ZACHARIAS O’BRYANGUEST REVIEW
Today, Iwould like to introduce a guest book reviewer, Zacharias O’Bryan, who is goingto share his thoughts about Abrupt Edge by Angus Brownfield. Please take amoment to check out the book on Amazon HERE
ABRUPT EDGE, a novel by ANGUS BROWNFIELD
Reviewed by Zacharias O’Bryan
A merely good read has a way of carving the fatout of our thinking, allowing us to rediscover longtime truths we’ve alwaysknown. A great read, on the otherhand, entices us to discover brand new truths. Abrupt Edge, recently released as an e-book by Angus Brownfield,accomplishes both.
As a literary genre, Abrupt Edge defies classification. E-bookvendor sites (both Amazon.com and Smashwords.com), classify Abrupt Edge as “literary fiction.” Okay,but it could just as well be called a Thriller, a War Story, a Coming-of-AgeStory, an Erotic Tale, a Feminist Tale, or a Parable. A partial list of themeswould include: Freedom, Vengeance, Hubris, Marriage, Religion, Paradise, Hell,Womanhood, Manhood and Sex. I could go on… but after about three items, lists boreme. So let’s skip the classification…
… and move along to theset-up:
In a cultishreligious compound in a fictitious corner of the Nevada desert there live twobrothers. From childhood, both have wanted the most desirable female inhabitingtheir isolated world. She is intelligent, beautiful, graceful, and—like Helenof Troy—quite willing to tempt others toward violence.
The brothers quarrel,of course. Years pass. Both mature into powerful men: one a clone of theirdomineering father (an old-line polygamous Mormon patriarch), the other a chiefexecutive of a very American pleasure palace: food, drink, fountains and sex.Only a wire fence divides one brother’s empire from the other.
The brothers knowneither compromise nor forgiveness. They compete not only for limited water,but for the most important resource of all: the human bodies and souls that hadheretofore comprised their late father’s faithful band. The brothers’ quarrelis basic, existential. Only one can survive. When the treasured daughter of theMormon community pledges her life to the sensualists, war is in the air. (Darewe call it a”Trojan War?”)
Yet there is beauty. Asin Lysistrata, most of the women bearwitness to a shimmering redemption that lies just beyond reach—perhaps even withinreach. We read, we turn pages, and we hope.
Negatives: After rivetingour attention with his early chapters, Brownfield takes a one-or-two-chapterbreather to fill us in with back story and lost years. The story bogs downhere, but only a tad. Also (at least at the time of this review) the book coulduse a more compelling cover. Yeah, well… so what?
Caveats: adultsubject matter / scenes. The very young and those whose “minds are made up” onall matters religious and sexual need not apply.
I don’t care for theone-to-five-star rating system popularized by Amazon et al, but Brownfield’s AbruptEdge is my favorite new book of 2011. So for those readers with a celestialorientation, I’ll go 5-Star.