"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."
Magical realism and Christian fiction - The Opposite of Art shows that these are not mutually exclusive concepts! Strange and exaggerated - yet somehow familiar - elements abound in this unique and brightly painted canvas of a novel. Dickson's writing is beautiful with all of its symbolism and mystique, serving as a great candidate for meaningful discussion and contemplation.
Ridler, the world-renowned artist, is a man on a mission. His goal is to paint the Glory that he felt in the instant he was flung from a bridge and cast into frigid waters. While the world considers him dead he travels all over in dogged pursuit of something he can't even define and can't seem to paint - a fact that fuels his wanderlust and an ever-increasing depression. After his abrupt "demise" the reader is introduced to him many years later, back in the United States and working with an unusual and wondrous circus troupe. It is through his stories to his circus friends and his flashbacks that the reader journeys with Ridler on his religion-hopping quest.
As much as Ridler's actions suggest otherwise, his life and art affect more than just himself. The man who tried to kill him, the woman he loves, the daughter he never knew, and various other people are all impacted by his struggles and uncertainty. So, too, the reader is one of the many who gets swept away into another world created by Ridler's art - and ultimately the opposite of it.
With its mature themes, violence, drug references, and sexual innuendoes, The Opposite of Art is not an easy piece to read. And with its wide array of symbols, it is not an easy piece to understand or dissect. But it is an intellectually stimulating and provocative read that is very well-crafted, intriguing, and surprising.
*With thanks to the publisher and Glass Road PR for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
About the Author:
"Athol Dickson is the publisher of the popular news website, DailyCristo.com, and 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 compared to the work of Octavia Butler (by Publisher’s Weekly) and Flannery O’Connor (by The New York Times). He and his wife live in Southern California."
You can learn more about the author and his books at his website.
And you can buy his book now at Amazon.com!
*This week's book review does not include a giveaway.*