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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Review of The Book of Paul
Richard Long has managed to create an extremely intricately detailed story here. I really enjoyed reading this novel and I'm happy that I was given the opportunity to read this novel. I was anxious to read this book and now that I have, I can say that my wait was worth it.
The Book of Paul consists of a lot of short, but really good, short chapters. It also has a 1st-person view point that is narrated by a key player in the story as well. The story begins with Martin, a deeply disturbed character that seems like he may be the next Dahmer or crazy lunatic practicing how to smile. As you read on, Martin's levels of character begin to really show and a deep sense of caring for him is what the reader will feel for him. We are also introduced to Rose. Rose initially seems like a gothic tattoo and body modification artist with serious problems, but she too is very dimensional as the book progresses. These two meet and then the story flourishes.
Most of the book consists of Paul, of the Kelly Clan, trying to get the characters in the book to follow his command so that he can fulfill his destiny. Piece by piece, Long reveals how everyone in the story are connected. Even how the (disembodied- for at least a while) narrator is connected. Rose and Martin are forced to hide from someone who appears to be invincible for the sake of love.
The thing most riveting about this novel is all the description Long puts into the novel regarding the books' past, tarot cards, Clan lineage, reincarnation, and body modification. I tried paying close attention because it seemed like I was given so much information and I didn't want to miss a word. There are no characters in this novel that don't matter which is something I loved. It's rare in novels not to have miscellaneous or unnecessary characters who do nothing to move the story forward. This book does not waste one page with someone who doesn't matter to the plot or the "becoming".
Overall, I don't really know who to compare this book to because it is very unique. I have not read anything like it and I appreciate Long for releasing this book into the fray. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good puzzle with a hefty serving of blood, guts, thrills, the occult, and supernatural. This book is one that demands attention and I was happy to give it.