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Foreword Reviews on The King of the Sea Monkeys: “An Intellectual Exercise”

GUE_FL_KingOfTheSeaMonkeys (2)In a recent review of Mark E. Cull’s The King of the Sea Monkeys, Jason Henninger from Foreword Reviews explains the book’s plot and style. Furthermore, he comments on the important role which T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland plays throughout the work, and shows how, by referencing the poem, Cull enforces the connection between various elements of the book.

The King of the Sea Monkeys was published by Guernica Editions in Spring 2015.

The plot of the book follows Paul, a young high school teacher who suffers from a traumatic brain injury.

Henninger explains that the “intentionally disjointed manner” in which the story is narrated “reflects the subject’s mental state as he recovers from a gunshot wound to the head, suffered during a robbery gone wrong.”

Moreover, he comments on the way in which The Wasteland is used to connect both plot and style and to enforce a central theme of the book.

“The notoriously difficult poem provides an interesting parallel to the tangled nature of the protagonist’s perspective. In one particularly telling scene between Paul and a student who admits to not understanding the poem, Paul tells him that Eliot confessed a year later that it was complicated on purpose, to expose fake scholars. A similar feeling of intentional complexity, an unusual narrative to unsettle the reader, permeated The King of the Sea Monkeys.”

Henninger stresses that, despite the difficulty of The King of the Sea Monkeys, reading it proves to be a rewarding experience.

“[The King of the Sea Monkeys] goes down paths seldom traveled to provide a philosophical and emotional look at a wounded mind.”

Posted in Fiction, Reviews.

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