Just had to share a review I recently got on Blue Coyote Motel from the brilliant novelist, John Dolan. I can’t recommend his books highly enough. He is the author of Everyone Burns and Jim Fosse’s Expense Claim. Wonderful reads!
Instructions for mixing a `Blue Coyote Cocktail’: Take one obsessive scientist who has just thrown away his career over a woman. Add a girl from the barrio who is obsessed with not growing old. Stir in a washed-up salesman, a defrocked paedophile priest, an angry doctor from an Indian reservation, an over-stressed gold mining executive and a depressed widow. Season with love affairs and sprinkle on some exotic locations. Serve chilled.
This is a difficult book to pigeonhole into a traditional genre (and I say this as a plus point). Although the machinations of Jeffrey the scientist provide an unifying theme, the characters’ various love interests are what are really at the heart of the novel.
Structurally, the book parallels a number of disparate relationships and situations. The first half contains some time-jumps which serve to keep us concentrating. As the various individuals converge on the Blue Coyote Motel, then scatter before re-converging, the storyline opens and closes like a lotus flower – indeed there are some Buddhist motifs peppered throughout the pages.
This novel is well-suited to the patient and reflective reader; one who enjoys description and wishes to engage fully in the lives of multiple characters with personal demons.
If the book has a `hero’ it is Sean, the troubled ex-priest and former child abuser. This is an uncommon angle, and one for which I take off my hat to Dianne Harman.
`Blue Coyote Motel’ is an unusual book, written by someone with a feeling for far-off places and for the existential fears that haunt us. This is Ms Harman’s first novel. I look forward to reading more of her work.