By Tine Roycroft
He comes home to shattered pieces ~ his father is about to undergo surgery, his mother is living a life of bitterness, never remembering the way love felt or the things it created. He has no job that he needs to hurry back to ~ he’s been laid off and the economy is horrid. He has returned to the streets, the billboards, the houses, the scents, the pull of Worcester, MA. He is Jim, and Colin Dodds, a Brooklyn, NY author, has chosen to tell his tale.
Colin Dodds, 32, originally a Worcester boy and graduate of Shrewsbury’s St. John’s High School, is the scribe sitting at the desk , chasing the dark away with the simple yellow from the oil lamp light, writing this novel, Another Broken Wizard, and bringing us into the life of Jim.
After being let go from a financial job in NYC, Jim comes home to a Worcester that he remembers, but is also just getting to know. There’s Joe ~ a childhood best friend who is joined to him by the silver cord that binds best friends, no matter what the circumstances or the choices. Joe, with his never-ending smile and sense of humor, may stoop to actions like selling cocaine to make a quick buck, but Jim will never leave his side.
Then there are the women who come in and out of Jim’s life: Serena, the girl he left behind in New York to care for his ailing father, Emily, a school friend who is like a rock in stormy seas for Jim, and Olive, the girl he meets in the hospital when his father is unconscious who is the only one who can share in the pain and the helplessness of having a parent in that condition. Together, these ladies make a production of complicated relationships that make the reader turn the pages as quickly as possible, wondering what the next turn may be, wondering who might be the first to fall through the cracks in the sidewalk.
Dodds gets Worcester and shows it in all of its glories and cracks through Jim’s character, as well as through the unsung hero’s character ~ Joe. Dodds, in a literary sense, runs through the streets of the city and nearby towns and takes the reader with him. He spares us no pain, he spares us no worry or the rapid heart beat of anticipation as he conveys the story of Jim, falling in and out of love and lust, getting too close to criminal circumstances, feeling the intense loyalty to a friend that is only brewed in the fiery and fanciful pots of childhood.
The reader rushes on with Jim, through crowded bars, through drunken binges, through insufferable moments as he watches his father come close to death and watches his mother live a closed life that symbolizes the nails on her coffin. Dodds is a master of writing the town life and capturing all of the said and unsaid. His characters are so full of waiting, of pain, and of hope that never reaches past the next day.
Another Broken Wizard has yet to be picked up by a publisher, but it’s only a matter of time. Dodds says he is currently looking at the smaller presses. Only the luckiest agent will find this book, read it, hear it resonate in the soul and then send it to press.
For more info on Another Broken Wizard, contact Colin Dodds at firstname.lastname@example.org.