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Shall we gather at the garden’
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-066-3
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Dark Fantasy
eBook Length: 204 Pages
Published: June 2003



From inside the flap

"It illuminates. It demonizes. It pulls the strings of the puppets controlling the strangest of passion plays within a corporate structure. Everyone, every thing, is a target of Mr. Donihe’s wit and off-kilter worldview...

There are shades of Philip K. Dick’s wonderfully inventive The Divine Invasion (minus the lurid pop singer), trading up Zen Buddhism for unconscious Gnosticism. Malachi manifests where Elijah would stand revealed; and the Roald Dahl-like midgets hold the pink laser beam shining into our hero’s mind. Religion is lambasted under the scrutiny of Corporate money- crunchers, and nothing is what it seems." - From the introduction by Jeffrey A. Stadt.



Reviews and Awards

It illuminates. It demonizes. It pulls the strings of the puppets controlling the strangest of passion plays within a corporate structure. Everyone, every thing, is a target of Mr. Donihe’s wit and off-kilter worldview...

There are shades of Philip K. Dick’s wonderfully inventive The Divine Invasion (minus the lurid pop singer), trading up Zen Buddhism for unconscious Gnosticism. Malachi manifests where Elijah would stand revealed; and the Roald Dahl-like midgets hold the pink laser beam shining into our hero’s mind. Religion is lambasted under the scrutiny of Corporate money- crunchers, and nothing is what it seems." - From the introduction by Jeffrey A. Stadt.


Review by Paul Lappen (010403) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
This novel is in three general parts. The first part is about a man who joins a group of circus midgets as they market a brand new consumer drink called Bottled Barbed Chains. Drink it, and chains come out of your throat, but in a non-fatal way. With proper marketing, everyone will want to have chains hanging from their throats. They get a famous sports star to endorse the drink, but something goes wrong during the live commercial. The chains spring from his throat in a very fatal way, and he dies on live TV.

The second part of the novel concerns Mark Anders, the author of the first part. It is published as a romance (even though there is no romance in it) and the book quickly becomes a national obsession. People are so enthralled with the story that they read while walking down the street, and walk right into traffic. Others read while driving, with obvious consequences. Anders is not able to go out in public any more, because people who treat him practically as a god constantly surround his residence.

The third part concerns a couple of early 20s, mall food court employee types. After a particularly heinous day, dealing with Mark Anders Day at the mall, they relax with some especially good marijuana. They start dancing, and suddenly find themselves several million years in the future. Their arrival had been foretold by Scripture, and the two find themselves as part of the only church that's left, the Church of the Byrds. Among its holy relics are letters written by David Crosby and the bones of Stephen Stills. Things move right along, until the Church of Lionel Richie sets up shop nearby. A life-or-death battle ensues as the Church of the Byrds feel that they are heathens who must be converted or eliminated.

I'm not sure if this is intended as satire or not, but it is certainly the strangest novel I have ever read. Think William S. Burroughs or Philip Dick (one of the author's inspirations) after ingesting large amounts of narcotics when reading this book. Not just an open mind, but a very open mind, is needed here, so this is not for everyone.

For those who want a mind-blowing story, you won't do much better than this. It's really worth reading.
Paul Lappen (1st April 2003)

From Bryn Colvin of eBook Reviews Weekly: "If you want your notions of reality stretched almost to the breaking point, if you can really suspend your disbelief and if you aren't going to start a cult based on this book, then read it." Click here for my personal favorite review to date.

From Jeff Shelby of Sharpwriter: "Shall We Gather at the Garden? is some of the most original writing available to readers today. It blurs the line between fantasy and reality, while making sure that the author makes his point clear. Unfortunately, that probably means it won't find a huge audience." Click here to read this great review.


From Paul Lappen of Dead Tree Reviews: I?m not sure if this is intended as satire or not, but it is certainly the strangest novel I have ever read. Think William S. Burroughs or Philip Dick (one of the author’s inspirations) after the ingestion of large amounts of narcotics when reading this book. Not just an open mind, but a very open mind is needed, so it is not for everyone. For those who want a mind-blowing story, you won?t do much better than this. It’s really worth reading. Come, read the whole review.

From Michael Anka of Simegen: "I thoroughly enjoyed reading a fresh, at times merciless voice triggering warning bells in our consciousness . . . It might not be a book for everyone but we strongly need writers like Mr. Donihe to keep us on track. A welcomed and powerful young voice in the writing arena carving his own niche. Click here to read the entire review.


From Bill Riepe of Amazing Authors Showcase: "Kevin L. Donihe is a fine writer, who speaks with a strong, commanding voice. He crafts scenes of lurid, vivid imagery that linger in the back of the mind long after the book has been put down." (Note: This website has been discontinued.)

From the reviewers at The Dream People: Donihe flips between different time-space realities faster than a veteran channel surfer on a Sunday afternoon. The way the whole tale works together may not be immediately apparent but pretty soon that 'lost in the woods, I-know-I've-seen-this-tree-before' realization will dawn, as the depth of the layers becomes apparent . . . I don't think I am giving away too much when I say that if you like circus midgets you will love this book! Take a look at the rest here.

From Josh Nacho of nachocheeseandanarchy: "If you're looking for something to read that will completely blow your mind -- make you look at the world in a different light -- and that is just out there and like nothing you've ever read before, boy have I found the book for you." Click here to read this short but positive review.


From Jeffrey A. Stadt author of Stigma: Afterworld (Cyber-Psychos AOD): "If you're looking to break the bonds of corporate, bland bestsellers or series fiction, if you're daring enough to actually try something refreshingly NEW and different, then try any book published by Eraserhead Press. But if you want the second coming of J. G. Eccarius' "The Last Days of Christ the Vampire," well, then buy and read a copy of "Shall We Gather at The Garden?," by Kevin L. Donihe." Click here to read this review from Amazon.com.




Shall we gather at the garden’ (Excerpt)


Introduction to the Introduction:

Do not believe all that you read! I swear that the following introduction is a work of outright blasphemy. Yes, blasphemy! For I have met the authors of both works you are about to read, and I must tell you that I am incensed at the level of plagiarism involved in this most heinous act of depravity. How dare the publishers of this "novel," as they so flippantly label it, print the work of two authors under the awning of the lesser writer’s aegis? This is sacrilege! Kevin Donihe is a fine writer (or so I have been told by a few acquaintances of mine who have lowered themselves to reading mainstream, small press pap where the majority of Mr. Donihe’s work has seen print), but he is no Mark Anders.

What comparisons between the two one may draw are purely physical in nature. They are both blonde, short in stature, and dress simplistically. Each owns a typing device which each uses to print up propaganda, er, sheets of words, sentences, situations. There is little else to differentiate the two. Mr. Donihe scrawls little horror stories for the brain-dead masses, usually involving zombies. Zombies for Christ’s sake (a horror trope best left to Fulci’s celluloid dreamscapes, as validated by the lack of commercial success on Mr. Donihe’s part?he has only seen print in underground, photo-copied flyers that the vast majority of the world doesn?t even recognize as existing). Zombies, my ass!

Mark Anders, on the other hand, is the most recognizable male romance writer ever to hit the New York Times Bestseller list! His works of fiction are gospel to many a housewife and under-appreciated females of every demographic. In fact, one may call his seminal work, The End: In Circus Midgets and Barbed Chains, an exegesis of revealed Truth! It is, in layman’s terms, The Apocalypse of Mark Anders, the greatest living prophet of the 21st century! He who lives and breathes and stands should to shoulder with the likes of Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus and Elijah! And so the publishers defame the great Mark Anders by allowing the lowly and despicable Kevin Donihe to excerpt a great deal of The End: In Circus Midgets and Barbed Chains, like some misogynistic rap-DJ sampling the treasure troves of classic progressive rock to mix as he sees fit, only to use it as a dense canopy of background noise, without the expressed written permission of Mark Anders, the original author of the most sacred texts! I ask you, oh faceless publisher of the nether realms?where is the copyright notice for Mark Anders work? Where is the acknowledgment from the author to Mark Anders (whose groin presses into my back as I worship him in every conceivable way)? Where is it written that you could so callously and arbitrarily use Mark Anders? well-endowed verse as your own?

Dear Reader, I caution you to be wary of the intents of these vilified publishers, and of the works of Kevin L. Donihe. For they are the works of the devil. The following mosaic novel, pieced together in some Frankensteinian fervor, shall entice you?it shall tempt you into believing that Mark Anders is just a fictional character drawn into a beam of alien-mind-controlled madness, but that is not the case. For I have had high tea with Mr. Anders, who assures me that his lawyers are looking into the matter as I key in these words on my typing device. He brought his own biscuits with him to tea. I gladly accepted one from him. It tastes a bit like chocolate, yet is a bit bitter, like saline-soaked seaweed. He assures me that the tiny Volkswagen can seat he, myself and his six companions/bodyguards, but it is seemingly inconceivable?but, you see?can you understand?I have fucking faith in Mark Anders! I believe that I shall fit into the back seat with all six of his tiny friends. Even after I pull on the rubber shoes that far-extend my scuffed oxfords, the red color a strident glare in my eyes.

Did Kevin Donihe offer me a biscuit when we met for drinks at some shit-smeared dive bar in his neighborhood near Sandusky? No. He threw peanut shells at me and pissed in my beer (which actually gave that weak draft a bit of a kick, I must admit), as I tried to convince him not to seek publication of his bastard manuscript.

"But it is sacrilege!" I decried vehemently.

He gripped my tie, wrapping it around his fist and reeled me in closer. I was nearly pulled across the top of the small round, and filthy, bar table, his noxious breath bathing me in its heat. A strange, crimson light beamed from his eyes (the toxicity of his urine, which I had drunk in the beer which my host did generously pay for, had seeped into my brain at this point, for how else could such a simpleton [and a literary hack, no less] do such things to a true believer?). I watched as his lips curled. "Look," he said evenly, then sighed. "I have permission. In fact, I have their blessing."

"Their?" I questioned. "Their? There is only One?Mark Anders."

Donihe smiled wickedly. "He was but a vessel. A conduit. As I have been. Whereas Anders fought against it?I relish the rush of this knowledge."


? Author’s note: This did not happen. Well, it didn?t go down like this. Sure, I met with Mr. Neville as he describes, in a bar much like the one he details. But I didn?t throw peanut shells at him. I loathe peanuts. I did piss in his beer. He upset me. But I didn?t say those words. Look, this is kind of embarrassing, and I have no idea why the publisher has decided to use this lunatic’s diatribe to introduce the introduction to my novel. Nonetheless, I?ve signed the contract and so I must abide by it. I do thank the publisher for allowing me this rebuttal...


? Editor’s note: Get on with it, Donihe!


? Author’s note continued: Anyway, as I was saying before being interrupted, it’s kind of embarrassing. This is what I said: "I have his [Mark Anders] blessing to use his work. In fact, Mark Anders and I share a great many things. I?m wearing his underwear right now." Then Mr. Neville asks, leaning over the small circular table, drool streaming from the corners of his gaping maw: "What? Boxers or briefs?" Then I replied, "I?m sorry. I can?t divulge that without giving away a crucial plot development of my original work."

"Piss off!"


? Editor’s note: we now continue with the Introduction to the introduction:

Donihe hurtles me back with supernatural strength, throws himself from his rickety bar chair, and proceeds to pull a set of golden tongs from the back of his worn and filthy jeans. My eyes widened in fear?I couldn?t breathe, for this revelation astounded me! It was if I had walked into a Mark Anders novel....

I cannot explain the strange, ecstatic experience with the golden tongs. It had such dream-like qualities to it; I nearly swore that Mark Anders himself had wielded such a divine instrument of torture on me. In a public place, no less. I bled for days, and I am still sitting on a bowl of ice as I key in these words on my typing device. Mark my words, dear reader?Kevin Donihe is the devil himself! He is the anti-Christ!


Sincerely,


Bobby Neville,
President of the local chapter of
The Mark Anders Appreciation and Copulation Society.
Moenton, Illinois.
October 1, 2001