Book Reviews

The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas by Daniel James


What da cover says:  Ezra Maas is dead. The famously reclusive artist vanished without a trace seven years ago whilst working on his final masterpiece, but his body was never found. While the Maas foundation prepares to announce his death, journalist Daniel James finds himself lured to write the untold story of the artist’s life – But this is no ordinary book. The deeper James delves into the myth of Ezra Maas, the more he is drawn into a nightmarish world of fractured identities and sinister doubles.

A chilling literary labyrinth, The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas deftly blends postmodern noir with psuedo-biography, letters, phone transcripts, documents, emails and newspaper clippings to create a story like no other before it.

What I says:  Are you ready to go down the rabbit hole? Because that is where this book is going to take you!  How to describe this book…or even put it in a genre?  It is a detective novel, it is both a biography and an autobiography, it is part encyclopedia, it is full of lies and truths and there is no telling which is which, it is nightmarish, a prophecy of sorts, but most of all it is a labyrinth stalked by Ezra Maas…dare you start reading it?

On the day I started this book the following events happened.  The Maas Foundation started following me on twitter, a black van parked outside my house and when I walked down the road a blacked out Mercedes slowly followed me.


I have never read anything quite like this, the whole thing is like a puzzle that draws you in and forces you to keep asking questions like, are the typos a clue?  Why do some of the chapters not have “End” at the end?  Who is Ezra Maas, why can’t I find him on google?  Why did Google home stop recognising my voice when I asked questions about Ezra Maas?   Who is Daniel James?  And who the hell is “Anonymous” the person putting this manuscript together?

The book’s oddness could put a few people off, for me I struggled with the many many footnotes, that is until I realised there was a story in there too.  As Shrek says this book is like an onion, it has so many layers.  The main chapters are broken up with interviews, phone conversations, emails, and newspaper reports.  This has a real positive effect on the book, it gives you time to take in and process what you’ve just read.

You’re never going to get the full story or all of your questions answered during the first read, this book demands you read it again and again, discovering something new each time.  The next time I read this I’m going to focus on those chapters with the missing “End”, there must be clue in there.

I’ve gotta say congrats to Dead Ink books for picking up this book, I’ve read 3 of their publications (Sealed by Naomi Booth and The Study Circle by Haroun Khan) and all three have been fantastic.

Don’t be scared, give this book a go as it does what all good books should do, Take you on an adventure!



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