The Shining, Shining Path

Carroll Dale Short, Author
Carroll Dale Short, Author Black Belt Press $24 (400p) ISBN 978-1-881320-59-3
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Paperback - 393 pages - 978-1-58838-071-5
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As this boldly imaginative metaphysical adventure opens, Turner, a rock concert promoter from Alabama, is touring the South with a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks who, gifted with paranormal powers, are performing sacred music and dance while awaiting the final, imminent showdown between the forces of good and evil. Turner, who befriended the monks 20 years earlier while convalescing from wounds received in Vietnam, has been chosen by them as ``the Hope,'' the only person who can tilt the apocalyptic showdown in favor of morality, tolerance and right living over greed and inner blindness. Through flashbacks we learn of Turner's searing combat experience and of his guilt-ridden obsession with former girlfriend Cassie McNamara, who, two decades earlier, drove her car off a road while on drugs--an accident that crippled her and for which Turner feels responsible. Joining the odd road show is an African American mathematician who uses quantum physics to manipulate reality. Through a global monitoring device, the monks show Turner that the face-off will take place on his grandparents' Alabama farm, where he grew up. Though the plot is contrived and the story sometimes drags, readers may find this spiritual odyssey provocative in its synthesis of Judeo-Christian messianic traditions and Eastern cyclical concepts of history. Short, who won a Redbook prize for young authors a few years back, takes risks in a single sentence or paragraph that many authors never attempt in an entire novel. (Sept.)
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