Book Review:Billy Purgatory

“I’m Billy Purgatory.” he said, proud as ever
“Such a strange name.”
“It’s a strange world, doll face.”

Billy Purgatory is an interesting kid. We first meet him at age ten and spends his time skateboarding and avoiding school. He has quite the attitude and vocabulary, not in a bad way, but in a Mickey Spillane, Mike Hammer kind of way. Still it’s not what you expect in a ten year old. Billy’s father was in ‘Nam, lost a leg, and is an inactive member of a motorcycle gang with a unique mission. Billy has been told his mother is dead and has been dead for a long time, but he is undeterred. He believes she is alive and is going to find her no matter what it takes.

Everything seems fairly normal in Billy’s life, but there is much more to things. Billy saves a girl’s life when he is returning from his skateboard haunt. That in itself is pretty impressive especially since he saves the girl from vampires. The girl he saves, Anastasia, is that one girl who will be “that girl” in Billy’s life. Once the reader accepts vampires, add in a human sized, talking, tequila drinking chicken who lives in Billy’s backyard. There is also a gypsy girl lives in the woods. When a narrator is needed, Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt and moon, steps up and fills the reader in. Just when the reader settles in accepts what is going on and the character’s various forms, in walks the Time Zombie.

Billy Purgatory is an amazingly weird,and wild story that holds a bit something for all readers. There is war. There is mythology. There is a motorcycle gang. There is the supernatural. There’s skateboarding. For conspiracy theorists, there is also the real reason LBJ kept the war going in Vietnam. If the reader is not sure about vampires and giant, drunk chickens, he or she will be relieved to know that Billy isn’t sure of them either. As Billy grows up and continues to search for his mother, he tries to convince himself that certain aspects of his life were real.

Billy Purgatory, is that classic story of a boy searching for his mother, finding that very special girl, and a father – son relationship all run through a blender and perfectly packaged into a great story that is a complete riot.

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