DANIEL BOYD – The Devil & Streak Wilson. Montag Press, trade paperback original, March 2020. Also available in ebook format.

   Let me say the outset that this is not really a review. I know the author personally, and there is no way I could be unbiased. You may know him, too, if you are a regular reader of this blog, since under his real name, his book and movie reviews that are posted here are even better than mine, if that were at all possible. But since he wrote this book under a false name, perhaps he does not want his own name associated with it, and I will honor his intentions until such time that he allows me to reveal it.

   Let me also say that this is the best book I have read over the period of the last two months. That this is the only book I have read over the period of the last two months does not, I hope, lessen the truth and impact of that statement. (I do not think that I am the only one who has been suffering from a reader’s block over the last two months, but I digress.)

   What is the book about, you may ask. I’m going to guess as to the year that it takes place in, but perhaps the 1880s; and as for the setting, it may suffice to say that it’s The West. Streak Wilson is our hero, a young lad with no roots that he knows of, but who is the best shot with a rifle in the entire county. The other major protagonist is, well, read the title of the book again. On the earth he appears as a gent who suggests he be called Harvey. Harvey Rideout, a friendly 50ish gent who seems to be able to light his tobacco with only his finger.

   By means of a small subterfuge, not a lie, exactly, but hedging on the details, he makes a small deal with Streak, who ends up not being able to see his reflection in mirrors, while at the same time a vicious doppelganger is released upon on the world. I could continue, and very easily, but I would like to leave some of the story for you to read for yourself.

   Besides being a riproarer of a tall tale in and of itself, The Devil and Streak Wilson is also a story of life, death, and growing up in between, filled with as much home spun philosophy as you can find in the total work of Spinoza, John Locke, and my Uncle Ezra combined. And I don’t even have an Uncle Ezra. If from reading this you get the sense that you might enjoy this book, I will suggest that you are miscalculating. You will love this book.