Coffin County by Gary A. Braunbeck
Gary A. Braunbeck
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Prodigal Blues

Review Excerpts

"Expert storyteller Gary Braunbeck outdoes himself with Prodigal Blues, a haunting, unsettling, eerie and beautiful novel about the hazards of childhood in the face of overwhelming real-life horrors. Here is a tender, heart-felt, unflinching exploration into shattered lives that will leave the reader disturbed, enlightened, and with a real need to hug loved ones. Braunbeck is one of those rare writers whose work can actually teach it audience a vast, human lesson."
— Tom Piccirilli, author of The Dead Letters and Headstone City

"A toe-tapping tale of terror...Prodigal Blues is good enough that you might feel scarred after reading it. But in the end, it is that good. And it is really the first non-supernatural novel by Braunbeck, but one hopes not the last. As ever, Cemetery Dance puts together a wonderful hardcover novel. Deena Warner's illustrations are plentiful, dark and suggestive. They ratchet up the level of disturbance and move the story but are tastefully rendered. Braunbeck's been hitting the paperback racks with his novels of the supernatural, but there's real potential for him to eke his way into the mainstream without ever really becoming mainstream. No Braubeck is definitely not mainstream fiction. He's more like the big, solid rock that sits in the middle of the river. Always there. Always strong."
— The Agony Column

"Prodigal Blues is a disturbing novel. It deals with the most vicious forms of abuse and molestation of the young. To describe in detail the bare bones of what transpires to several youths in this novel would be excruciating. And Gary does not flinch one bit from the horrors in it. Yet he imbues the story with such tenderness that it is impossible to not feel a sense of joy. Prodigal Blues demonstrates humankind's obstinate ability to maintain dignity, compassion and even a sense of wit in even the most dire circumstances...Wiser folks than I have called Gary Braunbeck the best writer of his generation and after reading Prodigal Blues, I cannot argue that point."

"Braunbeck's prose flows like mercury blossoming across a marble floor: it’s mesmerizing and hypnotic, to the point you have no idea you’re even reading—you’re just in the moment the whole time ...this is a damn near flawless book. Braunbeck hits you hard in the heart with this one."

“This is a poignant cautionary thriller that grips readers from the moment the hero is abducted and never slows down until the final twist.”
Midwest Book Review

"5 stars*****...this is, by far, superior to anything and everything he's ever done before.  I will never look at a crying child the same again. Why does he get a 5?... for making me wipe angry tears of distraught empathy off the visage that had become statuesque in my fevered attempt to read, absorb, and become part of the symphonic beauty that lies between the covers of Prodigal Blues."
— Horror-Web  

"Braunbeck’s most profound literary achievement so far; if you know his work, then you know that’s saying something, indeed. I’ve never had my emotions, every one of them, churned through this meat grinder. I laughed, fumed, fretted and cried almost every other chapter...Touching on love, friendship, honor, horrors beyond imagining, Prodigal Blues brings us home, at the end, to hope and hope’s really why we, as a species, continue to open our weary eyes every morning and plug on, isn’t it? 5 stars."
The Horror Fiction Review

"Prodigal Blues is uncompromisingly brutal, brutally honest, and quite honestly one of the most compelling and heart-rending novels I've read in years.  It tackles the most difficult of subjects with compassion and sensitivity, and it is set to become an instant classic."
— Tim Lebbon, author of Desolation, Dusk, and Berserk