[REVIEW] Dead to Me – Anton Strout

Anton Strout
Dead to Me (Simon Canderous, Book 1)
Penguin Books (26th February 2008)
Mass Market Paperback ISBN: 9780441015788
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I have a cold, and it’s crept through my sinuses to my brain. Not the ideal situation for reading, but I do what I can when I can.

I like reading Anton Strout’s blogs. I especially like that he’s written (or wants to write) a novel about a made-up band. If that book doesn’t find a publisher I will be very disappointed, because I think it sounds like terrific fun. I’m imagining Spinal Tap in a book, though I think Mr Strout’s novel featured/will feature a punk band. Though if he writes about a skater-punk band, he will be sent to the naughty corner 😉

But let’s talk about what’s actually been published, shall we?

In Dead to Me, reformed petty-crime naughty boy and psychometrist Simon Canderous (whose surname probably means something, but I haven’t checked the dictionary yet) works for New York’s Department of Extraordinary Affairs. Psychometry made me think of Kim Wilkins’s Gina Champion series, and the government made me think of Shane Maloney’s Murray Whelan series. But Anton Strout’s Simon Canderous is neither a teenage girl nor a political adviser. (And not Australian, for that matter.)

On the cover of this novel (notice how the New Yorkers are wearing black – that’s not a stereotype; not at all 😉 ), Simon appears to be in Times Square and has blue electricity spouting from his fingertips. But I don’t remember a Times Square scene, and it would’ve been more appropriate had Mr Canderous been wielding a baseball bat. But that’s an idea for future cover art.

The author is clever with wordplay (note the titles of Inspectre and Enchancellors), even though some character names are somewhat ridiculous (Thaddeus Wesker and Argyle Quimbley). The relationship between Simon and his mentor is a healthy one. As for the romance angle…I won’t spoil it for you, but I would’ve preferred Mr Canderous stick with the other woman instead.

Within these pages is a wonderfully creative idea called Ghostsniffing, but I’m leaving it to you to learn the fascinating details of that 😉 But overall the book did not live up to my high expectations…maybe because I’m still sulking over the lack of the band novel. I’m petty that way.

Any publishers interested in publishing a band novel should contact Mr Strout’s agent.

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3 responses to “[REVIEW] Dead to Me – Anton Strout

  1. So sorry to hear your sinuses are still giving you trouble!

    It could be that you’re having allergy troubles. Have you tried taking Benadryl? If they make you sleepy, just take them before bed. You’ll still get good effects.

    Poor Tez.

  2. Dude, I wrote this post in April! Trippy…

    No allergies, just…well, the Celts aren’t famous for their noses (just hairiness and drinkies), so I’m not exactly sure where my shoddy sinuses came from…

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Dead to Me by A. Strout | Literary Escapism

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