BOOK REVIEW: PHOTOGRAPHS OF MADNESS:Inside Out by Alec Ivan Fugate

Review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.


The line between poetry and prose becomes blurred in this quartet of stories centered around a one bedroom apartment that leads it's inhabitants into madness.

The unique narrative style could turn readers away just as easily as it could hook them, but I was definitely one that got hooked. The stream of consciousness style and the use of repetition made me feel as though I was observing the thoughts running through the mind of someone going insane, which I found equally beautiful and unnerving. Three of the stories are also color coded in a sense--red, blue, green--and it's a rather small detail, but one I found strangely compelling.

The perspectives are very similar overall,  and may feel redundant to some readers, but I liked how cohesive they felt, and I actually found the repition (in a sense) effective. For me this was much less about plot (or even character) and more about being immersed in the feeling of losing your mind, and it actually reminded me quite a bit of House of Leaves (except I connected far better with Photographs of Madness).

***This next bit is a bit spoilery. Please zip down to past the next bold sentence if you want to be on the safe side!!***





There's a big shift in tone and style in the final perspective, and honestly at the time I didn't particularly care for it, although the way it ended was surprising, which I appreciated. I had just found myself so enamoured with the style of the previous perspectives that I didn't feel the same impact. However, now that I've had some time to consider it, the shift is so jarring that it made the ending even more unnerving.





***Slightly spoilery bit over!***

Reading this was a unique experience, and it was a wonderful introduction to a new (to me) author, and an exciting first book from publisher, Back Patio Press. I have a feeling they're both ones to watch!








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