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Sunday, October 11, 2009

“Nuclear Winter Wonderland” with Bonus Q/A by Joshua Corin (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Joshua Corin Website
Order "Nuclear Winter Wonderland" HERE


Author & Book Info: This is Joshua Corin's Debut novel. It's a solo novel and it is being published by Kunati books. The trade paperback copy stands at 275 pages. The book is divided into thirty chapters. All chapters are written from a third-person perspective.

This book was first published in 2008. Joshua Corin is also writing the screenplay for this book. He has also written a few other screenplays, of which "Windfall" won the Open Door contest.

Book Overview & Analysis: It's a little hard to believe that this is Joshua Corin's freshman effort. I got to know of this book thanks to the International Thriller Writers website. The first three chapters of this book are available as a free pdf download HERE. Once I read those chapters, I knew I had to read the rest of the book as well.

The story revolves around a madman who captures the twin sister of the protagonist & dares the protagonist to capture him in 7 days or he'll bring the end of the world by unleashing a nuclear Armageddon

The protagonist, Adam Weiss, is a slightly unlikeable frat boy whose aspirations are related to electronic games, fun, and sex, and not necessarily in that order. Then he gets the shock of his life when his sister is captured along with his car, on the way to a funeral by a guy who happens to be crazy as well as armed with a nuclear bomb. The madman proclaims that the bomb will be set off if Adam doesn't find him in time.

Adam meets a short old guy who also happens to be connected with mob and a Croatian female clown who only speaks Spanish. From this outlandish premise the story shoots off onto various locations as Adam along with Filbert the dwarf enforcer & Cherry Sundae the clown, tries to figure out who kidnapped Adam's sister & also try to avoid the police due to various happenings you will read about.

All the events in the book are seen through Adam as he is the novel's unwilling protagonist though I think it would have been funnier if we could have gotten POVs from Filbert or Cherry too.

"Nuclear Winter Wonderland" is a little hard to classify as it has elements of comedic fiction as well as thriller fiction. It almost seems like a Quentin Tarantino movie with quirkier characters & funnier situations. The prose is smooth though a bit amateurish in places. The story is very fast paced and starts zooming from the 4-5th chapter as things start unravelling for Adam. He loses his sister, gains 2 unlikely allies of which 1 can barely understand him and vice-versa. He then is taken to various places such as Philadelphia, Las Vegas where the origins of his comrades are explained though what is truly happening is only understood only in the 2nd half of the book. The story ends on a strong climax which is apt for this tale & lives up to its quirky buildup.

In the end I would sincerely recommend this book to readers who are looking for a fun read with an engaging storyline as well. Joshua Corin is indeed an author to look out for if "Nuclear Winter Wonderland" is an indication of his talent then his future books will most certainly be must-reads for me.

Note: The book has been reviewed based on an independently acquired copy, however FBC may have received arcs of other books from its publisher.

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Bonus Q/A with the Author:

1] For the benefit of readers, could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself?

JC: Absolutely! My name is Joshua Corin and I've been telling lies one paragraph at a time since I was six years-old. I grew up in Rhode Island, attended SUNY Binghamton (where I received an B.A. in English, an M.A. in English, and an M.A. in theatre), and worked briefly in management on Broadway. I now teach English and theatre at a junior college in Atlanta, GA. My screenplay Windfall won first place in the Open Door Contest co-sponsored by Dimension Films. Nuclear Winter Wonderland is my first published novel.

2] How did you get started in writing? & could you share with us your experience of getting published?

JC: I was a shy child in desperate need of expression, and since dexterity (both verbal and manual) were not in my skillset, I was left with storytelling. Fortunately, my father sold typewriters for a living, so I got my start early, perched over an IBM Quietwriter.

As for my experience getting published, as with most aspects of my life, it came about backwards. Nuclear Winter Wonderland was actually optioned in manuscript form by Sentinel Entertainment before a publishing deal even was in place.

3] What was the spark of inspiration which lead to the genesis of "Nuclear Winter Wonderland" & also could you explain the quirky title choice?

JC: Nuclear Winter Wonderland got its genesis during long road trips I took in college through the snowy highways of New York State and Eastern Pennsylvania. The title itself came much later, and developed out of my relentless (and some might say annoying) love of wordplay.

4] What were you aiming for with this book?

JC: I was aiming to write a novel that was unpredictable. I wanted the reader to constantly be a little off-balance, never knowing if the next moment would be suspenseful or comic.

5] What are your plans for the future? On your site you have 2 books mentioned with the titles of "Galileo" & "Cain" could you tell us a bit about them as well

JC: I currently have a two-book deal with MIRA Books. Galileo and Cain are the result. They follow Esme Stuart, who abandoned a promising career as a special agent on a major FBI anticrime task force to become a housewife on Long Island. Now it is almost ten years later, and her former boss needs her help...(Check here for more Info)

6] How would you describe this book or your writing style to get a potential reader enticed [10 words or less]

JC: A concoction of thrills and giggles.

7] Name three weird facts associated with your book or found during its research?

JC: 1. James Buchanan was from Pennsylvania.

2. Las Vegas real estate defies logic.

3. Disney World employs a small army of security guards.

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