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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
How long can a man isolate himself socially and psychologically from the outside world before he begins to lose his mind? Icarus Never Flew 'Round Here by Matt Edwards delves into this very question. Dale Samuel is a rancher who has lived a very lonely life in the middle of nowhere with his wife, Janice, and his farm animals. With nothing much to do and plenty of time to pass, Dale always finds himself talking to the horizon and contemplating whether he and his wife were cursed or special and did it even matter. Dale's uncomplicated mind struggles to comprehend the mysteries of life, leading him to channel his increasingly growing curiosity into ways that have devastating consequences. But will his search for ultimate freedom bring him purpose or will it destroy every semblance of the man?
An empty mind is the devil's workshop. This age-old adage is firmly reiterated in Icarus Never Flew 'Round Here. Matt Edwards' smooth prose and addictive narrative keep their hold on you from start to finish. This is a riveting story that follows a man's slow descent into madness as he buries himself in the rabbit hole of trying to discern meaning from events way above his station. The author plays out the narrative through the point of view of Dale, at first glance a seemingly normal rancher who loses his way and develops psychopathic tendencies he has no control over. The book reminded me of the Hollywood movie The Lighthouse, which had a similar hypnotic and surreal feel to the narrative. Highly recommended.