Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Room in Dodge City” as Want to Read:
A Room in Dodge City
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Room in Dodge City

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A Room in Dodge City follows a nameless drifter into an American heart of darkness. In this nightmarish version of the historic Dodge City, mythic beasts crawl out of the woodwork; bizarre rituals are enacted; and death is never the end. Equal parts humor and horror-show, David Leo Rice’s novel combines the mundaneness of modern life—motels, strip malls, temp jobs—with som ...more
Paperback, First, 198 pages
Published February 7th 2017 by Alternating Current Press (first published February 7th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Room in Dodge City, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Room in Dodge City

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  40 ratings  ·  17 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Room in Dodge City
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Room in Dodge City is one of the most unique novels I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Like many great works of inventive fiction, it’s hard to describe or summarize. The closest I can think of is: a comic nightmare you might have after a midnight snack of cold pizza garnished with a few tabs of acid. David Leo Rice has crafted a novel that expertly evokes the rhythm of dreams in its explorations of death, identity, and ambition. Just like in dreams, in Dodge City the most insane developme ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This novel-in-vignettes follows a drifter through a fragmented, lonely world where a drifter encounters often monstrous characters as he wanders through a surreal world. The novel was a pleasure to read; it's an unusual and delightful mix of wit and horror and existential gloom. The loneliness of the narrator feels extremely modern and relatable despite the grotesque, urban-horror, Ryu-Murakami-esque inventiveness of what's literally happening to him; he's utterly disconnected from the world, ex ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Follow the drifter through the door of A Room in Dodge City and plunge down into the widening gyre - into a gnawing Odyssey through 21st-century America's glories of nightmare and hallucination. Unlike Odysseus, Rice's characters roam restlessly, compulsively a world lost to the possibility and even the very memory of return, crumpling in the grip of urban mazes in a barrenness of vision-blasted wildernesses; a world where to exist is to fade in and out of the surreal - to drift. The book conjur ...more
Leah Angstman
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a bizarre, head-scratching, Lynchian maze of what-the-eff meets social commentary, American Horror Show, a town created by Tom Waits, and a Samuel Beckett-style circular nightmare of waiting and watching that you can never get out of. The prose is spot-on, and your head will do backflips at every vignette. Highly recommended for lovers of the absurd, bizarre, surreal, and fantastical, with elements of political and social metaphor.
Danny E.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Crazy! Fun! Humorous and dark! I v. much enjoyed this book. The vignette structure is pleasing and effective (and was frankly perfect for a COVID-quarantine read), and the world itself is simply magical: places, people, elements, things all sort of blend and bleed into and out of each other in a really marvelous, skillful way. I'm not sure I have read any contemporary work that matches this for its sense of the absurdity of a certain kind of modern experience. Also, the sheer number and breadth ...more
Pamela Ryder
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
David Leo Rice works a dark magic here in Dodge, his talismans being perceptions of such detail and force that they seem to materialize from a background as dark as the pit. Unnerving and beautiful, hell itself could never be as captivating as the shabby hotel herein, where the whimpering on the other side of a door beckons, and you cannot help but lean into it, your ear to the board, and finally, to lift the latch and turn the knob.
Kurt Baumeister
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Surreal, wacky, and hilarious. Absurd dystopianism heavily on display. Great, inventive work.
Alex Friedfeld
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This bizarre, mesmerizing book unmoors the reader from the get-go and takes them on a journey into the surreal that rewards with each vignette. I finished A Room in Dodge City a few weeks ago and I still find myself thinking back on scenes that stuck with me because of their humor, absurdity, or horror – and often a combination of all three. A highly entertaining read that I can’t recommend enough.
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Room in Dodge City
This is one of five books that I’ll read every year so that I don’t lose myself to the pasteurization of Everyday American Reality.

Or maybe so I *will* lose myself, but to Rice’s spooky-freaky-funny edge-of-reality vignettes. I’ve now read it three times: each time I’ve finished it, I’m left with a full mind-album. Ahead of me are days of coming down from the trip.

Rice pushes situations and characters beyond where a more timid, less competent writer would stop. The story nev
Rick Claypool
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: absurd, weird
Straight-up deadpan literary bizarro, something like Hemingway reporting from a Hieronymous Bosch version of dustier parts of Middle America. Rice knows how to write the weird and how to write it succinctly -- and succinct and weird are two of my favorite flavors of writing. Highly recommend.
Pearse Anderson
I have five long pages of notes on this topic, most on this work of Rice's I finished a few minutes ago. Hopefully I will be sitting down to talk to him about it in the coming weeks. But, for now:

This book would not have gotten five stars (9/10 on my spreadsheet) if it was not self-aware. Knowing nothing about art, I would say this is a piece of Dada art, and I tend to hate that movement. It can be especially frustrating since I am living in a Dada apartment my grandparents decorated. Alas: I ca
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dodge City accomplishes familiarity without recognition. It operates on archetypes and essences and cuts right to intimate thoughts the reader has likely never quite articulated.
Steve 'Rat'
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not totally sure how I feel about this one. It flows well, no problem acknowledging the phonetic beauty and imagery of it. But it's also the kind of book where you can drift off while reading, have no idea where you faded out, just keep reading at whatever page you're looking down at and not feel like you've missed anything. Just a long series of Burroughs-y dreamscapes. Which is fine. I picked it up after reading a short story Rice had in Catapult about a euthanasia rollercoaster. That's worth ...more
Jason Arias
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
What an exhilarating stay in a room attached to a room attached to a room. A world that feels overwhelming and exaggerated, yet subtly and slantedly familiar. This book feels like the end of Steppenwolf extrapolated to exhaustion, or the imaginary Mall demons scene in Stubblefield's Homunculus in the best ways possible.

Richard Rice
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dodge City is hilarious and terrifying. And there is no way out!
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-novels
Shocking, funny and erudite, "A Room in Dodge City" is a surrealist mirror that reflects our 21st century existence. If Kafka was alive and living in America, the prose born of his cunning might read like the prose of David Rice. I loved it.
Jordan West
rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2018
Jasper Minson
rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2018
rated it liked it
May 21, 2017
Lynn Posner
rated it it was amazing
Mar 07, 2017
Kevin Taitz
rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2019
Jason Brezinski
rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2020
Brian Slattery
rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2017
rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2017
David Rice
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong release date on book 4 20 Mar 22, 2017 08:26AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • In the Dream House: A Memoir
  • New York City in 1979
  • The Divers' Game
  • Butterfly Stories
  • Vera & Linus
  • Where Europe Begins
  • McSweeney's Quarterly Issue 59 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern)
  • In Memoriam to Identity
  • Grim Tales
  • Whores for Gloria
  • Mongrels
  • Music for Wartime: Stories
  • Song for the Unraveling of the World
  • Pale Fire
  • Pnin
  • Mostly Void, Partially Stars (Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, #1)
  • True Grit
  • North American Lake Monsters
See similar books…

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
29 likes · 15 comments