book review: The Gopher King by Gojan Nikolich


The Gopher King is one of the most original and engaging storylines that I have read in a long time. It is intense, and it delves deep into the psyche of the human mind. There is also a level of comedy that provides relief from the darkness that consumes Stan.

Stan was a platoon sergeant in the Vietnam War. He is the only survivor in his platoon to survive the jungle ambush of Vietnam. Add that with PTSD and his wife’s death, and you get a half-crazed, depressed, and suicidal man walking around. Due to the medications or maybe other traumatic events in his past, Stan creates this fantasy in his head.

Chaz, the Gopher King, is born. Chaz and his army of gophers want to save the land, their home, from real estate developers. Stans offers to help, and it gives him a sense of purpose and a way to escape reality. Chaz is the comedy, while Stan is the dark. Together they make a beautiful duo who will have you laughing out loud and crying hard on the inside.

This book took me on an emotional roller-coaster, and I feel for Stan. He lost everything that mattered most from his brothers in the war and his wife; it’s heartbreaking. If you want to see how some people cope with grief, depression, survivors’ guilt, and hallucinations from medications, then give this book a go. You will not regret it.

Gojan Nikolich
Gojan Nikolich

Gojan Nikolich is a former Chicago newspaper reporter, editor and public relations agency executive. He graduated with B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Literature from DePaul University, served as a decorated U.S. Army sergeant with both the 2nd and 4th Infantry divisions and worked as a journalist in Korea and Japan. He lives with his family in Colorado, where he and his wife once owned a weekly newspaper.

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