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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Papertown is a work of intense dramatic fiction set in the 1950s and was penned by author Dave Norem. Written for adults due to its violent content and strong language, this novel casts a harsh lens over the tarpaper shanty towns which popped up during the fifties as a result of powerful economic recession. Our central figure is George Rickson, a man with a sense of justice and morality which seemingly has no place in the lawless, insular community of Papertown, where residents dole out punishment and take whatever they see fit from others. As a spate of bodies begins to pile up, however, George knows it is time to take action against the punishers.
This is a novel that readers will become quickly engrossed in, harrowing and brutal though it may be. There was something reminiscent of both George Orwell and Kurt Vonnegut in the no-holds-barred harshness of the way of life in Papertown, and the unpicking of human nature down to its most base and cruel forms. What results is a truly compelling tale of a hero made in blood and dirt, but one whose own moral compass is certainly skewed by the harsh times in which he lives. The most violent and brutal moments of the story are shocking, but not indulgent in their graphic qualities, and therefore they deliver all of the pain and hardship of that way of living without becoming gross and ineffective in themselves. Overall, author Dave Norem has created a unique and engrossing read in Papertown, which is highly recommended.