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In a continuation of my series of book reviews written my Kosack's, I offer The Wrong God written by  Paul Guthrie, a.k.a parallex.


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Miracles, science, faith, and not to mention fear of commitment after a recently failed marriage are all themes this book addresses. How devotedly do you hold your faith? Would you still hold them if you were tortured and your love ones threatened?

In an all to familiar America where money and religion pulls the strings of power, Guthrie has created a tale of miracles, faith and science.

Set in a not so distant future, a super rich industrialist creates a religious organization as a means to advance his drive for power and money. Preying on the faith of Christians he orchestrates a religious war against the Muslim - a new crusade. To further his goal of control of oil and power, he forms a Christian Army. But there is a bit of resistance in Congress to fund his Holy War. He needs a new messiah.

Meanwhile, John a brilliant physicist, unexpectedly discovered that he can move things with his mind. Convinced that this new found 'power' is an explainable new physics, he seeks out his old college friend Andy to help him document the phenomenon.

Andy is our reluctant hero. He plays his Taiko drums in his San Francisco basement and writes science articles. The timing was not perfect for John's visit. Andy and his new girlfriend are just starting to get serious. Maybe they should move in together? Obsessed with John's new physics, Andy is unaware where this miracle will take him and Rachel.

The industrialist, Mr. Murchison, learns of John and realizes his value. He calls John and Andy to a meeting Washington D.C. The message is clear from Murchison, the new found power is a miracle from God, and John is to be the new Messiah to lead his crusade. John, who is not aware of any message from God, resists. He runs away, convinced that his only salvation is to find others who have the same power.

Murchison, denied John, latches onto Andy as his only tool to capture his 'Messiah.'  He and a handful of the super rich run the country, pick the presidents, but the trappings of democracy deny them the glory they so richly deserve. He can make Andy's life a living hell, or offer him riches beyond his wildest dreams.

Guthrie's book is so descriptive that it truly puts you into the story. You can picture in your minds eye where Rachel stands at the top of the stairs, where the ruts in the grass are from the fundamentalist car tires, the sound of the practice drum as Andy strikes it, and the deer path behind his house. Wrapped in a political thriller, he creates a book where you care about the characters. No doubt the insightful commentary on contemporary politics is important, but it is the relationship between Rachel and Andy, or the hug of a trusted friend at the airport, that will keep you reading. The book leaves you wondering what the future holds for Andy and Rachel. What brave new world and adversities do they face? The story ends at the beginning of an adventure, not the end.

What is the nature of miracles, science and faith? Can mere mortals find love and happiness in a world where money trumps both faith and science for their own agenda?

[edited to fix a not so minor mea culpa on character's names.]

Originally posted to se portland on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 03:13 PM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 03:13:51 PM PDT

  •  Automatic rec for your handle alone. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland, Temmoku, RiveroftheWest

    Now to read the piece... ;)

    It is more important to be a confident and articulate speaker than to know jack shit about anything.

    by VictorLaszlo on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 03:29:20 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the review (7+ / 0-)

    One thing...the girl is named Rachel, not Kate.
    I'm glad you liked it.

    •  Oy veh! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Temmoku, RiveroftheWest

      Kate is the ex wife! :-0

      In the words of John Chalk, 'Say Hi to Kate for me." And offer my apologizes to Rachel - and - and - Andy.

      But that is  why I liked your book. It was about real people. There is another book there you know. I was being honest about the ending being a beginning. What happens to Rachel and Andy next? Does John recover and how is he changed?

      It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

      by se portland on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:43:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll edit... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Temmoku, RiveroftheWest

        It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

        by se portland on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:44:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  another book... (5+ / 0-)

        Yeah, I know...I have basic notes for two sequels. Being an indie author is hard on the psyche. It's difficult to summon the gumption to start the next one when the first has not found much of an audience. That's why I am so grateful for reviews, like yours...gives me a deep breath.

        I have been playing around with some short stories set in the same "universe" where ordinary magic works.  I have published one, called "The Rule." It's free on B&N and Smashwords, $.99 on Amazon, which does not do free.

        •  You are a good writer. I was reading an Agatha (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          Christie book, and I really wasn't sure if the door was to the left or right.

          Descriptive writing is important. Rereading Melville's Typee, I am stuck by how much he describes the world around him. It is important as a writer to establish that universal link with the reader. Stream of conscientiousness is great, but if you can't see the tape on the drum stick, it can get lost.

          You tell a good story that everyone can identify with. Your spider episode was perhaps best. You can see the spider and feel the bite. The emotional response of crushing the spider after it bites you, is something we can all identify with, because we saw the spider and experienced the bite.

          It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

          by se portland on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:59:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  another book... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        se portland, Temmoku, RiveroftheWest

        Yeah, I know...I have basic notes for two sequels. Being an indie author is hard on the psyche. It's difficult to summon the gumption to start the next one when the first has not found much of an audience. That's why I am so grateful for reviews, like yours...gives me a deep breath.

        I have been playing around with some short stories set in the same "universe" where ordinary magic works.  I have published one, called "The Rule." It's free on B&N and Smashwords, $.99 on Amazon, which does not do free.

        •  Hunh? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          se portland, Temmoku, RiveroftheWest

          Don't know why that last got repeated.

        •  Writing a novel is an incredible amount of work! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, No Exit

          Even if you love the act of writing, that's an awful lot of writing, and an awful lot of time you can't be investing in your day job (if any) or family or Sig-O or cleaning the house or just sitting around in the springtime sun.  And even if you're destined to be awesomely famous one of these days, you're not getting much feedback right now, so I'm not at all surprised that you're having a hard time contemplating a second novel soon after finishing the first.

          Maybe some short stories are a good idea.

          Have you considered submitting to science fiction magazines or sites?  A slightly altered version of our world plays into many sf stories and novels.  And a world in which someone can not only value science but be a brilliant scientist, and yet find himself ...umm ... moving things with his mind...  yeah, that fits with certain strains of sf. And short stories are primarily what they're looking for.

          You might also try sf sites and blogs for reviews, if you have review copies you can send out.  

          I'd suggest some sites, but my (peripheral) involvement with sf fandom was some years back, so I'm not at all current.  But one of the great things about sf & f back then was that there was a sense of community and involvement, so authors got more feedback from their readers than most do. That could be nice for a writer just getting estabished.

          And maybe you've thought of all of this already. :)  If you haven't, I'm sure that there are people here on DKos who could give you some leads.  Even the semi-pro magazines and sites would give you exposure (tho no money), and feedback from readers.

          Good luck.  ANd you should feel proud of what you've accomplished.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 04:04:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Short stories (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            I have been working on one for quite a while now, but it just won't come together, so those can be a lot of work too. It doesn't do any good to have a lovely little plot twist if a character has to do something...out of character. I am always very pleased when a reviewer says that my characters seem like real people. There was a piece in yesterday's NYT on John Le Carre in which the reporter praised his ability to sketch a character's entire life and personality in a couple of sentences. That is a trick I have not mastered.

            Thanks for the encouragement.

  •  Republished to Readers & Book Lovers. Sounds like (5+ / 0-)

    an interesting book, let's get more eyes on it.

    Thanks for the review, you have whetted my appetite.

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty - Edward R. Murrow

    by Susan Grigsby on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 10:03:10 PM PDT

  •  Congrats to parallax/Paul Guthrie (5+ / 0-)

    on his new book.  Wish you much success!

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:45:52 AM PDT

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