The Book of Paul

Richard Long, Author
Richard Long. Open Eyes, $19.95 paper (492p) ISBN 978-0-615-64864-4
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Like graphic depictions of violence against women and sententious mythological blather? Then this is the book for you. New York City neighbors Rose and Martin have a chance encounter and quickly develop a passionate affair. Their relationship has more than the usual challenges given that Martin's father is a master sadist who believes his violence is part of a larger plan: clan war linked to prophecies leading up to Armageddon. It's conceivable that the right author could employ gripping prose and well-realized characters to generate reader investment in a story line that most people would find distasteful. That doesn't happen here. Instead of inspiring fear and creating suspense, graphic scenes (e.g., when a person's eyelids are nailed open) repel rather than engage.
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