I never thought a book would make me look at shadows with suspicion. Brian Allen Carr is a bad man. Dude is the Aaron Rodgers of indie writers.
He’s literary AF but his books move and pace as well as any pro genre fiction out there. His last two novellas have been unique, entertaining, artful, and probably some of the best books labeled Bizarro in this decade. He’s killed it in the small press & novella scene but I always wondered can he bring the same magic to the novel?
That was some pointless pondering because SIP is easily his best book. It has one of the best hooks I’ve heard in awhile: people can get high by sipping on their shadows. Sold.
But…the only problem with many high concept books is the writers don’t pull them off and the characters are plot beats instead of human beings. BAR doesn’t fall into that trap and I enjoyed spending time with Mira, shadow junkie Murk, and Bale as they look for a way to survive living in the shadows.
I am seeing more and more great books come out that blur in the lines between genre and literary that are as weird as they are artful. I love it and I want more books like his! Writers like Carr, Victor LaValle’s & Alissa Nutting’s latest, and the upcoming Marlon James series are taking the best of genre fiction and adding a literary level that has me excited about this new direction in fiction. Carr’s novel takes genre fiction out of the shadows and shows why stories are the only way we can see the light.