A masterpiece of experimental fiction. Cannon takes his readers through the darkest shadows of America’s cultural history, and the primary tour guide is Mills Loomis Mills, who is one of the most memorable characters I’ve ever come across in fiction. Cannon’s use of multiple points of views is perfect — stirring, frightening and — it should not go unmentioned — frequently hilarious. This is truly fiction on the edge.Don De Grazia
C. W. Cannon
Soul Resinis a southern gothic horror novel with a postmodern bent. Set here in the Crescent City, it plumbs the dark mysteries that lurk among the layers of the city’s past. Mills Loomis Mills, an edgy college dropout at the center of the story, finds his life intertwined with a remarkable assemblage of characters — both living and dead — after his girlfriend is murdered and he begins to hear what he believes is the arcane language of spilled blood. In the space of three days — with 150 years of history whispering in his ears — Mills unleashes a supernatural disaster that Faulkner would call “a terrible bloody mischancing of human events.”
Charles Cannon, first-time novelist and resident of New Orleans, has captured the flavor and complexity of a city that is unique in the American landscape. Blending first-person narratives with newspaper accounts, textbook lectures, and personal correspondence, he tells a horrific tale with compassion and wisdom. Imagine the ghost of Faulkner haunting the work of Toni Morrison, Michael Ondaatje, and Gabriel García Marquez, then add gumbo spices and the blare of Dixieland trumpets in the background. This is a story you won’t soon forget.
C. W. Cannon’s Soul Resin foments cognitive revolutions. An eerie synthesis of horror story, historical novel, social comedy, anti-story and realism, it moves through a violet netherworld that is at once gorgeous and disquieting. New Orleans has always been clogged with restless dead: here, they slither among the ghosts of the living and seem to outlive them. Truly original.
This is an ambitious first novel, in content and in form, taking on the complexities of race and of history in a city still very much struggling with both. A typical first novel might have had Mills take on the narrative chores himself, which might well have resulted in a less complex, less eloquent, and less successful novel.