I was asked to review Mike Robinson’s new book “The Green-Eyed Monster.” It’s a paranormal horror/mystery that twists through the interlinked lives of two men: Martin Smith and John Becker.
This is a mystery laced with metaphysical and philosophical questions. You start off at the end–the final battle in the war between two competing giants. Much of the rest of the book is presented in flash-back, where the characters who had been influenced by the tendrils of chaos that emanate from the two boys tell their story.
The two main stories are those of Mrs. Chatsworth, their first grade teacher, and Harry Zweig, a classmate of theirs. This makes up the real meat of the book. Each character had a distinctive voice, and even though you knew in advance what happened to them, their stories were fascinating. They felt like real people–or as real as possible when their reality is rapidly approaching insane. These stories take up the majority of the book, which is good, because they’re what I most enjoyed.
The monster/philosophical part never takes concrete form–the “grandfather” can always been identified by his butterflies, but he seldom communicates directly with the characters. What is interesting is how both Becker and Smith appear to be two halves of the same soul–their books are almost identical, as are their life stories. They don’t really seem human–too lost in some other world to interact with the other characters well. It makes them seem mysterious and a little dangerous–especially after Mrs. Chattsworth’s story is told.
In short, don’t accept favors from anyone’s grandfather. Ever. Bad idea.