Johanna Debiase’s review of Nocturne Variations, appearing in the Taos News.
“John Biscello’s newest novel, Nocturne Variations, is exactly what the title promises, a dreamy narrative landscape bursting with a lyrical kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and perspectives. The reader is given the pleasurable task of piecing together a puzzle from found ephemera of one young woman’s attempt to escape, not just a crime boss, but memories, adulthood, loneliness and herself.
Some people grow up too fast. They are thrust into maturity for any number of reasons and miss out on the joys and freedoms of childhood.
Other people are slow to mature. Late bloomers avoid adult responsibilities and extend their childhood beyond years that society deems acceptable.
But what about a person who does both? What if someone was forced to grow up fast, but held on dearly to childish things? What if Peter Pan had to take paternal responsibility for all the Lost Boys in a Neverland where the repercussions of careless actions were all too real?
Biscello rewrites Peter Pan, the iconic character who never grows up, as a 17-year-old runaway with a voracious appetite for beautiful young women and an addiction to a drug called Sike that gives one the sensation of childhood, ‘like that little girl who spins around and around and falls down and is happy.’
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag.
His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.