Thawed Out and Fed Up defies classification — it’s part western, part fantasy and part thriller. The plot is more than a bit outlandish, but readers who are looking for something different may enjoy Brown’s narrative voice and fast-paced action. Though Sam is a difficult character to identify with, he does move through a clear heroic arc.

Sam Bonham doesn’t remember killing his estranged wife’s new boyfriend. After an argument, he got drunk and blacked out. After waking up in an alley with his fishing knife and clothing covered in blood, he hears that a man was found murdered on his wife’s lawn. He flees East Texas, and winds up in Blistered Valley, a surreal Old West town under the control of a band of lawless cowboys. There, he meets up with a cryogenically frozen John Wayne. Taking Sam under his wing, John Wayne turns Sam into a hero and helps him free the town. In saving the town, Sam just may save himself and his family. (GALLERY, Nov., 290 pp., $15.00)

Reviewed by: 
Roseann Marlett