Israfel Sivad is more than your typical author. Crossroads Blues, his first published novel, got exceptional praise, with comparisons to literary greats like Swan Lake. He also runs Ursprung Collective, a project that supports visual, spoken, and written word along with music.
The book opens up with an in-depth analysis of a dead bird on Christian’s bedroom floor.
Christian is completely and utterly broke, in every aspect of his life. Life seems purposeless and meaningless. There is no prospect of work, hence no money, and we need money for everything, so he has lost interest in trying at all. He finally decides to end the monotonous monstrosity he had begun living that people around him seemed to call Life – he didn’t want to pretend anymore. Hanging himself from the ceiling, with a rope he stole, and the ceiling rafters which barely seemed reliable enough to hold his body weight – that was the only affordable choice.
But it is not death that awaits him on the metaphorical other side. Instead, he enters a word which is full of wondrous creatures that most people only read about – only, they have a twisted side. Tinker Bell deals drugs, the Great Beast tells belly aching jokes, and many such characters. It doesn’t take long for Christian to come to the realization that he is stuck in a haunted world, but it’s psychologically haunted, not paranormally. It’s a world so far beyond his imagination that he has never deemed it possible. Eventually, he enters the world of the city called Pandemonium, and this is when he is forced to face his own worst demons.
This book is an amusing take on classic characters and their psychologically demented personas – refreshing even. Once you pick up the book, it’s hard to put it down until you’re done with it. Not too shabby, Sivad!