Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book Review - The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness by Craig Stone

This rather delightful book is the debut novel for British writer Craig Stone. Aptly titled The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness, the book tells the story of a man's departure from the world he knows and into that of one who lives in a park, unemployed, homeless, and amuses himself by creating stories around those who inhabit the park with him.

Inspired by true events from the author's life, the reader gets a look inside the mind of one who just chucked it all because the "little voice" in his head told him so, and he decided to listen. In the park there is a cast of characters to keep our hero occupied that includes the Park Keeper, who happens to be a midget with anger management issues, and a chubby dude called Moonface who lives up a tree because he broke both ankles escaping from a hospital and now he believes if he comes down the "floor will bite him." There's Matt who looks after Moonface, someone our narrator doesn't really care for, and a policeman named PC Whirled. Madness the Parrott is a favorite of all the park's inhabitants and Dorangel Vargas, who kills animals, is in a world unto himself.

The narrator, who calls himself Colossus Sosloss, spends his days interacting with all these miscreants and his observations of life, and the reason he's there in the first place, keep bringing him back to a reality that he tried to leave behind when he chose to become homeless at the book's outset.

"Better to live dreaming than dream of living" is a tagline that will stay with you after the story is told. Craig Stone has created a virtual world for himself in The Squirrel That Dreamt of Madness and its one that readers should visit. For there isn't a dull moment in the whole escapade. Well done.
5 Stars
Carey Parrish