Book Review: Factory Town by Jon Bassoff

22880243Title: Factory Town

Author: Jon Bassoff

Genre: Horror, Dark Fiction

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Russell Carver, an enigmatic and tortured man in search of a young girl gone missing, has come to Factory Town, a post-industrial wasteland of abandoned buildings, crumbling asphalt, deadly characters, hidden secrets and unspeakable depravity. Wandering deeper and deeper into the dangerous, dream-like and darkly mysterious labyrinths in town, Russell stumbles upon clues that not only lead him closer to the missing girl, but to his own troubled past as well. Because in Factory Town nothing is what it seems, no one is safe, and there’s no such thing as a clean escape.
From Jon Bassoff, author of Corrosion, comes a dark, gritty and surreal novel that is at once a compelling mystery and an exploration into the darkest recesses of the human soul. Welcome to the haunting, frightening and disturbing experience that is Russell Carver’s search for the truth…
Welcome to FACTORY TOWN.

Factory Town is a strange, eerie, surrealistic voyage into a town unlike any other. Protagonist Russell Carver is searching for a young girl who has gone missing, Alana. His quest brings him to Factory Town, a post-industrial, withering town with – as you guessed it – a factory. The town’s inhabitants are depraved, most of them hide secrets, others are more than willing to kill. It would be near impossible to ever come up with a more haunting and infested town than Factory Town. Everything there is dead or dying, from the characters locked up inside, to the buildings and factory. The farther Russell makes it into the labyrinth of town, the more clues he find that lead him to the missing girl, and to his own troubled past. Is Factory Town real, or a figment of Russell’s own depraved imagination?

The book is hard to rate. Overall, the writing is excellent. As can be said about most (if not all) of DarkFuse’s titles, they know talent when they see it, and all their authors are talented writers. Now, I don’t mind a little surrealism in books, but at least I have to have a general sense of where the story is leading. Alas, with Factory Town, no such luck. The story seems to go in circles, the surreal moments seemingly so random that even though I occasionally paused and tried to wrap my mind around what was happening, what was real and what wasn’t, I couldn’t. The book was too random, too chaotic, and after a while, I stopped caring about the characters because I had no clue what was going on with them anyway. I had a general idea of the storyline, sure, but the surreal scenes were just too many and kind of ruined it.

If you like surrealism, this book might be your cup of tea. The premise is a clever one, and the characters are interesting, particularly the protagonist. But if you want to have at least a general sense of what’s real and what isn’t, you’ll probably be as frustrated by this book as I am.


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