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RAILROAD TRAIN TO HEAVEN

I Enjoyed It

By Jim Zoetewey, editor, author of The Legion of Nothing

Jan 9, 2009: So first of all, I should mention that I like Dan Leo’s writing. It’s clear and effective. The characters have different voices. There’s some humor, and occasionally satire.

The two stories of his that I’ve read both take place in the 1960’s and not only do they try to get the details of the period right, but he actually includes links to youtube videos of television and pictures relevant to the story.

Railroad Train to Heaven tells the story of Arnold Schnabel, a railway brakeman recovering from a mental breakdown.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Schnabel either shouldn’t have been committed to a mental institution in the first place or he definitely isn’t better. One way or another, he receives regular supernatural visitations (or hallucinations).

At the same time it’s also interesting to watch him become involved in the lives of people around him. Previous to the story, he apparently lived alone with his mother (he’s 42) and occupied himself with work and poetry, but not other human beings.

I’m not completely sure where the story is going. That’s not a complaint. I find it interesting, but it’s interesting if you find the day to day life of the main character interesting. He’s definitely on some sort of personal journey (whether or not he realizes it) and where it will end isn’t obvious.

I look forward to reading more.

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