Review by: Linda Workman-Crider
Castles Burning is a forty-four-page literary work of magical realism. Written in first person, this tale, if true, would be considered a memoir of Wil Warner, the son of Tom and Kat Warner. While there are some slightly horrific items in this story, it is mostly a story centered on family dysfunction. I would not classify it within the genre of horror myself. Mostly this is tale of an adult son coming to terms with the past and making the final cut of any ties still binding him to his mother. The final thing Kat Warner had to entice a reunion with her son was his father’s remains and the story begins as she lures Wil back to her prominent estate in hopes that he can collect his father’s ashes.
Though I had expected to be reading a work of horror, I knew almost immediately that I was reading a literary piece. There is difference in style, rhythm, and word choice than one would find in most mainstream novels where the literary leans more toward the poetic, and where word choice and sentence structures are as important, sometimes even more important, than the plot or point of telling the story. If I can liken the mainstream novel writer to classic rock, the literary writer would probably liken themselves to opera. These are, generally speaking, different camps of consumers. I would not have purchased this book had I known it was a literary work of fiction. I am story driven and, while the words flowed beautifully, there is not enough of a story here for my tastes. This book is for fans of the more literary works of fiction who will find Keith McCoy to be a very talented writer indeed.