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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Gopher King: A Dark Comedy is a work of fiction in the surrealism, military fiction, and psychological drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Gojan Nikolich. Exploring the workings of the mind of the Vietnam veteran, the work does contain violence appropriate to wartime experiences and the use of explicit language. Quirky, comedic, and psychologically dark, the plot revolves around protagonist Stan Przewalski, whose mind and life spiral rapidly out of control through grief and flashbacks of war. So when he meets an army of magical creatures who tell him he must lead them to victory, Stan is up for the task and the many strange adventures and dangers it may bring.
Author Gojan Nikolich has crafted a work of surreal fantasy and magical realism which will have readers as deeply lost in its ethereal dark comedy as the protagonist himself. I found the work to be highly compelling and engaging, not just because of the inventive quality of the storytelling, but because of the development of Stan’s psyche and the empathy we feel for him throughout his strange journey. The book offers many different levels of quirky humor, realistic pain and suffering, and outright rebellious adventure, but it is the deep emotional quality of Stan’s mental state which holds it together and delivers an ultimately brilliant work of introspective psychological fiction. Overall, I would highly recommend The Gopher King to all types of readers for its conceptual brilliance, engaging prose and accomplished writing, and narrative style.