Wednesday, July 19, 2006


What I like in the writings of independent artist and writer Mike Philbin is the amazing freshness and inventiveness, the uniqueness of the narrative, and his ability to shock the reader, well beyond what you think is possible after the shocking images you encounter each day in today's media. His prose provokes a vast range of emotional responses and Jane's Game is no exception.

The story starts with the introduction of Jane, a beautiful ex-model, who turns out to be the end product of an experiment at the Fountain Institute for Molecular Research, the place where her program was written. Later, young artist Paul Kasparek finds Jane, who is suffering from amnesia, in his studio underneath his paintings. Thus starts an incredibly bizarre story of love and violence, sex and gore, dreams and dream-like events.

Mike Philbin, who once used the pseudonym Hertzan Chimera, is still pushing the boundaries of the horror genre by the use of surrealism and a unique narrative technique. The book includes a lot of dream-sequences, and the reader often cannot be sure whether the main characters are still dreaming or the author is describing what happens to them in real life.

The bizarro novel Jane's Game is described by the publisher as 'a brutal piece of psycho-sexual horror fiction', and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. However, if you do not mind the gory details, you are in for a great read. Jane's Game is highly recommended. So twisted, so shocking, and so moving that you just cannot get enough.

Reviewed By Ilona Hegedus
© June 2006

buy Jane's Game is available direct from Chimericana Books.

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