Poetic Fiction: Journal of Silent Screams by Jeff Oliver et al.

Note upfront: Content warning for this book regarding domestic violence and violence against children.   This novel was a difficult read. A stream of consciousness laid out in a diary format. Each section has a date on it, but they are not in chronological order and the entries aren’t specific to those days. It’s an unorganized, brutal mess.   

But it’s supposed to be that way.   

The character grew up in an abusive home and is processing his trauma. This book is a window into a broken psyche and its attempt to grow and break free of its demons. The sheer depression and darkness of the story was difficult to stomach in long sessions, even for a dark fiction writer like me. I found I had to take breaks and read other, lighter books to break up the mood. For this, I dropped the book a star.   

I appreciate the experimental style and what the book is doing. As a novel to enjoy, I struggle with it. As a work of artistic fiction to examine and be intrigued by, the book is solid.   

I’m not sure everyone would enjoy this book, but if you don’t mind graphic violence and want something experimental and dark, I would pick this one up.

Review also posted to Goodreads.


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