Monday, 23 January 2017 00:00

Review: Painless by Jamie Mayer

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In competing narrative voices (mostly first with a dash of third), author Mayer ably explores the turbulent headspace of Quinn, a teenager with a condition known as congenital analgesia—he can't feel pain.

A high percentage of folks with Quinn's condition don't make it to adulthood, and Quinn seems set on joining that grim statistic.

As he processes—or tries to process—his father's death, Quinn self-medicates through his art; and he's good. The guy at his local comic shop begs him to complete his masterwork, a parallel tale about a dark superhero who fights crime alongside a canine familiar. The story later ushers in more residents of Quinn's little island of misfit toys: two women who seem to speak to different sides of his personality. (Such triangles always make me flash on Dorothy Vallens and Sandy Williams, but that's probably my cognitive bias talking—though this book does have some Lynchian qualities.)

In any event, this touching book reads like a cross between Good Will Hunting and Geek Love set on the boundary between our universe and whatever universe houses A-Ha's video for "Take on Me." It's also beautifully written, belly-laugh funny, and downright harrowing at times. Highly recommended.

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Tony Lazlo, CC2K Staff Writer

Robert J. Peterson is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a co-founder of the pop-culture emporium CC2K. He's written for newspapers and websites all over the country, including the Marin Independent Journal, PerformInk, Space.com, the Telluride (Colo.) Daily Planet, Gridiron Goddess, CC2K and Geekscape.net. He's appeared as a pop-culture guru on the web talk shows Comics on Comics, The Fanboy Scoop, Geekscape.net and Fandom Planet.

His writing for CC2K is often reprinted on his personal blog.

He's written several novels, short stories and screenplays. He's the founder of the small publishing company California Coldblood Books. His novel The Odds is available wherever books are sold, or on Amazon.

In addition to his writing, Robert is a graphic designer and web developer who specializes in open-source technologies like Joomla, Wordpress and Drupal. He built this website with the Joomla CMS. As a designer, he has built postcards, business cards, logos and many other websites. He would also love to design more mood boards for motion pictures.

His friends call him Bob.

Website: www.robertjpeterson.com