Book review: Stumbling Stoned by A. van Wyck

About Stumbling Stoned

State-sponsored drugs in the megaton range. More rice pudding than I could shake a spork at. And a little padded terrarium of my very own.

If you’d told me yesterday that, come morning, I’d be hunted by the police, the mob, the supernatural (and a cat), I’d have laughed in your face. Granted, I’d have laughed in your face regardless (Clozapine gives me the giggles). Then I’d have gone looking for your flying DeLorean in the nuthouse parking lot.

An epic misadventure involving drugs, sorcery, cannibalism, love and other necessary evils.


I’ve seen lots of reviews of this book that go on about the hero being a psychiatric patient and some that try to make out that it is some kind of description of the mind of a mentally ill person. But lazily setting a book in a psychiatric hospital does not make it is a book about mental illness. As the title suggests the ‘madness’ of this character is about drug abuse not about mental illness and that makes me irritated. Everywhere I go I see people misusing words like crazy and insane and mad when they are not talking about the difficult world of mental illness they are just talking about people behaving in a rather adolescent out of control way which is the general flavor of this book. The humor is violent and gross-out. The author keeps tipping more and more random mismatched things into the mix as if worried that his audience will pass out if he doesn’t keep up the shouting and the flashing lights and the shocking images and the changes of scene. This is a book that may appeal to some students and college dropouts I guess. It won’t appeal to anyone who knows about mental illness or how much damage drugs can do.

3 Stars

André van Wyck is a South African-born writer and law school graduate. Despite the hardships of earning coffee money, and in between yelling at Duolingo, he perseveres at his passion: writing.

“When I started The Waking Worlds series, it was as an exercise in exorcism – a way to rid myself of this ‘writing nonsense’ and get back to my nine-to-five… It did not work out so well.”

His debut novel, A Clatter of Chains, published on Amazon’s Kindle Store in 2016. The supposed palate cleanser (before starting the second installment) turned into a book in its own right and delayed publication of A Fray of Furies considerably. Stumbling Stoned was published in 2018 and advanced to the semi-finals of the vaunted Booklife Prize.

André lives in Luxembourg, with his Industrial Psychologist wife and imaginary pet rock.

My thanks to Blackthorn Book Tours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s