Soft-cover, p. 280
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Mercury Champagne tells a tale of Ed Derringer’s plunge into a world of sorcery hidden within the mundane moments of life. Chased through this nightmarish reality by John Stanford, Ed finds unlikely help from Jack Kerouac and a couple of his friends. A moment lasts a lifetime when nothing is true.
Midwest Book Review
The moment between moments that you don’t even notice – In Mercury Champagne, Ed Derringer finds out exactly what those moments mean as he’s pursed by an amnesiac self-proclaimed Assurance Agent called John Stanford through a strange world along a winter highway found on the north end of reality. Faced with his own reality, the world’s greatest hitchhiker and his only means of survival seemingly being his cigarettes and whiskey, Mercury Champagne is certainly a trip into the mildly absurd and riveting the entire time the reader is trying to figure out what’s going on. Highly recommended to community library fiction shelves.
Its hero is unique: I have never before read a book with an unlikely hero who is also unlikable and stays unlikable throughout the book. The back cover description of the book says the main character is an “idiot,” which he is not really, but he comes close. He is a character that as a reader you try to urge on to be more savvy and more heroic and more expansive in his thinking and doing, but he just fails every test, almost. The one test he seems to pass has a tragic outcome and you wonder if it was a pass or a fail but you are desperate to give him the benefit of the only scrap of a doubt you are fed in the entire book.
This novel is a cross between the movie Being John Malkovich and the book, Teachings of Don Juan — or maybe On the Road by Don Crazy-Ass combined with Zen and the Art of Cigarette Smoking.
Pagan Book Review
If you want an original novel and don’t mind feeling a bit shaken up as you go along, then Mercury Champagne is a good choice. Personally, I’m hoping for a sequel, because I really appreciated how Ed developed over the course of the book, and I’d love to see where he goes next–and I don’t say that about a lot of characters. Goodrich has created a modern mythology out of his world, and more exploration would be lovely. On the other hand, even as a standalone novel, this is a superb read.
The moment you open this book, you will begin to exist in the Moment and it won’t let you go until the Moment you close the book on the last page. Sometimes it will be a Moment of terror, sometimes a Moment of comedy — you won’t know which one to expect next — but it will come in the next Moment.