|Samson And Denial by Robert Ford|
If you’re not familiar with the great Robert Ford, you’d best get to reading! While not nearly prolific enough, though that’s hopefully soon to start changing, Bob Ford has captured my interest with his flowing narratives, immersive settings, and raw, gritty characters that seem to come to life, springing from the page and taking on lives of their own.
I was lucky enough to be given an advanced view of Bob’s latest, Samson And Denial, in exchange for this review, although I would have jumped at the chance to share it with all of you regardless. I read through it in one sitting, it was impossible to turn away from. I actually found myself staring at my empty coffee mug and deciding I could wait until I’d finished the next section before going for more… And I ended up repeating that until I’d gotten all the way to the end.
Samson And Denial is a beautiful, gritty amalgamation of brutal mobsters, strung out junkies, supernatural remains, murderous cultists, and one hell of a protagonist. Samson is exceedingly well written as a character. We learn about his past and his relationship with his brother and his wife through bits and pieces, little recollections and memories that have been seamlessly interwoven throughout this unique and visceral tale. Within a few pages you start to feel like you know Samson, and by the end you feel for him like a friend. The pacing of this story is one that I think makes it especially unique, there’s a lot of action going on, and yet at no point did I feel lost or overwhelmed, or feel like I needed a breather. It flowed very well, one scene to the next, leading all over the streets of Philadelphia before smashing into a fantastic ending, with just enough of a twist to make you wonder how you hadn’t seen it coming.
As a writer, one of Bob Ford’s greatest strengths is his characters. He has a unique ability to bring the people who populate his stories to screaming, throbbing, pulsing, breathing life in a way that few authors can, and this story is no exception. From the antagonist, whose presence is only felt in a very brief part of the actual story, right down to the bit players, each and every one of them comes striding off the page, ready to rock and roll, ready for action. And action is something this tale has in spades.
Just in case it wasn’t evident, I absolutely loved this read. If you can get your grubby little paws on a copy, I highly advise you to do so. And pick up Bob’s other works, while you’re at it! You won’t be sorry.