Thursday, November 22, 2012

JD's Review of 'Mama's Madness' by Billy Ray Chitwood


Billy Ray Chitwood’s novel ‘Mama’s Madness’ is a real find.

While many Indie authors follow well-trodden paths of ‘popular genres’, Chitwood’s work cuts its own route through the underclass wilderness of modern America. Based on real-life events – but fictionalised in the telling – Chitwood’s story is by turns compelling and disturbing.

The central character, Tamatha Preen, is a monster for our time. Inhabiting her own self-centred and embittered world she inflicts psychological and physical damage on her daughters while keeping her sons cowed by alternating violence with affection.

Chitwood has an authentic voice articulating the world of the grifter and petty criminal hovering at the margins of society. The writing is gritty, laying bare the animal beneath the thin veneer of civilisation. Child abuse, theft, deception and murder all feature in a heady cocktail of corrupted morality – yet these topics are handled without sensationalism, and at times the novel has an almost journalistic feel to it.

This is a brave book, swimming against the tide of literary popcorn, and it deserves a wide readership.

You can find out more about Billy Ray Chitwood at

1 comment:

  1. A great review by my favorite reviewer and interviewer!

    Billy Ray