Running on Emptiness


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The Book:

Running on Emptiness is Book 4 of John Dolan’s ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series, and, for me, it is the quintessential example of this Englishman’s wordsmith mastery.

Running on Emptiness has government coups, an exciting ‘Capulets and Montagues’ – Romeo and Juliet element – with two Thai drug gangs fighting for supremacy, and David Braddock fighting a dichotomy of emotions… There is something else that makes this novel so exquisite…

That something else is the absolute mastery of the English language. John Dolan is ‘word wizardry’ personified. He is a metaphorical genius, and he will keep the reader glued to the pages with his pen strokes – between some smiles and tears. Perhaps my favorite sections of the book are the ‘David Braddock Journal’ chapters.

David is still the consummate detective, part Sherlock Holmes and part Sam Spade, solving cases, and people he cares about are being killed…he is on someone’s hit list, and that part of the story is most engrossing and tense.

The Author:

John Dolan is truly a Polymath – let us all hope his brain doesn’t burst! John is also down to earth and a jolly fellow. It’s been my pleasure to know JD for a few years. We’ve only met on Skype and chatted a few times, and it is very easy to fall under his charm…even though he talks ‘funny’ – you know, the stuffy, pedantic, talk of an Englishman! (Okay, I’m through with the jesting.) It’s interesting that I feel a strong bond with John and say rather clumsily I consider him my friend.

John, wife Fiona, and family live in Koh Samui, Thailand, visiting often his native England. He travels, is still in the business world, and it beats me how he can have the time to turn out these novel masterpieces. Everything I wrote above about the book is no exaggeration – you will find the same ‘Review’ on Amazon US, UK, and Goodreads. Be assured that my praise of this novel and his other books is not a trivial quid pro quo. My words are genuine and sincere. Running on Emptiness is destined to be a best seller… You heard it here! Get your copy, Kindle or Print, and I’m betting you agree.

I hope Mr. Dolan doesn’t mind but I’m including a few of my favorite excerpts from Running on Emptiness:


(There are with this noble work of literature so many delightful metaphors and a display of a giant English talent…)

All around her, people went about their daily business, indifferent to the lonely women consumed by mortal thoughts. A pang of envy shot through Kat; she coveted their superficial contentment, their apparent ability to settle for what they had. She no longer belonged to their society. She was now one of a smaller class of humans who had glimpsed the reality behind life’s mask. The veil had been drawn aside, and daylight allowed to shine in on the magic. She could never again see the world with the same eyes.


(From David Braddock’s Journal)

 I know what you’re thinking.

 You’re thinking that I accepted Kat’s lascivious offer; that I am a man whose moral boundaries have been long washed away by the incoming tide of selfish indulgence. And, in fairness, I am not far off being that person. However, for now, a faint residue, an unfaded fingerprint of ethical volition remains, and occasionally pokes its way through the clutter of wisecracking indifference that constitutes my habitual behaviour.


 I opened the grubby window and lit a cigarette. My watch informed me it was just after two-thirty.

 Below me, Bangkok continued to breathe. Cars puffed out exhaust fumes and multi-coloured sleepwalkers wandered the psychedelic pavements. The garish signs of unloved buildings telegraphed their messages in reds and blues; and the hum of life’s aspirations and disappointments rose up from the streets and lost itself in the night sky.


 Chapter 23 is quite a chapter!


 For reasons that are obscure – unless you subscribe to the theory that I can no longer cope with the endless succession of Bad Things Happening, and have lost contact with all human sensibilities (which I admit is a possibility) – I am calm. My brain is as settled as it ever gets. The Samui morning sun shines on a composed, confident private detective; even if later it may shine on a decomposed, panicked, wreck of a man, once the flywheel of my neurosesis again set in motion.


 While sprawled across my bed, I fantasise about my fingertips tracing their way down Kat’s naked spine, a rumpled sheet positioned modestly across her smooth bottom, as in some classical art painting. That vermiculate flesh now dust, we go no more a-rovin’. The sweat of lust has dried up, and risen into the air as foetid, organic motes. Our animal movements, and the senses they awakened, now inhabit a fleshy pigeonhole in some semi-truthful compartment of my memory. The remembrances of Kat have already begun to re-write themselves, to open up, to metastasize like her disease, only into something more wholesome. 

 It was an affair, not some shrieking, humiliating ripping at each other in the darkness. Of course, it was . . . meaningful. Kat Charoenkul: moneyed Thai chatelaine of the Kohl-edged eyes. She with the garish, red gash of a mouth; with the vampiric, white canines; with the wet, pink tongue given to verbal mischief and sensual pleasure. Now dead. Dead: the word exudes inertia, like lead, disclaiming all potentials and possibilities. Of course, it was . . . meaningful. I venture another drink and wonder whether Papa Doc Charoenkul is drinking too.

 (End of Excerpts)

 Here are some links and book covers for John Dolan’s other books, and you can follow him on – @JohnDolanAuthor

DSC_1252A-dolan – About Me (John Dolan) Facebook







Blog by Billy Ray Chitwood – January 30, 2016


My Website – profile and books –


An Interview With John Dolan – Author of “Everyone Burns” – AN UPDATE


John Dolan

This is a ‘Don’t Miss’ combo for you: an interview with a quality author and a partial review of his 5-Star book, “Everyone

Burns.” If you have not had the pleasure of reading John Dolan you’ve missed a great experience from a writer

extraordinaire. JD is truly a wordsmith for his times. He is also the man who introduced me and countless others to the

word, ‘Galericulate’ — that’s the name of his website/blog. (See end of interview/review.) He’s the man hidden under the

hat and he’s roaming around some continent or another. At last report, he was in Amsterdam… OOPS – UPDATE: that was

2012…he was just recently released from Foxes aHounds Tranquility Center!  He’s much better now, I’m told! I do

so hope my information is accurate… But, be gone, my foolishness! Here’s a re-blog of my 2012 interview with this

important literary figure and an update on his writing…

.everyone burns

 Amazon US
Amazon UK:
 ‘Burning’ John Dolan, Writer Extraordinaire – An Interview (Sort of!)’
(Billy Ray Chitwood=BR) (John Dolan= JD)
BR: Okay, Filbert, take off the blindfold!
JD: Hey, not so rough! You just don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, do you?
BR: Why should I? You can leave us now, Filbert, and take Salome with you.
JD: You kidding me? ‘Salome!’ ‘Filbert!’ They’re ‘junkies…’
BR: Had no money…they grabbed you for the ‘grass.’
JD: Are you mocking me? Are you stealing my interview ideas?
BR: Show me a legal document!
JD: At least my chair is comfortable, and my straps are pure leather, not this cord crap!
BR: You left me no choice, JD, you broke your promise to take my books viral and…
JD: Correction! I said your books were vile and pretentious…
BR: Okay, okay, I understand you’re a bit angry…just some tit for tat, that’s all. I really like
your book, “Everyone Burns,” and I’m thinking ‘movie,’ ‘TV series,’ something really big.
Can we just relax and talk about the book?
JD: Can you at least put a cushion on this orange crate? You’re not helping my hemmies.
BR: How’s that? Better? Good…Now tell me about “Everyone Burns” and how you came
to write it.
JD: Guess I got no choice, but you gotta promise me you’re not going to make a habit of
this kind of interview. This is my idea, not yours. Do we have a deal?
BR: Yes, we have a deal…Hell, I thought you would be pleased!
JD: Well, I am, sort of, but this is intellectual property, not something you mess with, BR.
Plus I only get one original idea per decade.
BR: Okay, no more kidnaps for interviews! Got it! Can we proceed?
JD: The events in “Everyone Burns” take place over seventeen days while Thailand is still
numb from the giant tsunami of December, 2004. Like everyone of sane mind this great
catastrophe made my emotions run wild, made me think of life like I had never really
thought about it. “Everyone Burns” gave me some escape from the reality all around me.
BR: Really?
JD: No, not really. I wrote it for the money and the groupies.
BR: And how’s that working out?
JD: Probably about as well as it’s working out for you, I’d guess. Well … looking at you,
probably slightly better with the groupies.
BR: Here’s a quote from ‘Everyone Burns, just after a bar fracas:
To summarise, my life is one of split personality. I am in two minds about it myself.
 Nevertheless, down these narrow streets a man must walk, even if it is in flip-flops.
But I am no Philip Marlowe, and Koh Samui is not film-noir USA. There is nothing
of Hollywood’s black and white morality on this most colourful of Thailand’s
 Islands. And long overcoats just make you sweat in the sun. Here The Postman
Never Rings Twice, simply because he never rings at all. He has better things to
do. Lamai’s and Chaweng’s adventurers generally pack a condom, not a gun.”
You open the book with a broken cue stick inflicting injury to your protagonist and it’s like
the excitement and action just never stops after that. I picked this quote because it’s one
of my favorites but also because it gives the reader a sample of your splendid writing…
Do you have any disagreement with my assessment here, JD?
JD: Take these cords off and I’ll kiss you. The passage is also a favorite of mine. Aside
from the style thing in my writing, it is just basically who I am. But I’m NOT David
Braddock, by the way. I want to make that clear in case my wife Fiona is reading this! A
book of this genre for me has to move at a rapid pace, the action mostly non-stop. A lot of
what I write about in “Everyone Burns” has some factual similarities, the people, the
places, the time certainly. And, of course, you know my English is rather precise, proper,
as it was intended to be! WHY are you smiling and shaking your head?
BR: Never mind, just me being me! It’s a great book, JD. Wish we had more time
because I’d like to mention “People With Real Lives Don’t Need Landscapes,” a book of
poetry you wrote in 2003. You certainly have a way with words, JD, and I happen to love
poetry. As Amazon puts it, “This big bouncy collection of contemporary poetry draws on
both popular and high culture. The poems have energy, imagination, humor, and lively
speech rhythms. They are light, weighty, topical, intellectual, gory, sad, wild, and tenderall at once.”
JD: I didn’t write that.
BR: What?
JD: I didn’t write that collection of poetry. That was a different John Dolan.
BR: Are you sure?
JD: What do you mean, “Am I sure”? I’m not likely to forget a thing like that, am I?
Sheesh! It’s scary how your brain can live in such a small space.
BR: That hurts, JD. Well,regardless, I loved your book “Everyone Burns” and can’t wait
for the sequel. People should really take a long look at you, my friend…
JD: ‘My friend!’ My butt is sore here, BR!
BR: Filbert and Salome are napping right now. I’ll untie you, but, please, no fracas here.
Tit for tat, remember? Be gentle.
End of Interview…
51fQQvQVwNL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ 140502 3D-Book51aiSFjGA-L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_
Amazon US                     Amazon US               Amazon US
Amazon UK                     Amazon UK               Amazon UK
You want good reading? Check out the books above…you will not be disappointed. John Dolan is destined for literary
greatness! YOU HEARD IT HERE!
Visit his website/blog (‘Galericulate’):  (You do not want to miss his posts!)
Also visit JD’s amazon site:
(Really, follow on him and read him. He’s ugly mean: it took two junkies and me to get him here for this ‘Orange Crate’ interview!)