Art / Comix / writing

Book Review: A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories

A Night at the Sorrento and Other StoriesA Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories by MR Henry P Chamberlain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Seattle indie comic stalwart Henry Chamberlin, has crafted a fiercely original and highly-readable collection of comic tales that weave with delicious ease through the inner and outer lives of their characters. Each piece in and of itself is a real treat, both aesthetically and narratively, and exquisite storytelling devices such as the totemic figure of a white rabbit, thread themselves in, out and around these tales, to bind them together into a satisfyingly cohesive whole.
The collection opens strongly with a surreal yet proudly historical jaunt through the life and times of a famous Seattle hotel, in Night at the Sorrento. Kill the Witch, literally serves up a sardonic slice of suburban danse macabre; and as if things weren’t getting loopy enough, another classic highlight emerges in Bear Karma, with the bizarre behavior of a man wrestling with the angst of accidently hitting and killing a bear during a forest drive.
The collection’s final and most impressive act with Alice in New York, highlights the culmination of Chamberlin’s skillful knack of balancing philosophically deeper elements with the classic infusions of whimsy and surrealism that give these stories such charm. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the romantic dynamic that develops between the main character Henry, with his starry-eyed longing for artistic fame and glory in New York, and the precocious, yet down to earth Angie.
All the while, that seemingly omnipresent white rabbit spirit tugs excitedly at your shirttails, pulling you promptly along from starkly engaging single page frames, into denser and more frenetic multiple frame sections, some with perspective and editing choices reminiscent of a cool art house film.
With each piece reflectively preceeded by quotes from iconic artists and authors, Night at The Sorrento, is an example of what great indie comic art is all about, it revels playfully in its freedom to subvert the usual expectations of formula, and in doing so, seems to ooze with the authenticity of its own creative process. In this sense, it is a real treat for indie comic devotees, both makers and readers alike.
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2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories

  1. Wow, thanks so much for the review. It’s awesome. One small quibble. My last name is spelled Chamberlain, not Chamberlin. And I want to pull my hair out for Goodreads displaying it at M.R. Henry P. Chamberlan. I never asked for M.R. to be in front, it’s just too confusing when looking up my name. It should just be Henry Chamberlain. Oh, well.

    Folks can find A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories over at Amazon:

    They can also visit my site, if they prefer to buy direct from me:

    With that said, the important thing is that I hope people seek out the book and discover something they’ll enjoy: stories of self-discovery mixed with touches of whimsy, horror, and the supernatural.

    Thanks again, Lee, for your thoughtful review and kind gesture.

    Liked by 1 person

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