Friday, February 6, 2015

We Are All Completely Fine

But are they really?

Welcome to Dr. Jan Sayer's "Very Special Trauma" group, whose members are all survivors of horrific and incomprehensible crimes. They've agreed to come together to help each other cope--at least, that's Dr. Sayer's plan. But when you've suffered as they have and seen the things that they've seen, is there really any hope for a normal existence? You be the judge. Take, for example, Stan, the oldest member of the group. He lost his limbs to the notorious Weaver family, otherwise known as the Arkansas Cannibals. Then there's Barbara, who seems the most normal of them all but who was once a victim of the Scrimshander, an entity that peeled back her flesh and left carvings on her bones. And what of Google Glass-wearing Martin, the youngest? He sees things through those dark lenses, bad things, and they're everywhere. Harrison, another group member, is well-acquainted with what Martin sees, for he is the so-called Monster Detective. As a teenager, Harrison once saved the town of Dunnsmouth from its doom--just barely, as he'd put it--but he now wants nothing to do with his monster-hunting past and spends his days in a drunken oblivion if he can help it. Rounding out the group is Greta, the tight-lipped, white-haired Goth girl, commune escapee and demon vessel.

Daryl Gregory's We Are All Completely Fine is a slim novel with a darkly entertaining narrative that will keep the pages turning. Really, half the fun is observing how these very different characters interact with one another throughout each therapy session, and how, when a group member is threatened, they finally come to trust and help one another. If you're looking for a quick excursion into the literary landscape Ray Bradbury once called the October Country, We Are All Completely Fine will get you there and back safely in a single afternoon. 

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