On The Gathering Storm
on Nov. 16, 2010
EZ Read Staff Review:
Jason McIntyre has something of a large indie following on sites like Smashwords and Goodreads, both of which I prowl regularly. There’s something romantic about a cult following for an independent author in a publishing world always aiming for the next popcorn blockbuster movie deal. Sometimes “big” books seem like extended scripts, and more work lacks the kind of writing that doesn’t transfer onto the big screen. Fight the power! I chose “On the Gathering Storm” because as McIntyre’s debut, it’s also his most popular. Let’s just say I’m not ready to crawl back under The (Publishing) Man’s thumb just yet.
“On the Gathering Storm” is a gritty tale of survival for our heroine Hannah, who walks a fine line between sanity and insanity throughout. While the main portion of the narrative is a survival and captivity tale, we sink deep into Hannah’s mind and memories as she explores her past life and her development. It’s a dark and somewhat empowering story to read about Hannah, who may outwardly seem like the victim, but is inwardly a champion. It also says something about the victimization of women; challenging the assumption that they don’t have strength to overcome, to protect themselves. This book is violent, but challenging. It never feels like violence for the sake of it, which I think makes the harder parts more palatable. The nail-biting parts are still rough. I have two ulcers now, one named “Dexter” and one named “On the Gathering Storm”.
McIntyre, from a snooty-writerly-standpoint, has incredible style. His dark voice doesn’t just end when it’s convenient; he takes us on an inner journey with Hannah because it’s truthful to how her brain works. It’s as distinct and raw of a writer as I’ve read in a long time. It’s so easy for major label editors to take a writer’s voice and dice it into tidy bestseller blandness. It’s the same kind of “fancy” tone that litters the “New Yorker”, making everyone sound like the same writer. McIntyre isn’t afraid to “inconvenience” his readers with style, which makes the book stand out, and impressed me a ton.
A must read, but not for the faint of heart.