End of the Road by Brian Keene
5 out of 5 Stars!
From the Goodreads synopsis
…(A) memoir, travelogue, and post-Danse Macabre examination of modern horror fiction, the people who write it, and the world they live—and die—in. Exhilarating, emotional, heartfelt, and at times hilarious, End of the Road is a must-read for fans of the horror genre. Introduction by Gabino Iglesias.
Brian Keene is the award-winning author of several novels, short stories, and comic books, with the main emphasis on horror (he has also written mysteries and science fiction as well). While I am only familiar with a few of his horror short stories that I recently read in his collection, A Little Sorrowed Talk, when I came across his promotion of this title on Twitter, I just knew I had to read it.
In 2016, Keene went on a nine-month book signing tour to promote two of his latest titles. He joined up with the website, Cemetery Dance, to provide weekly blog posts to chronicle his journey. End of the Road is this journey.
We travel with Keene to various stops across the United States, meeting indie bookstore owners and his fans, some who traveled for hours to meet their favorite author and offer a gift of bourbon (I believe at one point he had received 92 bottles!). He meets up with old friends, remembering drunken hijinks from the past while embarking on new ones (hey, gotta do something with those 92 bottles).
But this is much more than a simple travelogue. Keene explores the fall of the horror genre and mainstream book stores. He grows introspective while processing the loss of his good friends and fellow authors. He worries about being away from his young son for such an extended period. Oh, and he plans out a bit of grave-robbing as well (no, I won’t give any spoilers on that!).
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were some laugh-out-loud moments, as well as a few that left me a bit teary-eyed. And thanks to Keene’s enthusiasm, I now have a list of books and indie bookstores that I will be looking for online in the months to come. You don’t have to have read any of Keene’s works to fully appreciate this highly entertaining, highly personal journey. Recommended for everyone.
I hope this finds you all safe and well.
I have several nonfiction titles lined up for 2021 that I can’t wait to share with you in the coming months! Until next time, take care of yourselves and, as always, Happy Reading!