Gloomy Pessimism

By Bruce Davidson

Reviewed by Christopher Zoukis

Quote:  “This is it.  Months ago.  These are the last few hours where I am still blissfully unaware of the fact that I’m already truly miserable.”

In transportation terminology, ‘deadhead’ is slang for a truck, train or bus traveling without a payload.   The term can also refer to a person who is nothing more than a parasite.

The protagonist of Image courtesy lulu.comnoir novel – Deadheaders – is named Myles.  Myles is scared, lonely, and inept at whatever he does.  But he does have a caustic sense of humor, which is based on his nihilistic perspective of life.

As the story opens, Myles is gainfully employed by Endeavor Rent-A-Car.  After being “let go” for failing to go “that extra mile,” Myles finds himself deadheading through life.  Not only is he unemployed, but his girlfriend dumped him.  Myles ends up sponging meals off his sister and her husband, Brody.  Brody is a bus driver for Metrocity Transit.  Through Brody’s intervention, Myles lands a job driving a bus.  Things don’t go well.

Myles accidentally runs over and kills a bicyclist.  Aghast and unsure of what to do, Myles accepts help from his fellow bus drivers, a group known as “the deadheaders.”  The deadheaders cover up the accidental murder by disposing of the body in a lake.  Myles comes to discover that this isn’t the first body the deadheaders have gotten rid of.  Yet because of his participation in “the crime,” Myles is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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Interview with Robert L. Thompson

Interviewed by Christopher Zoukis 

This interview took place at Federal Correctional Institute – Petersburg, a medium security federal prison in Virginia.  I sat down with Robert L. Thompson, who goes by the tag of “Bobby B.”  We talked about his fiction novel Corruption:  Everyone Has A Price, which was published by nHouse Publishing, an independent press located in New Jersey.   

CZ:  Tell me a little bit about yourself.

BB:  My name is Robert L. Thompson.  But most people know me as “Bobby B.”  In my previous life out in the real world, I was a DJ.  My blue-booker was “Bobby B.”  For the last decade I’ve been in prison for the distribution of crack cocaine.  While doing time, I co-authored a novel.

CZ:  Can you summarize your novel?  What’s it about?   Photo courtesy Amazon.com

BB:  Corruption is noir urban fiction.  The tale of a drug dealer who gets swallowed into the belly of the criminal justice system.  Once inside, he discovers a system spider webbed with self-interest and corruption.  Filaments of corruption extend to every part of the system, including attorneys and law enforcement.  From the outside, everything looks peachy.  However, from the inside, everything is not as it appears.  Thus although Corruption is a work of fiction, there is a river of truth running through it.

CZ:  What I hear you saying is that the novel is autobiographical.  That it reflects your own experiences in the system.  If so, could you elaborate on the connection?

BB:  Of course not!  As a federal prisoner, I advocate the very popular doctrine of ethical pragmatism.  You know the one where everything turns out to be the doctrine of self-interest.  Kind of like former president Clinton.  Only I’ve never been in the Oval Office, and I don’t smoke cigars. 

CZ:  Okay.  Let me rephrase my question.  What I hear you saying, is that Corruption is an indictment of the system.  Where did you get the inspiration to write the novel?

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