Broken Land

A Brooklyn Tale
June 13, 2015
Votes: 0

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Edited by Christopher Hassett
Cover design by Cris Qualiana Basham
Published Through Zharmae Press
Underground Title

Author’s Summary

A spectral, existential noir set against the aging irons of Coney Island and old guard lions of hip hop and silent film, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale tracks the singular odyssey of would-be sleuth and soon-to-be wordsmith, Salvatore Massimo Lunezzi. Prompted by an enigmatic phone call from a writer-friend claiming to be dead, Lunezzi launches an investigation that leads him to Ghostwriters, Inc., a company selling inspiration to struggling writers through the medium of “ghosting.” From Buster Keaton to Arthur Rimbaud, a boozy and brilliant dwarf to an enchanting femme fatale, Lunezzi is drawn deeper and deeper into the soul of story where fiction and reality inevitably converge.

Short Description

A spectral, existential noir set against the aging irons of Coney Island and old guard lions of hip hop and silent film, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale tracks the singular odyssey of would-be sleuth and soon-to-be wordsmith, Salvatore Massimo Lunezzi. Pr …

Catchphrase

An existential noir mystery

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THE RUNDOWN
On page one of John Biscello’s Broken Land he writes: “Anyway, if I had an office and it had been a rainy Tuesday, then a tragic blonde with legs like scissors strong enough to cut a flesh-and-blood man in half might have walked in… but that’s not the way this story begins.” This remarkably well-written novel is brimming with offbeat poetry.

Salvatore, the narrator, begins the story by taking on the case of his missing writer-friend, Jimmy. Jimmy calls Sal to tell him that he’s dead, and the bizarre phone call inspires Sal to investigate. He claims he’s not quite an investigative journalist, or a private eye, but simply calls himself “curious.” And so the story follows this curious narrator though New York on an unusual journey to find his friend.

Among the novel’s colorful characters are the mysterious and gorgeous Anna, a drunken dwarf named Hen, the street-smart hustler Rico, and Claire from Ghostwriters, Inc. who literally calls on ghosts to inspire writers. These characters are wonderfully original and each has an impact on Sal as he searches for answers.

This is such a unique novel. On the surface, it’s a smart, entertaining and witty story. Underneath, it’s like a peek inside a writer’s mind, revealing the mystical art of storytelling. There are a few scenes that seem random along the way, but once everything comes together, the reader realizes that every page has its purpose. Biscello’s muse has not failed him.

THE RECOMMENDATION
Broken Land is easy to recommend. Any reader looking for something out of the ordinary would likely enjoy it. At 158 pages, this quick read never lets up on intrigue. It would also be an excellent novel for aspiring writers to read. First, they can learn about solid writing from Biscello’s example, but they can also find inspiration from his clever message.

– posted by Brian Braden    

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