrative and in dialogue which is both authentic and believeable. There is a nice balance between pathos and humor. The absence of cliche is refreshing. Another Broken Wizard is a novel worthy of attention and which shows promise of more from its author.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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