The White Field – By Douglas Cole – Book Review

Synopsis: The White Field is a fast-paced journey of a man, Tom, fresh out of prison and trying desperately to rebuild his life. But he is caught by mysterious, unseen forces beyond his knowledge or control. After his release from prison, he is dropped back into the world in the wastelands of the city. In the menial work afforded the underclass, he begins his new life among characters at the edges of society, dwellers of the netherworld such as Raphael, a former cop from Mexicali singing Spanish arias in the mists of the industrial night among drug addicts and crooked cops; Tony, a stoner scholar with an encyclopedic knowledge of history based solely on the intricate study of rock and roll; and Larry, the bloated, abusive manager trapped as much as his workers in a world of tedium and repetition and machines. Think, The Three Stooges on acid. Unable to reconnect with what’s left of his family, Tom embarks on a criminal path more harrowing than the one that led him to prison in the first place. Lured in by the nefarious, Thane, he slips into a plan that will leave him with no way back. And with no place left in this world to go but prison, he makes one last run for freedom. Will he escape?

This book is…weird. I don’t know how else to describe it. The synopsis above makes it sound really exciting, but that isn’t what I would say. I really don’t know what to say.

It begins with Tom getting out of prison. I found it intriguing the way he looked at the world after being out of it for so long. Everything was fresh and new. His appreciation for the things he had was greater than before. That perspective really drew me in.

Then Tom reconnects with some old friends and that’s when things start going into weird territory. At a party he has a few drinks and gets high on something. His narration while high is hard to follow at times. This is understandable as he isn’t in his right mind anymore. While he’s completely messed up his friend, Thane, suggests that he has a “job” for him. Right there I’m like “what? what kind of friend asks his newly out of prison buddy to help him commit a crime?” At first, Tom refuses. He leaves the party, spends the rest of the night whacked out of his mind and then carries on with his life.

He works his menial job, attempts to reconnect with his ex wife and kids, but nothing really works out. After awhile, he agrees to participate in a robbery. This doesn’t even happen til about the half way point. of course, the robbery goes sideways and Tom is on the run. This could have been the exciting part, but it wasn’t really. It was kind of mediocre. Yes, Tom is panicking and feel paranoid as he tries to escape before the police can find him, but it just didn’t feel harrowing.

There were several times I thought that there was going to be some kind of crazy twist, like everything that was happening was all some kind of fever dream or drug induced fantasy or something. I didn’t get what I was expecting.

All that being said, I couldn’t put the book down. Try to follow in Tom’s thoughts, especially when he was high, was confusing but also intriguing. I actually really enjoyed this book.

My rating for this novel is 3 out of 5 stars.

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