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Drums of the Lost Gods by Dan Leissner - A Book Review

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2010

Dan Leissner on (re)Search my Trash

 

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A nameless South American river, the 1930's: Driven by curiosity, by greed, by thirst for adventure, by a twisted code of honour or simply by boredom, a motley crew of wannabe adventurers embark on a journey to find a lost civilisation - and our group of heroes couldn't be more diverse: An American gangster with more brawn than brain, his stripper moll, a British tennis ace and her carefree rich kid boyfriend, a French mercenary, a German soldier who doesn't admit German defeat in World War I, and of course the absent-minded professor.

 

Of course, while making their way up-river, our heroes face all the typical threats a jungle has to offer, from wild animals to cannibals, from rapids to rabid plantlife, and of course several members of the group don't get along too well with one another - but that's only child's play compared to what they encounter when they pass through a series of caves and enter a world yet undiscovered and (fairly) untouched by civilisation, where they have to face an amazon tribe led by a British socialite gone rogue, pterodactyls, missionaries trying to teach the natives to play cricket, a long-lost tribe worshipping an ancient God that might be more than just superstition, and of course robots and time travelers from space ...

 

As you are probably able to tell from my synopsis, Drums of the Lost Gods, pretty much like writer Dan Leissner's Cool Cat before it, is not what you would call high literature, nothing he will ever win a Nobel Prize for. No, the book is an hommage to pulp novels and movies of old (predominantly from the 1930's), and as that it is amazing fun to read, just as I imagine it was fun to write it.

 


The main aspect about Leissner's writing style is that it is amazingly visual, almost cinematic. That way though, he clings to surfaces, he (intentionally) refuses to probe into the minds of his characters, refuses to give them the dimension of self-reflexion - which is exactly why the book works so well: This is not a post-modern take on a vintage genre, not even a parody or something, this is genre literature, and the reason it is so enjoyable is because it is a conscious, loving game with genre elements rather than a pseudo-intellectual comment on them.

 

Now I admit, the book is not for everyone, and you need to be in the right mindset to enjoy it, too, but if you're into vintage pulps, into B-adventure movies and serials from the 1930's, you will get a real kick out of this one I'm sure!

 

This book by the way can be ordered directly from its publisher, the reputable Midnight Marquee - URL: http://www.midmar.com

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD