Cover Reveal: Two Brothers, One Redhead, and a Stolen Giraffe

 

Today we are excited to share the cover reveal of Two Brothers, One Redhead, and a Stolen Giraffe by Sarah Mandell. It’s a quirky coming-of-age story about the complications of love, loss, and new-found independence. It releases in May 2016.

About the Book:
The McElroy brothers find trouble easily. Dylan plunges headfirst into it, while Daniel cleans up behind him. That’s the way it’s always been, ever since their mother left them to be bounced around the foster system, causing trouble wherever they went. The soon-to-be euthanized giraffe they just stole from the Northside Animal Park may be their biggest predicament yet, in more ways than one, but there’s no undoing what’s been done.

Lost in Nebraska without a plan, clueless how to care for the ornery old beast in the back of the trailer, the well-meaning brothers stop to rest at an abandoned-looking barn. A pretty redhead with a snappy temperament and a shotgun discovers the boys and their sixteen-foot stowaway. Her name is Josephine, she lives on this farm with her father who is spoken of, but never seen, and her root cellar has more locks than a bank vault. She’s got a way with animals and plenty of secrets, not to mention the interest of two brothers who swore they’d never let some girl come between them.

 

 

About the Author:

Sarah Mandell is a professionally trained artist with a background in commercial interior design. She’s also the brains and busy hands behind a thriving indie craft business called Once Again Sam in Greenville, SC. Even with an ever-expanding collection of creative outlets, she’s truly the happiest when she’s writing. Two Brothers, One Redhead, and a Stolen Giraffe is Sarah’s second novel. Her debut novel was Celia on the Run (Untreed Reads, 2012).
 
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GIVEAWAY:

 

One (1) winner will receive a laser engraved giraffe necklace (in the color of choice as shown in the photo) and signed copy of the book (when it comes out)
One (1) winner will receive a $15 gift card
All prizes are open worldwide.
Ends May 5th
Prizing is provided by the author. You must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

 

 

Worth Mentioning – with special guest author, J. Zachary Pike

We are pleased to have J. Zachary Pike visiting us today at Astounding Books as our guest blogger. Pike was once a basement-dwelling fantasy gamer, but over time he metamorphosed into a basement-dwelling fantasy writer. A New Englander by birth and by temperament, he writes strangely funny fiction on the seacoast of New Hampshire. His novel, Orconomics, is available now. 

An excerpt from the novel can be found below. Give it a try and enter to win a FREE digital copy of the novel on a Kindle Paperwhite! You can see more of his work at jzacharypike.com, or drop him a line on Facebook or Twitter.

On Writing by J. Zachary Pike

image

I’ve found plenty of tips over the years for creating three-dimensional characters, and I’ve followed more than a few of the good ones. But I seldom see many tips for building interesting worlds, which I find odd. After all, a fantasy setting can be deep and fascinating or flat and uninteresting just as much as any character can. As I created Arth for my own books, I found it helpful to think of my world as another character, and in so doing try to make it as three-dimensional as possible.

The World is Flat

When a character is simple and stereotypical, they’re often described as flat and two dimensional. There’s nothing wrong with a two dimensional character in passing—simple characters are a critical element of storytelling. (Imagine how horrible the last book you read would be if the author delved into the past, motivations, and flaws of every person who appeared in the book.)

A simple, underdeveloped world can also come across as two-dimensional. Such a simple world might make a good stop for the interdimensional traveler / spaceship crew. Think of all the bizarrely gimmicky worlds that the original Star Trek visited, or the satirically stereotypical planets on Futurama. They make for some great gags or philosophical points, and they’re fun to visit, but you probably wouldn’t want to set a novel there.

How a World is Like Another Character

A character isn’t a person, and a fantasy world isn’t a place. They’re both constructs for telling stories and conveying themes. Your characters’ strengths, weaknesses, flaws, and redemption (should) all serve to shape your story and advance your plot. Creating a world is the same way: it’s a tool for advancing the plot plot. The easiest way for me to keep that in mind is to think of Arth as another character.

Here are some of the ways that helps me.

  • I try to give my world “flaws.” It’s easy to see if a character is too perfect, or too evil, or just too… flat. One key indication of a two-dimensional character is a lack of flaws (or redemptive qualities for villains.) But a world can be too one-note as well, and a good way to prevent that is to give it “flaws.” it a counter-themes, something that takes it in the opposite direction. One example from Arth is the balance between military and financial forces— on the one hand, the world is full of violence and constant danger, but at the same time a stable economy with advanced financial markets has grown not just despite the conflict, but because of it.
  • I use two-dimensional characters to create three dimensional cultures. Part of what makes our world so interesting is the diversity of perspectives and attitudes that you find in any group of people. If all of my minor characters are of one mind and purpose, or even clearly divided along predictable lines, my world would be missing out on some engaging conflict. II try to give the minor characters a variety of voices and perspectives, so that together they’ll create a picture of a more fascinating culture.
  • I think about my world’s character arc. A character that doesn’t advance or change over the course of a story is a dull one, and the same goes for a setting that isn’t impacted by the character’s actions. I try to outline the way my heroes’ actions will change their world, and what that does for Arth narratively.

Your mileage may vary, but it always helps me to think of my world as another character, If you’re thinking about writing fantasy or speculative fiction, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Book Excerpt from Orconomics: A Satire

imageLegend held that Andarun had once been the greatest city on Arth, in the early ages when it was the high seat of the kingdoms of the Sten. Then the Sten betrayed the rest of mankind and were subsequently wiped out in retaliation. The armies of Man were quickly driven away by a dragon, which was followed by hordes of Lizardmen, who fell to the Gremlins, who were slain by an Ogre tribe, and so on and so forth. By the time the Freedmen liberated the city from the rule of Ogmar the Mad, one could barely walk down Central Avenue without tripping over a priceless relic from a long-faded conflict. Of course, no one could even venture near a sewer grate for fear of giant spiders or Venomous Scargs or any of the other monstrous denizens that had never fully been expunged from the city.

Ironically, these ancient threats were key to Andarun’s rapid gentrification. Dangerous monsters and abundant treasure attract heroes. Wealthy heroes in need of gear attract merchants. Well-to-do merchants attract industry. Industry needs workers, who need developers for housing, who need builders and laborers, who need services. The ancient ruins beneath Mount Wynspar fertilized a blooming economy on its surface. Within an age, Andarun was again the greatest city on Arth, this time built atop the most deadly dungeon on Arth.

In Andarun, one could wake a nameless fear or two just by digging a wine cellar.

“The city’s built on big steps carved into the mountain back when the Sten were around,” Gorm told Gleebek as they made their way through Andarun’s crowded streets. “The lowest step is called the Base, and the top is the Pinnacle. Every step starts in the Ridge,” he said, pointing to the rough cliff face that cast the western side of the city in shadow, “and ends at the Wall.” He turned and pointed to the giant stone edifice that made up the eastern mirror of the Ridge.

“A zabba,” Gleebek said with a low whistle.

“Aye. The Wall and the Ridge cast long shadows down here on the lower steps. But Andarun rises to their tops, so up near the Pinnacle, where the uppity-ups live, the Wall ain’t much taller than a hedge. Good views, I’m told.”

“Da grongo?”

“Everything’s better by the Wall—the view, the light, the smells. Course, everything’s more expensive too. Makes Andarun almost like a map of society, ye see. The higher up the mountain ye go, the higher your status. The closer to the Wall ye are, the more money ye have.”

“Grong, da nub’root Hupsit—”

“So if we get separated, head down toward the Base and west to the Ridge. Eventually, ye’ll come here.” Gorm rounded a bend and gestured down an alley that was deeper and darker than most swamps.

“Ga’pab?”

“Welcome to the Underdim,” grinned Gorm. “They don’t get any more Ridgeward or Baseward.”

Interested in visiting Arth? There’s never been an better time, because right now you can win one of several free copies of Orconomics—including a digital copy on a Kindle Paperwhite. CLICK HERE Enter to win on my contest page. 

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

Welcome to another week of Astounding Authors. We are spotlighting four novels this week that I’m sure you will enjoy. This week, please share us on your Facebook or Twitter streams. It only takes a moment to click the share button. This not only helps us, but it helps spread the word about out Amazing! Astounding! Authors!

imageBucky Ball
Author: Fabian Roy
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Jan. 2016)
Pages: 168
Genre: Science Fiction
Twitter: @lokisarrow
Facebook:  Lokisarrow
Website: LokisArrow

James Pesola tells the story of how one night of partying in South Beach with his best friend changed his life forever. Listening to a specific song always transports him back to the same time and place which happens to be the Miamillennium nightclub in Miami. These flashback moments are called lifeturns, and James claims to have lived over one hundred and seventy-one of them, some lasting between 13 and 26 years.

Download what some are calling a “Fun” and “Imaginative” read today! CLICK HERE for Bucky Ball by Fabian Roy.

imageThe Sabbath
Authors: Arthur Nsenga & Shaunakay Francis
Publisher: Say La V. Publishing (Jan. 2016)
Pages: 197
Genre: Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
Twitter: @artDaGreat
Facebook: Nsenga-Arthur
Website: Arthurnsenga.com

Would you rather suffer for eternity, or die peacefully?

What if you had no choice?

The morning after witnessing a spectacular meteorite shower, Cory and his girlfriend Lana didn’t expect to wake up immortal.

News bulletins claim the meteorites have released a chemical compound called ATHENS which has caused mutations in the human race. The twisted outcome has left people unable to die but with an increased sensitivity to pain.

Now with the majority of food supplies contaminated, and the rich controlling what little is left, the desperate young couple are force to go on merciless food raids just to stave off the pain.

During which they accidentally discover a secret government device and find themselves caught up in a diabolical plot to control the future of humanity.

Realizing that there is more to ATHENS than what they were led to believe; Cory and Lana set out on a crusade to uncover the truth. Their journey will lead them into the darkest depths of humanity. If they can follow the trail, they may be able to find some answers.

But will the cost of knowing the truth be too much? Find out by CLICKING HERE and ordering your copy of The Sabbath by Arthur Nsenga & Shaunakay Francis!

imageLeaves of the World Tree
Author: Adam Misner
Publisher: Adam Misner (Dec. 2015)
Pages:  108
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Website: Adammisner.com
Goodreads: Leaves of the World Tree

Leaves of The World Tree is a 108 page short story collection.

Each one is meant to give you a window to a soul. To introduce you to motivations of a person unlike yourself. The stories follow a Viking cursed with being average amongst a group of extraordinary warriors; a man who has never slept who experiences both the productivity and loneliness of his gift; an evil pirate that wants to save the girl; a necromancer who wants to be a romantic; a shapeshifter who wants to find a friend to reveal his secret to; and finally a knight who has always been ordered to do good and wants to choose for himself to be a good man.

Get started on the Leaves of The World Tree today by downloading your copy.  CLICK HERE!

imageNightfall
Author: Moshe Ben-Or
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Jan 2016)
Pages: 363
Genre: Hard Science Fiction
Facebook: Moshe-Ben-Or
Goodreads: Nightfall

There will be war!

Leo Freeman is a bored young aristocrat who flies fighter jets in peacetime, but will never be allowed to fly them in combat. All he wants is a bit of adventure.

Yosi Weismann is a scarred war hero who has seen enough “adventure” to last six lifetimes. All he wants is a little peace and quiet for a change.

Isabella van der Rijn is a ruthless tyrant perched unsteadily atop a seething pyramid of venal nobles. All she wants is power, at any price.

Patricia Sleager is the socialite daughter of an up-jumped ne’er-do-well whose fortune and prospects are rapidly fading. All she wants is to keep up her social status, no matter what she has to do.

Miri Legraf is an ordinary schoolgirl. All she wants is to pass the next midterm, and fit in with her friends.

But the universe does not care what they want. It does not care what anyone wants. When alien monsters from beyond the stars come barreling into Known Space with a war fleet larger than anything anyone has seen in six centuries, all well-laid plans and all vague dreams will come crashing down. And the only things that matter will be survival and victory. Victory at any price. For without victory, there will be no survival.

What is the price of victory?  Find out now by CLICKING HERE and purchasing Nightfall by Moshe Ben-Or!

The Immortals Is An “Instance” Where The Tale Comes Out On Top

imageThe Immortals, Part One
Shadows and Starstone
Author: Cheryl S. Mackey
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Dec. 2014)
Pages: 85 (Novella)
Genre: Fantasy
Twitter:  @Writezalot
Facebook:  Writezalot
Website: Writezalot.com

A thousand years ago the gods known as The Four created the Immortals to protect and defend their world against an invader known as the Dro-Aconi—and then vanished. Left to fend for themselves, the three races of Ein-Aral and the Immortals banded together to save the world.

Ivo, Jaeger, Jadeth, and Emaranthe must protect a desert village and its hoard of Starstone. Can the companions battle inner demons long enough to defeat legions of enemies and keep the enemy from stealing the Starstone, or is this merely the beginning of an even greater quest?

I’m not going to bury the lede here: I’m giving Shadows & Starstone – Part One of The Immortals –  3 out of 5 stars. Cheryl Mackey has written an enjoyable tale set in a world filled with mystery, magic and intrigue. There is an amazing story here and the reader will definitely want to keep reading more stories set in the world of her novel, The Unknown Sun.

Mackey does a great job of world building, setting the tone and pace for her future stories. There is a lot of action and the story and character development move along quite nicely.

As a former World of Warcraft player (Level 80 Dwarf Hunter – “For the Alliance!”) the story and our heroic class-based band of warriors  felt very much like a raiding scenario, or what we geeks refer to as “an Instance”:  a mage with AOE, a druid-like healer, and two DPS Warrior Brothers battling progressively harder mobs or enemies till the fight culminates in an intense Boss Battle.

I very much enjoyed this story, however, it fails in some places, which is why I started the review with praise. I don’t want deter you from reading this series, but it did have a few issues.

The battle scenes are overly described.  The final half of the novella is essentially a slow motion fight scene where we see every drop of sweat fall slowly to the ground, every look and gaze made by our heroes, every furrowed brow slowly furrowing and weapons being slowly drawn, dropped, and picked up again. It’s like one of those slow motion fight scenes in a movie where the bad guy fires a gun and for what seems like ten minutes all you see is the flash from the gun, the bullet slowly leaving the barrel, the casing being slowly discharged and falling slowly to the ground as the bullet moves across space, (again slowly) towards the intended victim. It’s a cool scene, but sometimes it’s over used.

There is a certin obsessiveness with the description of the physical movements of eyes, other facial movements or responses. (furrowed brows, gazing eyes, upturned mouths, smirks, braids and hair movement, gasp, hisses, etc.)  Used occasionally, these physical movements tell their own story.  Used repetitively it becomes, well, repetitive.

In the end, Mackey’s story shines and THAT is the magic of the novella. The characters are richly drawn, the world is vast and mysterious, and the hints of dangers and evils to come kept me engrossed till the end.  I look forward to further exploring this world.

I was provided a free copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. I hope you take a chance on this amazing author and give The Immortals, Part One a chance. Again, I give this 3 out of 5 stars.

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview Cheryl Mackey, (You can read the full interview BY CLICKING HERE)

Now get going and download your copy of The Immortals today by CLICKING HERE! 

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

I’m giving you a heads up right now: it’s going to be hard to pick which of these Astounding Authors’ novels you’ll want to read this week. We have three novels so interesting that you may want to read them all!  Click through the link and give them a try.

imageThe Dragon Scale Lute
Legends of Tivara, Daughter of
the Dragon Throne. Vol 1
Author: J.C. Kang
Publisher: CreateSpace (Feb 2016)
Pages: 484
Genre: Asian Fantasy
Twitter: @JCKang804
Facebook: LegendsOfTivara
Website: JCKang.info

Kaiya’s voice could charm a dragon.

Had she lived when the power of music could still summon typhoons and rout armies, perhaps Cathay’s imperial court would see the awkward, gangly princess as more than a singing fool. With alliances to build and ambitious lords to placate, they care more about her marriage prospects than her unique abilities.

Only the handsome Prince Hardeep, a foreign martial mystic, recognizes her potential. Convinced Kaiya will rediscover the legendary but perilous art of invoking magic through music, he suggests her voice, not her marriage, might better serve the realm.

When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan– Kaiya’s childhood friend and his half-elf sidekick (or maybe he’s her sidekick?)– discover mere discontent boiling over into full-scale rebellion, Kaiya must choose. Obediently wedding the depraved ringleader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.

Discover the Legends of Tivara, Daughter of the Throne and download The Dragon Scale Lute today! CLICK HERE!

 

imageThe Unknown Sun
Author: Cheryl Mackey
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Pages: 330
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Twitter:  @Writezalot
Facebook:  Writezalot
Website: Writezalot.com

Seventeen-year-old Moira is haunted by the accidents that claimed her parents and sisters. When a strange boy who seems to know too much about her past attacks her, Moira fears death will come for her a third time. She is rescued by twins Airi and Belamar, the winged heirs to the throne in Skyfall, and taken to safety in their world.

But Skyfall is dying, and the Immortals who had protected Airi and Belamar’s world have been missing since the Great War. Moira, Airi, and Belamar must find a journal left by the twins’ deceased mother, Tanari, that tells of a prophecy that must be fulfilled to find the Immortals known as The Unknown Sun so that Skyfall can be saved.

Deeper, darker, secrets unravel around the three friends as a revolution threatens their quest and the boy who tried to destroy Moira on Earth hunts them. Tanari knew more than she had let on, and within her journal a story is more than it seems, the past foretells the future, and a far-reaching plan is unveiled.

Why did Tanari reach across time and space to entrust a simple human girl with saving Skyfall? Who are the mysterious “Four” mentioned in the journal? And why does another Immortal want her, and The Unknown Sun, dead?

Find out by CLICKING HERE and downloading your copy of Cheryl Mackey’s The Unknown Sun.

 

imageA New Divide
Author: Nathaniel Patrick Sanders
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Dec. 2015)
Pages: 271
Genre: Sci-Fi / Dystopian
Twitter: @omg_ItsSanders
Facebook: Nate.Sanders.3998
Blog: Thefarandfew.blogspot.com
Website: Anewdivide.com

Book One of Three

In the distant future, the people from a former Earth have created peace by converting war into a form of sport known as Gravityball.

War has been abolished, civilizations have flourished like never before, and now superstar athlete Collin King has won the hearts of billions by conquering his nation’s circuit for the fourth year in a row.

Hours after celebrating his victory an ancient ruler decides to end the peace when he condemns Collin’s world for the crime of being free. During the despair, suffering, and annihilation of his people Collin discovers he holds a genetic key to immortality, witnessing his ideals of greatness change as they are plunged into question. And as he evolves into the voice of reason for humanity—he becomes the center of the first violent conflict that has been experienced in over one thousand years.

A New Divide follows Collin King on his journey of adversity shortly after he is liberated from his destroyed home world. It’s the story of life, love, choice, and the power of desire – and what that can accomplish.

Travel along on the journey by CLICKING HERE and downloading your copy of A New Divide by Nathaniel Patrick Sanders.

 

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

As we put the wraps on March is Reading Month, I hope you take a look at some of the Astonishing Authors we have this week.  While I cannot read and review every novel that comes across through my email, I hope this feature helps both the Authors and you, the reader. Its very easy to download or order these interesting novels: Simply click on the titles below. Hopefully you will return here to Astounding books and let us know what you think. if you posted a review on your own site, feel free to leave us your link.

We’d also appreciate it if you took the time to head over to Facebook and LIKE our page Facebook.com/AstoundingBooks.

 

imageI Am
Author: Michael Drakich
Publisher: Traanu Enterpises (Dec. 2015)
Pages: 320
Genre: Sci-Fi/Space Opera
Twitter: @Klaato1957
Facebook:  michael.drakich
Website: MichaelDrakich

Genius, wealthy and life regenerated, Adam Spenceworth is living the dream aboard his custom spaceship run by Mum, his first designed AI, protected by Gort, his first robot, and occupied by Eve, his sexbot. With each regeneration he returns to start over as a twenty-five year old man ready to enjoy the pleasures of his success. What could go wrong? Except, maybe, planetary wars, territorial space battles, alien invasions, and the disturbing fact that each regeneration is taking exponentially longer than the one before bringing him into one galactic crisis after another.

A frolicking space drama filled with references sure to strike home with any science fiction aficionado. CLICK HERE to begin the adventure!

 

imageBlood to Blood
Book One in the Angelica Brown Series
Author: Ife Oshun
Publisher: Papa Grace Pub. (Dec. 2013)
Pages: 251
Genre: Paranormal & Urban
Twitter: @IfeOshun
Facebook: AuthorIfeOshun
Website: IfeOshun.com/

Enter the world of Bostonian teen Angelica Brown: budding pop star and descendant of an immortal race of sun-loving blood drinkers known as Shimshana (the folks that created vampires).

Defying her parents’ traditions of higher education, Angel plans to ditch high school to be a singer. She’s got an amazing voice, but she’s also maturing into a full-grown Shimshana complete with fearsome power and insatiable bloodlust. What’s worse, her soaring vocals are now capable of destroying everything, and everyone, within earshot; including her girl group, their mysterious producer and Angel’s hunky new blood donor. To top it off, she must prove her worthiness to live by passing the tests in her Mahá–the ancient, mandatory coming-out-party for new-born immortals.

Will Angel survive her Mahá and quickly learn to control her new abilities? Or will her killer instincts bring her promising career, and her life, to an end?

Enter the world of Blood to Blood by Ifeo Shun!  Download your copy by CLICKING HERE!

 

imageSurviving the Improbable Quest
Heroes of Distant Planets, Book 1
Author: Anderson Atlas
Publisher: Synesthesia Books (Oct. 2015)
Pages: 271
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Twitter: @andersonAtlas
Facebook: Anderson.atlas
Website: www.andersonatlas.blogspot.com

Allan has lost so much: his Olympic dreams, his parents, the use of his legs, his voice. When life is at its bleakest, its darkest, Allan and his uncle are almost drown by a flash flood. Allan must save his uncle, even if it’s the last thing he does. Allan crawls for help, a seemingly insurmountable task for a paraplegic.

Suddenly, Allan is transported to another planet by the least likely thing, a flower. A fire erupts inside Allan. He bursts with drive, purpose and determination.

He unleashes a drive deep within his muscles. It’s a familiar feeling, one he felt during swim meets and competitions. The strange and dangerous world he’s found himself in is just another lap.

In a blaze of utter resilience, Allan finds his voice, his soul and his heart. He escapes the creepy Jibbawk and the Lithic Furies and Killian Crow.

No one has met anyone like Allan before, and they never will again. He is Allan Westerfield: adventurer, comedian, nephew, friend, paraplegic.

Heroes of Distant Planets begins HERE with Surviving the Improbable Quest. Get your copy today!

 

imageEast of Everything
Author: A. O. K. Simpson
Publisher: Amazon Digital (Dec. 2015)
Pages: 228
Genre: Contemporary Literature
Twitter: @aoksimpson
Facebook: AOKSimpson
Website: Aoksimpson.com

This is East London, where talk is cheap and beer is dear and everyone but you has an ironic tattoo. And this is a story of millennial men: of cobbled identity, flawed friendship and terrible love.

René Dubois-William is thirty, and at a low ebb in his life. Jobless, loveless and living with his indulgent mother, there appear to be no limits to the depths of his degradation. But a chance encounter with a couple of old school friends—the infuriatingly charming Madoc, and Niceguy™ Howard—will set all three on a tortuous path of self-discovery; careering wildly through betrayal, redemption, triumph and despair.

Will René finally find love with the remote and enigmatic Flame? Can Howard hang on to his bored and restless girlfriend, Anna? What will Madoc do with the body?

Find out all this, and more, in…  EAST OF EVERYTHING. CLICK HERE and download your copy today!

Spend a Weekend with The Man Who Was Thursday


imageThe Man Who Was Thursday

Author: G. K. Chesterton
Publisher: Originally Published in 1908
Pages: 136
Genre: Metaphysical Thriller

Sometimes a book will fall figuratively in your lap. My “To Read” list on Goodreads  is growing faster than my “Finished” list.  At some point I added G. K. Chesterton’s masterpiece – The Man Who Was Thursday – to the list, but I don’t recall why. Regardless, I was obviously in the mood for reading some early 20th century metaphysical literature chock full of allegory, metaphors, anarchists and sublime characters. (Don’t we all get that urge from time to time???)

Published in 1908, The Man Who Was Thursday begins with two men, Gabriel Syme ( a poet who believes in law and order) and Lucian Gregory, (a poet and anarchist) meeting in a garden during a party. After a lengthy discussion as to whether Man should be ruled by laws or have free will to rage against the machine, Gabriel accuses Lucian of not being a “real anarchist”. Lucian counters by inviting Gabriel to a secret meeting of anarchists to prove him wrong. At this meeting Lucian is hoping to be elected to the Supreme Council of Anarchists as “Thursday”, one of seven men on the council, each named for a day of the week. The Council, lead by the man named Sunday, is planning to carry through with a planned assassination/bombing.

What transpires next is a humorous, witty, frightening, and often philosophical look at the state of man, war, peace, God, and social order to finally reveal that nothing is as it seems.

image

C. K. Chesterton

Did I mention that the subtitle of the novel is: A Nightmare? That’s because many of the thematic discussions of the novel are pretty relevant today. Some things never change.

For fans of Christian allegory or C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Papers, this novel will please you to no end. For fans of thought-provoking philosophical discussions that will leave you endlessly pondering the book’s meaning, this will please you to no end.

Chesterton employs subtle and not-so-subtle metaphors that leave you guessing his ultimate goal for the novel. It’s apparent right from the start: Gabriel = Law & Order.  Lucian = anarchy/Free-will. Both meeting in A Garden. (I mean, c’mon!) The other members of the Council: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday et all, represent the burning questions of the time: Pessimism or optimism of Modernity; the benefits of scientific materialism; etc. And who is Sunday, the mysterious man who leads the council?

But if you think it’s just that easy, it’s not. There are enough twists and turn, colorful characters and beautiful banter that make this Nightmare a wonderful experience. This is one of those books where you will be looking up words, highlighting passages and writing notes in the margins.

Rare and wonderful is the novel that comes along that, after reading the last word, instantly bestows upon you the desire to read it again. The Man Who Was Thursday is just such a novel.

While some of the events and situations may seem out of date, the novel will certainly provoke further discussion. Want to have fun? Suggest this for your next Book Club read and watch the sparks fly….

Download or order your copy by CLICKING HERE!

5 out of 5 Stars