Bastard's Reviews > Never Knew Another

Never Knew Another by J.M. McDermott
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May 11, 12

Read from November 11 to 22, 2011

Quick reaction: http://bastardbooks.blogspot.com/2012...

Well, this was a unique one. Really hard to put into words what I feel about it, but at the end of it I really loved it. Beautiful prose that contrasted the ugly world it depicted. It's a very short novel, yet quite packed. The story itself is not that complex, but the storytelling technique is. It's easy to get confused since POVs are not always easily identifiable, but that's part of the charm. Part of the story is experienced through a character accessing another's memories. There's switching of POV, as well as the narrative mode, and events are not in chronological order. So be prepared to put some effort.

Themes of loneliness and solitude are explored to its fullest, as well as the pursuit to belong; find someone that understands you. I really loved how the demons were depicted here, how it mixed the humanity with the inhumanity with the inevitability of what they are, and how toxic they are just for being what they are despite of who they are and who they wish to be. I hope that made some sense.

The ending was a bit abrupt for me and the climax was very subtle, really felt like there was none, but with the sequel already out, this is pretty much a none issue. Never Knew Another is the first in the Dogsland Trilogy. McDermott is certainly an author to watch, I have a feeling he'll be producing some compelling and thought provoking reading for years to come.
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