Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Opposite of Art Book Review

SUMMARY:  A great artist is cast into the icy Harlem River by a hit-and-run driver.  His heart stops, and he sees something that defies description.  Presumed dead by all who knew him and obsessed with the desire to paint the inexpressible, he embarks on a pilgrimage to seek help from holy men around the globe.  But is it possible to see eternity without becoming lost within it?  After a quarter of a century, when the world begins to whisper that he may be alive, two people come looking for the artist:  the daughter he never knew existed and the murderer who hit him on the bridge all those years ago.

REVIEW:  Ridler's pursuit of painting "Glory" takes him all over the world, talking to holy men and trying to understand the different religions in hopes he can capture what it was he saw while in the river.  After many years of study and questions, each times he becomes disillusioned and is still unable to put this image to canvas.  While he is off in his pursuit, his daughter becomes a famous art critic concerning his previous paintings (in his death, his painting from before have become major and very expensive collectables).
    The way the author shows the depth of Ridler's religious study in his pursuit of the unattainable and how each time the "religion" fails him is different from anything else I've read.  One thing I found troubling was when Ridler chose to study Christianity, no mention of Jesus is made except in reference to the Shroud of Turin.  His focus was on the art of the images of God, not the study of Christianity itself.  I like how the author brought the people in the story full circle.  This was an interesting book, not one I normally read but good.

This book was provided by Glass Road Public Relations for review without compensation.

Athol Dickson is the author of seven novels and the bestselling memoir The Gospel According to Moses.  His novels of suspense and magical realism have been honored with three Christy Awards and an Audie Award and have been compared to the work of Octavia Butler (by Publishers Weekly) and Flannery O'Connor (by The New York Times).  He and his wife live in Southern California.

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