Reviews of Combat Camera
The reader follows as his mechanical eye scans a bleak, desolate Toronto, paying more attention to the lighting on people’s faces, their potential to become still images, than anything else … a question courses through the body of this violent, funny, thought-provoking novel: Do photographs dehumanize us?
Jules Lewis in The Globe & Mail
A book about a wounded alcoholic and a battered porn star might sound like a grim read, and in some ways that is just what Combat Camera is. Full of violence, both domestic and international, the story is gritty and raw. But Somerset draws connections between disparate places to uncover universal truths about our reactions to violence … Ultimately, Zane is a rambling, tragic, and surprisingly funny figure, and his tragic circumstances take on a strange kind of beauty.
Claire Cameron in Quill & Quire
Somerset is a confident, gifted writer … able to seamlessly switch between dialogue and Zane’s internal monologue as he darts between grim horror and grim comedy.
Ryan Bigge in the Toronto Star
[Russell Smith’s] Girl Crazy and Combat Camera are first-rate novels that come, I think, to the same grim conclusion about how to cope with our own personal hearts of darkness. Though the “incidents of the surface” involve sleazy, underworld happenings, both books are finally concerned with a more insidious form of corruption: the seductive power of illusions.
Alex Good at goodreports.net
Though constantly sought by avid readers, it seldom happens: complete immersion into a novel, getting lost in the pages. It’s the benchmark for good writing. And after a long dry spell of books which, though good, didn’t seduce me into complete suspension of disbelief, I picked up Combat Camera by A.J. Somerset. His beautifully written novel, full of dark humour and utterly compelling characters, took me to that place most readers long for.
Justin Scherer in The Rover