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

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Enter to Win a Free Copy of The Patron Murders!

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Welcome to my tour stop for The Patron Murders by Edwin Wilson.  The Patron Murders is a mystery and the tour runs March 1-11 with reviews, guest posts, interviews and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule. Stick around to the end to enter a drawing for a free gift card or a free copy of The Patron Murders!

About The Book:

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Matt Johanssen, a dedicated stage actor in his early fifties, is currently rehearsing a play soon to open on Broadway. Through the years Matt, in addition to his work in the theatre, has also anonymously assisted the NYPD in solving a number of crimes.

While he is in rehearsals, thirty blocks away a startling murder takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where a trustee is discovered on the roof of the Museum with a javelin thrust through his heart. The dramatic nature of the crime reverberates through cultural circles in Manhattan. A few days later, during a rehearsal of Matt’s Broadway-bound play, the admired, beloved lady producer of the play is found dead in the darkened basement lounge of the theatre.

Ten days later, during a gala at the American Museum of Natural History, there is another murder of a museum trustee, this one far more sensational than the one before. Working behind the scenes Matt becomes deeply involved in solving all three murders. Meanwhile, he encounters an intriguing, auburn haired woman writing about the murders, with whom he becomes involved.

Set against a background of the inner workings of the theatre, as well as the arts and cultural scenes in New York City, The Patron Murders is part detective story, part social novel, and part a witty, incisive critique of the relationship of recently acquired fortunes to the old-line arts establishments of the City.

The Review:

I confess I’m pretty particular about what I read when it comes to the Mystery genre.  Nowadays, mystery series it seems, more than other genres, each have to have some sort of distinctive setting (dare I say gimic?) where their stories take place. Some are centered around bakeries, others around cats or shopping. Me? I’m partial to mystery novels either set in Key West, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or  mix genres (like the Fantasy/Mystery Dresden Files Series)– Which is to say I don’t read many mystery novels.

When asked to review a tale centered around the arts and cultural scene in New York City, my curiosity was instantly engaged. Better yet, having it written by an author with a long history of involvement in the New York theatre and cultural scene made the decision to review this very easy.

The Patron Murders is a well written and engrossing page turner. There is a perfect blend of witty dialogue, social critique and memorable characters.  Our hero, Matt Johannsen is not a detective; he’s merely in the wrong place at the right time. Or the right person at the wrong time. Take your pick.

Edwin Wilson’s debut novel is a riveting tale and an in-depth personal look at the world of the theatre and artistic patronage. Wilson’s long career lends a sense of gravitas to his writing, almost as if he were actually telling a captivating tale of non-fictional events. As someone who has worked intimately in the world of cultural institutions, I particularly enjoyed his deep dive into the role of the donors or patrons. Are they truly altruistic or do they give to elevate their own status in society? (It’s a question I often ask myself…) Board members…Don’t get me started!

Ah, if only the lives of all cultural organization employees were so full of excitement and thrilling events!

At any rate, you will do well to pick up The Patron Murders, a fascinating and enthralling tale of murder by Edwin Wilson. Click Here to get your copy.

4 stars out of 5

About The Author:

Author, teacher, critic, Edwin Wilson began his career as Assistant to the Producer for the Broadway play Big Fish, Little Fish directed by John Gielgud, and the film Lord of the Flies directed by Peter Brook. He later co-produced the Broadway play Agatha Sue, I Love You, directed by George Abbott and produced the film The Nashville Sound. From 1972 to 1994 he was the theatre critic for The Wall Street Journal.Over the past four decades his three college theatre textbooks have appeared in a total of 28 editions while selling over one million copies. At one time president of the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Theatre Development Fund, he was also Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Drama Jury. The Patron Murders is Wilson’s first novel.

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GIVEAWAY:
$15 Amazon gift card (INT)
5 hardcover copies of The Patron Murders (US)
5 ebook copies of The Patron Murders (INT)
Ends March 16
This giveaway is provided by the publisher, hosts are not responsible. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 17. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

 

Click HERE to ENTER!

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

 

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

We have a wonderful selection of novels from independent and self-published authors this week. While we here at Astounding Books can’t review every request we receive, we hope you will take a look at these Astounding Authors and let us know what YOU think.  Click on the highlighted links to purchase their novels. You not only support their efforts to write more Amazing Stories, but you also help support this site to Spotlight more Astounding Authors!

 

imageIn The Blood
Author:  R. L. Martinez
Publisher: Lakewater Press (March 2016)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 356
Twitter: @RobinLMartinez
Facebook: Robin.l.martinez400
Website: www.robinlmartinez.com

The Warrior
The war may have ended, but a new battle begins for disgraced prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister.
But she may arrive too late…

The Witch
Lady Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family’s struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord hiding secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic and threats from a cruel blackmailer push her closer to disaster.
Through it all, the Witch’s Tree calls…

Read the exciting new novel from R. L. Martinez, In The Blood, available HERE.

 

imageThe Keystone Staff (Aeonlith Saga Book 1)
Author: Danny F. Santos
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (November 2015)
Pages: 62 (Novella)
Genre: Fantasy, series
Website: words.dannyfsantos.com
Twitter: @dannyfsantos
Amazon: author/dannyfsantos

The Aeonlith powered the magick abilities of the Wardens for centuries.

Kera is just a young Warden working in the Citadel’s library when the High Council orders her to accompany Jorthen deep into rival territory to find a powerful holy relic. Tensions run high but when they charter a merchant airship to smuggle them across the Disc Sea, she’ll begin to unravel secrets as their covert trip threatens to cause an all out war.

Don’t miss Book 1 of the Aeonlith Saga. Pick up your copy of The Keystone Staff today! Click HERE then come back and let us know what you thought!

 

imageTravel the Wicked Road
Author: M. L. Sanford
Publisher: ArchitectM, Inc (Oct. 2015)
Genre: Paranormal  Suspense / Thriller
Pages: 272
Website: www.mlsanford.com
Goodreads Author: mlsanford
Amazon Author: MLSanford
Facebook: author.mlsanford

Eaton Prescott’s young life, and path, was so far—well, in his words ‘lacking in everything that one could possible desire, or achieve’. Love, money, self-esteem, good looks, outgoing personality . . . well the list could go on and on. Little did he know that his path, the one that he would just as soon throw away and start over, was about to cross with a few other important ones—and something else. The ‘something else’, something wicked, he could do without, but then, do we have much choice on what road we take, which path we travel, or collide with?

Sheriff Bud Bustovf’s life, and path, was about to tumble into retirement, and in his mind, retiring only meant ‘sinking into uselessness, no longer of value to the citizens of New Gamore’. Little did he know, retirement was going to be anything but boring and quiet, his path too, about to cross many others, all unexpected, all life changing for him, and them. His new road, the one forced on him, uncovers buried secrets, missing people that turned into unexplained deaths, and new ones, deaths that is, all testing his grasp on reality, and his long held understanding of the family history, not to mention, his little town’s death and rebirth.

These are just a few of the odd and interesting characters introduced in the supernatural, suspense and mystery thriller, Travel the Wicked Road, by author M. L. Sanford. Oh, and don’t forget the little town of Gamore, its horrific end and curious reincarnation as New Gamore. Their paths cross, and twist, in a most unnatural way, the road leading to one of them fraught with that wicked something that many, including Eaton Prescott and Sheriff Bud Bustovf, would do anything to avoid—if only they knew.

See why happens when you Travel the Wicked Road by M. L.. Sanford. Click here to download your copy.

 

imageCurse of the Purple Pearl
Author: Adrian Speed
Publisher: Amazon Publishing (July 2015)
Pages: 315
Genre: Sci-Fi Mystery
Facebook: AdrianSpeedAuthor

Hannah Delaronde has an unusual hobby for a university student. While her classmates head home on their vacations, she seeks out the enigmatic Sir Reginald Derby and his steam powered time machine to solve the mysteries sent to the Derby and Delaronde Time Travel Company. They are called to Roman Vienna to solve the death of Marcus Aurelius. Who plucked the purple pearl ring from his finger? Who killed him in a room locked from the inside? Which villain will rise to claim the Roman Empire? Even as these questions pull at them a darker thread emerges that will drag them forward to Medieval France, 20th century Nigeria, the 23rd century lunar colonies and in the depths of the 99th century something evil stirs to whispers of the Purple Pearl.

Solve the mystery of the Curse of the Purple Pearl. Get your copy today!

 

 

Spotlight on Astounding Authors

This week in Astounding Authors we are spotlighting the second novel in an exciting urban fantasy series, a Young Adult fantasy, a book about a powerful wizard from a fellow native of Michigan and a suspenseful romantic mystery.

Use our links to easily purchase and download these amazing novels. Join us on Twitter @AstoundingBooks to discuss and share. Now, this week’s Astounding Authors!

imageA Fistful of Fire
(Madison Fox: Illuminant Enforcer Book 2)
By Rebecca Chastain
Publisher: Mind Your Own Business Books (October 2015)
Pages: 400
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Twitter: @Author_Rebecca
Website: RebeccaChastain.com
Facebook:  RebeccaChastainNovels

Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, but if her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.

But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region.

As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames.

Sizzling with adventure and sparking with magic, A Fistful of Fire is fused with Madison Fox’s trademark blend of humor and ass-kicking action.

You can find Rebecca Chastain’s urban fantasy novel, A Fistful of Fire by clicking on the title!

 

imagePAPER CROWNS
Author: Mike Cyr
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (November 2015)
Genre: young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 254
Goodreads: Goodreads.com – Mike Cyr
Tumblr: robogreaser.tumblr.com

Amy Green is convinced the fantasy world of her mother’ bedtime stories is real. Her friends and family worry for her health.

But she’s not wrong.

From rural Tennessee to the magical wilds of Ezrantia, Amy and company, barely scratching the surface of adulthood as it is, are faced with a slew of problems. The most pressing? Amy’s mother, the woman behind the stories fueling Amy’s obsession, caused these problems during her second life as an oracle in these lands.

Paper Crowns, a young adult fantasy novel, is available by clicking here.

 

imageCITIZEN MAGUS
by Rob Steiner
Publisher: CreateSpace (October 2016)
Pages:  372
Genre: Fantasy
Twitter: @RobSteiner
Website: robsteiner.quarkfolio.com

Remington Blakes, a magus from a 21st century where magic powers the world, has a big problem.

His former mentor, William Ford, stranded him in ancient Rome without a memory as to how or why. Well a guy has to eat, so he’s forced to eke out a living as a magus-for-hire among Rome’s plebeians. He calls himself “Natta Magus” since his real name sounds too Germanic to the discriminating Romans.

So when Natta learns that Ford has conjured daemons to kidnap a senator’s young daughter, he jumps at the chance to track Ford down. Natta chases him to Rome’s Germanic frontier to not only rescue the child, but learn the terrible secret behind why he left Natta in Rome.

Dowlnoad your copy of Citizen Magus from Michigan native Rob Steiner.

 

imageBetween Two Fires
By Toni Williams
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (February 2016)
Pages: 351
Website: ToniWilliamsBooks.wordpress.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/Toni-Williams

Rudy is a black British journalist constantly struggling, yet he’s full of charm and always looking on the bright side. However, never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that he would fall for someone like Bridget. She’s a gorgeous American career woman running a highly successful stock-trading firm from an exotic Caribbean island, and she’s filthy rich. She’s also married to the world-famous British aristocrat, Lord Edward Tennyson. Bridget is frustrated with him but she’s crazy over Rudy.

Rudy knows that he’s pressing his luck by falling in love with Bridget, considering that the two of them come from completely different worlds. Still, he figures it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if he plays his cards right he could hit pay dirt and win a woman any man would die for. Bridget assures him everything will work out once Edward is out of the way, and she’s got the perfect plan.

The big question is, can Rudy handle a woman like Bridget who is independent-minded, calculating, tough and ambitious?

What’s more, they both know that if they slip up and Edward discovers what’s going down, there’s going to be hell to pay.

Read Toni Williams romantic mystery, Between Two Fires today! 

That’s for this week. We hope you take a chance on one (or all) of these astounding authors and read their amazing novels. By using our links, you not only help support their work, you also help support Astounding Books to continue bringing you great reads.

Spotlight On Astounding Authors 2

We are back this week with four more Astounding Authors. While I was not able to review their novel, please give them a look. Then come back here to Astounding Books to let us know what you thought!

Now on to this week’s Astounding Authors!

Jubilee Year: A Novel (Erelong Book #1) by Gerard O’Neill
imageWebsite:   Gerardoneillbooks.com
Facebook:  Gerardoneill.books
Twitter:  @GONeillBooks

What if the world were about to end, but they weren’t going to tell you? Eighteen-year-old Storm lives in a small country town in Australia, next to one of the most famous telescopes in the world. When he falls for Penny, the daughter of the chief scientist at the observatory, he discovers a global conspiracy of silence.
He learns a mini-star system approaches Earth, and the penalty for any scientist who talks about it is death. If Storm and his companions are to survive they must stay out of the way of the government’s security forces, assassination squads working for powerful hidden entities, and the internment camps for dissenters.
Even his special ability is not going to be enough. He must accept help when it’s offered. But others are not who they seem to be and neither is the reality of a world Storm thought he knew.

Click here to purchase Jubilee Year: A Novel (Erelong Book #1)

Wave Mandate by A.C. Schneider
imageWebsite:  acschneider.com
Twitter: @howtofightfor

This is undoubtedly the biggest:

…day of Kelerin’s life: A warrior/scholar from the prestigious all-boys Academy on Osmos, he’ll be facing off against his arch rival in what many are already calling the ‘duel of the year.’
…feeling Analel’s ever had: A telepathic ascetic from the Academy’s all-girls sister seminary, she’s suddenly sharing a psychic connection with the boy Academic, Kelerin, in a way that should not be possible.
…accomplishment of Jonas’ career: The valiant Academic has returned victorious from the Mandate Race, but at what cost, and future consequence?
…opportunity of Bar-Kas’ one-man-war against the Islands: The Second Son of the Mainland has waited long for this moment, to avenge his brother’s blood honor.
…and all of Osmos will never be the same for any of it.

Chick Here to purchase Wave Mandate

A Stalled Ox (1888 novellas) by Dean Moses
imageTwitter: @DeanMoses
Website: 1888.center.com

A Stalled Ox, looks at faith, human consumption, morality, addiction, and the basics of human desires all wrapped up in a neat package of satirically coated horror and suspense. A short synopsis: An isolated religious cult has reportedly been consuming meat while the rest of the planet has been forced to live a life without it. Presuming this sect has resorted to cannibalism, two agents from an organization known simply as The Agency are dispatched to investigate. Will they find evidence of humans eating one another? Or is something even stranger taking place?

Click here to purchase A Stalled Ox (1888 novellas)

Sugar Time by Joy V. Smith
imageWebsite: Joyvsmith.com
Twitter:  @JoyVSmith
Pinterest:  Pinterest.com/joyvsmith/
Facebook: Facebook.com/JoyVSmith

Her name is Sugar. Sugar Sweet. When her Uncle Max falls ill and his collaborators disappear, he asks her to investigate the old Victorian mansion where he conducted his research–inventing a working time machine. Sugar must act quickly to unlock the secret of time travel so she can set things right and dispose of the bodies… She really could use the help of the police who showed up, her time travel techie, and those aliens… Sugar Time collects all four of Joy V. Smith’s Sugar Sweet stories into one volume.

Click here to purchase Sugar Time

That’s it for this week.

 

 

A Short Review for The Grownup

The Grownup

imageAuthor: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Crown (November 2015)
Pages 64
Website: Gillian-flynn.com
Twitter: gillianflynn

This will not be a very long review. The Grownup is actually not a very long novel.

64 Pages. Give or take. I think the actual story started on page 6, (9% through the novel) so…that happened.

I could attempt to give you a rundown on this mini-thriller’s plot, setting, themes and characters. However, if I did, it would spoil about 1/3 of the length of the actual novel. A common rule I have: reviews should not be longer than the actual novel. To avoid actually giving away too much of this very short story that you’ll probably pay anywhere between $12 for the hard cover and $2.99 for the Kindle version for, I will just say the following:

Do you like ghost stories?

Did you like reading any of the other novels Gillian Flynn wrote, including the hugely famous, suspenseful and successful Gone Girl?

Do you like Flynn’s first person writing style, her fast paced storytelling and how she keeps readers guessing and second-guessing with twists and red herrings?

Do you like George R. R. Martin…you know, the guy who’s famous for the extremely long winded, 1,000 page tomes that make up the Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) series? (He asked Flynn to write him a story. This is that story.)

Do you like reading a full novel (or more appropriately a Novella) in about an hour and a half (leaving time to stop, grab a pop, go let the dog out and check Facebook for any messages)?

Are you trying to finish up a Goodreads Reading Challenge and need just one more book?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then read The Grownup by Gillian Flynn. It’s a fun, thrilling tale. My only complaint is that it could have been longer. There was enough good material here for a full length novel. The ending felt rushed and vague. Ok, that’s actually a couple of complaints.

Addendum #1: If you are planning to read this novel on a three or four hour flight across the country, you’d better bring another book.

Addendum #2: I received a free copy of this book from BloggingForBooks.com in exchange for a fair and honest review. That said, I’m glad I didn’t pay $12 for the mini-book format of this novella.

As short stories or novellas go, The Grownup is a good 4 out of 5 stars.

To purchase a copy of The Grownup by Gillian Flynn, CLICK HERE.