Thomas, Lee. “The Dust of Wonderland”, Alyson, 2007.
New Orleans Supernaturally
Whenever I hear that a book has been written about my hometown, I rush to read it. Many times I find myself disappointed but Lee Thomas in “The Dust of Wonderland” proved to me that the dark and gothic side of the city still is there and he writes about it beautifully. Thomas has a way with words and he reminds me that New Orleans has had a great literary tradition which he upholds. His control of the English language is masterful and he gives us a rich picture of New Orleans with vivid portraits and deep characterizations. Only someone who has lived in the Big Easy can do that city justice.
“The Dust in Wonderland” is an incredibly well written story of a man in conflict who, upon the death of his son, returns to his family from whom he has been estranged and to his former lover. His college-aged son died mysteriously and the city of New Orleans has drawn Ken Nicholson back—not just to the city but to his home, to his family and to the mistakes he has made in life. Upon discovering that he was gay, he and his wife divorced but now he must face an evil that he thought was long gone.
Years prior Ken had entered a world of seduction and addiction at a club named Wonderland. Travis Brugier (such a New Orleans name) had initiated him into this world which has left him psychologically damaged after the demise of the club. Now when things had begun to seem better a killer has found him and has caused more pain and threatens to hurt him even more by taking Ken’s ex-wife, his former lover and Ken’s very own being.
When Ken tries to convince the police that danger is both real and nigh, they do not react. It seems that only Ken and the killer know the truth. As Ken tries to win back his own soul, Lee Thomas gives us a novel of sheer beauty. The book will break your heart and scare you like you have never been scared before. It is a twisted tale and follows none of the other conventions f the genre of supernatural fiction. The surprises and the suspense come fast as Thomas throws stereotype after stereotype to the wind and we get a truly dark story. The With complex characters and beautiful prose and the most evil of villains in Travis Brugier, here is a book that you cannot put down, Here is a book that is both poetic and provocative, eloquent and supernatural and will keep you awake for hours. The villains are the most evil and those that suffer at their hands do so to reclaim their own humanity. I am still reeling from having read this book and you will undoubtedly feel the same.