“South of Main Street” – Robert Gately

All of the action in this novel may take place north of Main Street, but every character – each in his or her own special way – is metaphorically far into the depths of personal poverty and despair.

The main strength of this story comes from the characters and their intertwining relationships: beautifully revealed but mostly self-destructive. This gives a definite dark feel to the book, especially in the first third, where all we see are declining relationships and failing humans. Once the positive objectives of the storyline appear from this morass, the mood becomes more balanced, and our interest perks up.

However, I was disappointed that the story then went in the other direction with a deus ex machina ending that wrapped everything up so tightly in such a neat package that I wondered why the author bothered to write the last half of the book. Authors write novels to demonstrate their themes through the actions of their characters. If that showing has been done properly, as it was in this book, there is no need to hit us over the head by telling it all over again at the end.

Recommended for fans of darker psychological novels.

(4 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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