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Just finished Camp Damascus in one

2023-07-19 05:50:04.200047+02 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Just finished Camp Damascus, in one continuous read. My favorite fiction works on a surface level, and then in layers of metaphor, and wow did this deliver nicely.

As I recontextualize some of my growing up into ... well ... growing up in a deeply religious (though I didn't think of it that way) isolated community, this hit so many notes. Really enjoyed it, and gave me things to think about, and I can't ask for much more from a story than that.

[ related topics: Religion Community ]

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#Comment Re: Just finished Camp Damascus in one made: 2023-07-19 17:42:01.147535+02 by: Dan Lyke

Copied from this morning's Facebook post:

Yesterday at lunch I walked down to Copperfield's to pick up Chuck Tingle's new book, his first from a major publisher, "Camp Damascus". If you're not familiar with Tingle, he became famous for ebooks on Amazon that sounded like stunt titles, "Space Raptor Butt Invasion" and "My Billionaire Triceratops Craves Gay Ass", but when the Rabid Puppies tried to subvert the Hugo awards, he trolled them in the best way, and when J.K Rowling went down the rabbit hole, I picked up his parody "Trans Wizard Harriet Porber And The Bad Boy Parasaurolophus: An Adult Romance Novel" and, accepting surreal anthropomorphized motorcycles interacting with anthropomorphized dinosaurs, found it surprisingly readable. And witty. And Chuck's social media presence is relentlessly upbeat and sincere.

And then I read his horror novel "Straight", and though I'm not reading every Tingler that gets released, I'm definitely a fan of his influence on the culture. So of course I pre-ordered his first release from a major publisher, Tor (a Macmillan imprint).

I started reading it after dinner, and read straight through, and... The protagonist is Rose, a neuro-divergent 20 year old with some social delays, some of which can be attributed to growing up in a closed religious community in small town Montana. There's a large question lying over the beginning of the book, and nearly halfway through the pieces clicked into place and the story came together in a way that not all stories do.

I read and listen to a lot more horror than I expect, for reasons I don't fully understand, but the blending of the terrors off the social environment and a world constantly denying a lived reality coupled with the supernatural gives a great set of metaphors with which to explore my own experiences, separate enough that the realizations come together a little later than processing everything in the conscious mind would necessarily allow.

Camp Damascus explores this space very nicely. Recommended.

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