Eric Scott Fischl grabbed my attention in a big way recently with his harrowing debut novel Doctor Potter’s Medicine Show, and only tightened his grip on it with this follow-up. But once again, caveat lector. Just as its predecessor held considerable peril for sympathetic vomiters and those triggered by sexual violence, The Trials of Solomon Parker starts off with scenes of underground mine disaster so well-researched and vividly described that the claustrophobic or those living with PTSD might find it rough going. And then there’s that litany of other horrors, including domestic violence, that follows. Eek.
Those who tough it out, though, have a reward in store for them that might even seem to carry a whiff of Kurt Vonnegut, or perhaps even Gene Wolfe, to it. For, like its predecessor, this is not merely a quality work of historical fiction. There’s Time Travel as well as copper in them thar hills! [Read more…]