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Dancing in the Void Reviewed by Katie Hines
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Dancing in the Void

by

Robert Edward Levin

 

Reviewed by Katie Hines

 

Genre:  Drama

Publisher:  Tate Hill Books

ISBN: 1-929148-64-X

Pages:  300

Trade Paperback

 

          A sly shrink, a determined homicide detective, two so-called murderers, and the baser sort of life are tossed in the mix of Levin’s paragraphs. 

 

          The first page introduces the protagonist, Dr. Hubbell Webster, a sometime resident of Valley View Mental Institution and practicing psychiatrist.  The first fifty or so pages deal almost exclusively with the inner workings of Dr. Webster’s--call me ‘Hub’ –mind.  The author writes with great zeal and detail of the thoughts Hub deals with.

 

          Hub’s mental ruminations are left behind after the first fifty or so pages.  After these first very long and somewhat less interesting recourses, we don’t hear from Hub again until about three-fourths (or more) of the way through the book.

 

          Leaving Hub behind, we meet another character, Sardi, whose life intersects with Hub’s quite a bit down the road.  Initially the reader isn’t told what the commonality is between Sardi and Hub.  The author goes to great lengths to paint Sardi’s background, that of a cold-blooded killer. 

 

          After the death of two men, and another hundred or so pages of reading, we still haven’t connected with what happened to Hub and his journey.  Somehow, Hub and Sardi find each other.  Hub enjoys his house while Sardi works on the grounds. 

 

          Enter Detective Ryder, the determined officer who believes Sardi and Hub killed the two men.  Initially failing to obtain the proper documentation to allow the police to search all the property, Detective. Ryder has to wait a couple of days to get the right paperwork.

 

          Realizing that both he and Sardi are going to be accused and arrested, Hub comes up with the great idea to join the circus in an effort to avoid the law. 

 

          The book winds down and the last chapter contains a true twist.

 

          Even though he does well with his descriptions during dialog, Levin’s book is rife with inane dialogue and incorrect spelling and punctuation.  The first half was dry and confusing.  Some sentences last as many as nineteen lines, full of dashes, parentheses, semi-colons, colons, etc., leaving the reader confused.   Additionally, the author begins a new chapter, or scene within a chapter, without telling us who the speaker is. 

 

          However, I do believe the story can be redeemed if the author would get rid of the lengthy sentences and the long, long sections of internal dialogue.  If he were to adhere to the “show don’t tell” maxim of writing, and do some tough editing, I think he has the makings of an interesting book.  It just hasn’t happened yet.

 

Katie Hines - Muse Book Reviewer

 

Rose, Large                                    *AVERAGE


 

 
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