Tag Archives: edward patterson

Book Review – The Road to Grafenwohr

The Road to Grafenwohr – One of my favorite Patterson Novels

Rating: 5 of 5 stars, TMBOA Recommended!

Author: Edward C. Patterson
Format: Kindle, Paperback

Traveling to his unit in post war Germany, Quincy Summerson finds the locals, their heritage, language, architecture, and culture fascinating.  They too, find him of great interest given the unique birthmark displayed prominently on his cheek which legend portends it to be a harbinger for both great evil and good.  Quincy’s journey takes him further and further into heart of Bavaria as visions begin to plague him.  As they increase in frequency and violence Quincy learns he has been called not just to serve the United States but an even higher purpose.

Readers may be initially turned off by the title of Patterson’s latest work.  But I must say, this was one of my favorites from him.  Patterson takes his expert prose and characterization skills and infuses them into an intriguing setting of a young man stationed in Germany during the height of the cold war with an eclectic group of roommates where everyone prays to avoid reassignment to Vietnam—except for one man.  Sprinkle in some fantasy elements and Patterson has created a genre I’ve not previously experienced but very much enjoyed.

The plot is very tight and the storyline moves.  If you already are a Patterson fan, I think you will definitely enjoy The Road to Grafenwohr.  If you’ve never read him and you are looking for something different, give this one a try – you won’t be disappointed.

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Review – Turning Idolater

Turning Idolater – Literary Fiction for the Internet Age

Rating: 4 of 5

Author: Edward C Patterson
Available: Paperback, Kindle

Emotionally distraught after finding male pornography in her son’s room, Philip Flaxen’s mother shares her discovery with her husband. Ashamed and disgusted with this revelation, Philip’s father disowns his son, kicks him out of his only home, and warns him to never return. Philip turns to his only friend, Robert Spraque – “Sprakie” – who takes him into his apartment. Sprakie introduces him to the seedy world of adult internet sites where Philip can get work by “baring it all” in order to stay off the streets.

Online, Philip encounters a “customer” different from his normal patrons – this client is well educated, articulate, and thoughtful. Intrigued, Philip breaks all the rules to meet this man face to face in hopes of kindling a romance. As it turns out, Philip’s admirer is an extremely successful though considerable older author. A May-December romance ensues yet both men struggle with their very different backgrounds and social strata. Each consider whether they should turn idolater or leave love behind. Meanwhile, a series of cold blooded murders involving Philip’s acquaintances occur and neither Philip nor his lover realize that their choice for love is also a life or death decision.

In “Turning Idolater”, Edward C Patterson has create a novel best described as contemporary literary fiction. Inspired and anchored by Melville’s “Moby Dick”, Patterson explores the social mores impacting two men drawn to one another yet kept from complete commitment due to the fabric of their very different backgrounds and colliding realities.

Through Patterson’s lyrical prose and keen understanding of the human condition, he creates characters so real I felt as if I was reading a memoir. Frequent reference to literary classics and intricate and loving descriptions of priceless book restoration invite the reader into a contemporary equivalent of a Jane Austen  novel. Fans of Patterson’s work will certainly enjoy Turning Idolater.

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Review – The Jade Owl

The Jade OwlJames Clavell meets Indiana Jones in this China Mystery!

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Author: Edward C. Patterson
Available: Paperback, Kindle

After relocating from New York City to take on the position of a lifetime, sinologist Professor Rowden Gray learns upon his arrival that his position at the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture has been eliminated. Furious with the last minute turn of events, Gray stumbles upon Nick Battle who is none other than the son of Gray’s long time mentor – John Battle. Gray finds that Nick possesses The Jade Owl an ancient Chinese relic previously believed to be the stuff of legend. They discover that The Jade Owl may open a sister relic The Joy of Finches held captive in the Museum’s Asian display. Together they find The Jade Owl to be more than a relic, but the key to finding the lost tomb of the only empress to rule over the middle kingdom – Wu Tze-t’ien.

An eclectic expedition team including Gray, Nick, Nick’s life partner and drag queen – Simone, a one-eyed Cherokee – Griffen, and Chinese American martial arts expert – Audrey, set out to return The Jade Owl to the empress. However, the Owl reveals itself to be much more than a relic, but a vessel for controlling, channeling, and altering Chi creating unspeakable power. These China Hands must return the Owl in time or unleash it’s dangers to the world.

In The Jade Owl, Edward C. Patterson does a masterful job at taking the reader deep into a journey of China’s cultural treasures. The history, foods, people, architecture, politics, even aromas of Hong Kong, Canton, Shanghai, Beijing, Guilin, are carefully and beautifully conveyed and Patterson’s expertise in this area shines. He has also created characters so real that one feels they are reading a diary of life experiences as opposed to fictional fantasy. As a result, The Jade Owl has all of the intrigue and interest of an Indiana Jones mystery but is grounded in the reality of true to life characters making it more satisfying in the end.

My only hesitation to giving this novel 5 stars was the lack of conflict and action driving the first half of the book. While the mystery of The Jade Owl is the backbone of the story, it seemed to fade to the background in the first half in favor of the rich cultural excursions the expedition team took as they traveled China. None-the-less, this is a very satisfying read and Patterson is a very accomplished writer.

For those looking for the cultural intrigue of the middle kingdom and a fantastical mystery involving ancient relics of a long forgotten empress, The Jade Owl delivers. It is the first of the five book Jade Owl legacy.

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