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Thursday, April 20, 2023

Book review: Bringing Home The Rain by Bob McGough



Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Born and raised in southern Alabama, Robert (Bob) has been writing as long as he can remember, though only began to take it seriously in the fall of 2012. That year he completed his first NaNoWriMo writing a collection of short stories. This gave him the impetus to actually attempt to pursue a career as a writer. Since then he has written a number of short pieces in a variety of genres: horror, southern gothic, steampunk, and fantasy.

A graduate of Troy University, holding a Bachelors in Anthropology and a Masters in Post Secondary Education (Music Industry), he currently pays the bills by working at a warehouse, and occasional small writing gigs for bands and businesses. 

He is a firm believer that puns are the highest form of humor.

Publisher: Broken Oak Publishing (August 22, 2021)  Page count: 290


Howard Marsh isn’t a role model. For anything. His life sucks, and he has no career prospects or successful relationship. Hobbies? Meth, weed, LSD, heavier stuff. Sure, he has a little magical talent, but so what? Almost anyone who can do magic does it better than him.

Except, Howard learned a trick and figured he could use heavy drugs to gap the difference in power. That’s useful, especially that he attracts troubles and occult threats. The series revolves around Howard solving supernatural mysteries. Bringing Home The Rain contains two novellas /stories, both told in short chapters and suspenseful.

I liked the way McGough introduced the world, the rural setting, and the protagonist. Rather than relying on unnecessary explanations, we discover the world through Howard’s drug-addled perspective and his insights into various things he experiences/investigates. Witchcraft doesn’t make him a fortune, but it helps him to get by. And to buy drugs to further destroy himself.

Howard is Howard’s main antagonist, but he has to deal with more than just his self-destructive behaviour (for example with the possessed Turkey or the over-zealous Reverend). Locals know Howard does drugs and is a small-time thief, but they tolerate him because he’s useful. If Bringing Back The Rain lacks anything, it’s the over-arching plot that would hook readers early on. I didn’t mind, though. Each story held its own.

There’s something addictive in Howard’s perspective and short chapters that make the story fly by. Deep inside, Howard is a decent, and surprisingly likable, guy who will stand for the weaker and fight injustice. We don’t see moments in which drugs take him to the darkest places, but it’s in-between the lines. Now, I live in Europe and have no experience or knowledge of America’s rural parts, but the setting felt very real. As did descriptions of people’s motivations and lives.

Pick it up if you’re in the mood for rural fantasy set in backwoods Alabama. Grab it if you want to read about a redneck witch and a drug addict solving occult mysteries. If you’re looking for good urban fantasy with horror elements, yes, you guessed right. Go for it. It’s fun!

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