Monday, February 9, 2009

Scarecrow Gods

Maxon Phinxs is a black man who returned from Vietnam in bad shape. Tortured there, he is horribly disfigured and disabled. Back home in Tennessee, the only job he can get is as the Maggot Man at the local chicken plant, and is shunned by his neighbors. But Maxon learned something in his ordeal – how to temporarily jump his mind into the body of an animal.

Meanwhile, in the Southwestern desert, an evangelist known as John the New Baptist is gathering followers to his new religion, but with a sinister purpose. If John succeeds, there will be apocalyptic results.

Along with a supporting cast of odd but well-defined characters, Phinxs and John move toward a showdown between good and evil.

It probably isn’t necessary for me to praise Scarecrow Gods. Everyone else has, and it won a Stoker Award. But it is a book that deserves as much praise as it can get.

The story is inventive and fresh, but where writer Weston Ochse really sparkles is in his depth of characterization. He does a great job of bringing both the good and bad characters to life. When I reached the end, I was disappointed to leave the world of Scarecrow Gods.

1 comment:

John Hornor Jacobs said...

Another reason to change the title of Southern Gods.

Ah, well.