WALLS CLOSING IN
CROWDING BLOOD SOAKED RECOLLECTION
NESTLED IN THIS TORMENT ANOTHER DAY
A TASTE OF SIN
THICK ON THE TONGUE OF CANNIBAL LUST
CHOKING BACK THE BREATH OF SANITY
SWALLOWING MINUSCULE TOKEN REMAINS OF SUCH
A LUNATIC’S PRAYERS
DISEASED WET SYLLABLES
COLLECTED ON THE CEILING OF A GRAND CATHEDRAL
OH WHY DID I ABANDON THEE MY LORD
FOR NOW I AM SIMPLE PREY CRIMSON SOLDIERS
THEY HAVE COME TO CLAIM MY SOILED SOUL
This opens Christopher A. Durish’s The Lobby, a novel that had me engrossed from beginning to end. It covers themes in religion like Heaven and Hell, damnation and salvation, sin and redemption and, of course, demons and the Devil. Durish’s novel has a strong story-telling style and is a fast-paced book that puts you smack-dab in the sinful shoes of the main character.
The Lobby tells the tale of Zachary Bell, a rising young star in the world of advertising and his trendy, often controversial commercials that are a direct reflection of his personal affairs. A married father of two daughters, Zach is anything but a family man. A blossoming career and a sordid lifestyle of infidelity and Hollywood-style parties are a common substitute for school plays and family picnics. One stormy September night, while driving home from a party with his co-worker and mistress Judith Sample, Zach falls asleep at the wheel. When he awakens a few seconds later, his car is careening out of control toward a steep embankment. As the car plunges over the hillside, it plunges Zach’s life into a realm of unspeakable terror. While in a comatose state, the result of trauma suffered during the accident, Zach experiences an evil only Hell itself could unleash.
The book gets off to a rocky start in the first chapter or so (it starts off a bit generic for me after the stunning prologue), but once you get past that bump in the road it is a fast-paced ride to Hell in a handbasket! Durish keeps the reader on their toes and never lets us know what is behind Bell’s suffering (though we all have a pretty good idea!). Like Bell, we aren’t sure if what he is experiencing is a nightmare, a vision of what’s to come or what has already happened…essentially we don’t know what is real and what isn’t. This creates a real thrill of tension throughout the book that had me racing through the pages to find out the Truth in the last few pages.
Bell’s anguish is also artfully articulated by Durish. The reader can almost feel his confusion and fear in response to what he has seen and experienced. Durish’s expansive imagination of Hell is also very effective and I liked that he didn’t just stick to “fire and brimstone” visuals. The first paragraph alone should give you a good sense of the tricks and treats you are in store for. The rest of the book is sure to give you plenty of chills and thrills as well (I know that’s what it gave me!). As mentioned earlier, I like the fact that the reader, along with Bell, is lost in what is seemingly a nightmare. This creates a disorienting, disassociated feeling that really ramps up the tension!
Christopher A. Durish’s The Lobby is definitely a place I wouldn’t mind waiting in…as long as you are okay with shadowy demon figures polluting your periphery and horrifying scenarios that drive you madder and madder constantly playing out right before your eyes.
Available from Amazon!