In Sandoe’s debut novel, a man’s cancer diagnosis leads him on a supernatural journey.
Axel Hooley is a man without a family. When he discovers he has stomach cancer, he calls on his friends to help with his care and recovery. Dale and Zoe take the lead, and at first they honor Axel’s request to keep his other friends in the dark about his cancer. Axel suffers from nausea, dizziness and incontinent bowels and begins to experience blackouts that last for hours at a time. During one blackout, he ends up 10 miles from Dale’s home in nothing but his underwear and with no memory of how he got there. After this incident, Axel creates a Death Watch List of his friends, who band together to keep an eye on him during his treatment. After Axel’s mysterious trip downtown, they start handcuffing him to the sofa before he sleeps. His dreams become more intense as he gains apparently supernatural insight into the minds of his doctors, nurses and his new hypnotist. Axel’s illness leads him on a quest to find out more about his past as more bizarre events occur: Trees sprout in the middle of Los Angeles homes, wild animals come through skylights and a hospital bed soars over the American Midwest. Sandoe keeps up the suspense as he slowly unwraps the mystery of Axel’s past and effectively evokes the compassion that develops between strangers when a loved one is in distress. Overall, the author delivers a raw, honest and humorous story about illness and recovery.
An engaging, darkly comedic tale.