Book Review: First Aide Medicine

First Aide Medicine by Nicholaus Patnaude is a rather astonishing trip into the mind. Patnaude was raised in Vermont, attended Bard College, and did social work before moving to Istanbul where he works as a teacher.

Jack works at a surf, well sort of a surf shop. It sells boogie boards, suntan lotion, and cheap sunglasses; but not surfboards. Karen is a lifeguard and the two of them have great time together until Karen takes her life. From there things get really weird. It is hard to let go of someone, even harder when its suicide. Jack can’t let go and there begins a Burroughesque type of dream/nightmare/bad trip. Jack has dreams of Karen. Not dreams of a happy past but disturbing dreams and visions. This, combined with a life of death metal and living with his parents, blurs with the nightmare.

I liked the book, but like a vivid dream it is hard to describe to some one. Everything makes perfect sense to you, but loses something when trying to tell someone else. I can understand the story, perhaps, even relate to it, to the extent I had a good friend take her own life six years ago. I can see where the nightmare can come from, and luckily I escaped most of that. It is a haunting story,and like other reviewers suggest like a bad acid trip… yeah, but add in being trapped in a Lovecraft story. Despite my lack of words it is worth a read.

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