As a Doors fan it is some times hard to keep up with new releases, especially books (7-9 new books on some aspect of The Doors are published every year). I missed “Open Doors” which came out in September of 2015. In my capacity as The Doors Examiner some Doors fans and readers brought “Open Doors” to my attention and wanted to know how the book was and if it was worth their time? The answer is measured, and though I found some nice things about the novel it has a lot of problems.
The story revolves around Josh Barrow the lead singer of a L.A. rock band that is horrible until Josh runs across Eliza Styx, a goth girl from Paris who works at Père Lachaise Cemetery. Both are fans of The Doors and Jim Morrison in particular. Eliza gives Josh some mushrooms that were growing at the foot of Morrison’s grave and he starts to dream about Jim Morrison who is taking time out from the astral world to give Josh lessons in how to be a rock star as well as new songs which propel Josh’s band, Open Doors, into overnight success. In return for this success Jim wants something in return from Josh, and the real Jim Morrison would recognize the Faustian aspect of the deal.
There are two main problems with “Open Doors”. The first is the absolute need for the novel to be copyedited there are spelling errors galore; the most egregious being heroin, the drug almost consistently being misspelled as ‘heroine’ (a female hero). Another example would be that sometimes it is hard to tell who is talking or thinking something. Then there’s the plot itself, which strains the credulity of the reader in absolute refusal of a suspension of disbelief. The first is the band, Open Doors, literally becomes an overnight sensation with Josh and his band mates swimming in hordes of adoring fans, managers, and even a private plane. If that isn’t enough, deus ex-machinas abound, such as Morrison’s request of Josh to bring back his body from Paris (hope that’s not a spoiler) and suddenly there’s a terrible rainstorm in Paris that is flooding Pere LaChaise causing the cemetery to be closed and the inhabitants body’s dug up and saved until the water can be removed (whoops another spoiler). As a whole the novel seems to be more notes on a novel than a novel, the characters aren’t very well developed and when some dimension is added doesn’t give much added insight into either Josh, Eliza, or Jim Morrison. “Open Doors” also has an afterward (several actually) that posit a new theory on Morrison’s death which while it is interesting, and could be accurate, it isn’t delved into in much detail past a few Google searches.
Should you get the book? If you get it on Kindle for .99 it’s a nice light (more like lite) read and if you’re into romance, the denouement is a nice little romantic ode to Morrison and Pamela Courson. If you’re looking for something deeper, more insightful, or entertaining, this isn’t it. “Open Doors” is available on Amazon.
Originally published May 21, 2016.