Mr Shivers

Mr. Shivers - Robert Jackson Bennett What starts out as a straightforward story set in the dustbowl of the Great Depression turns into something far more surreal and menacing.

Connolly is hunting a scarred man that killed his daughter across the heat and dust of the American dustbowl. The hobos he meets along the way have tales to tell of Mr Shivers, a mythical figure who leaves death in his wake.

Connolly meets up with other who have suffered at the hands of Mr Shivers and he realises the man he is hunting and Mr Shivers are one and the same. The agree to travel together to hunt down and kill this man who may not be human after all.

The descriptions of the dustbowl with the searing heat, crimson skies are well done and the constant presence of the railroad are evocative and very well done.

The characters are well drawn and you do fear for what will become of them and the Nietzsche quote 'Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one'is never far from your mind.

The gradual dawning on the reader that the story is moving into fantasy and mythology may prove a step too far many for some readers but as the author says:

“I wanted to use mythology of the Great Depression and Southern folklore, things we all could identify without thinking… dirt roads and bogwater ditches, ramshackle homes sitting abandoned in empty fields, and desperate drifters trekking across harsh countries. The echo of blues and gospel music haunting the hobo camps… and always the promise of greener pastures out there, hiding somewhere behind a stretch of the horizon.”

Robert Jackson Bennett's debut novel is a dreamy exquisitely written fable that gets to the very heart of vengeance of the darkest kind and has been described as if Stephen King had written 'The Road'..... as the Precher says "sometimes the road goes through places that are... not normal. The road is more than just dirt."