Monday, October 31, 2011

The Opposite of Art by Athol Dickson

The Opposite of Art

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.

My Review

Ok... first off, I'd have to say that I struggled with the idea of this book being a 'christian' book. Within the first few pages I found myself debating if I should keep reading. Obviously, I did. I committed to review it... so I continued. It certainly isn't your typical christain novel, but it does accurately portray a person in search of Someone greater than himself. It is true to real life... none of us get 'prettied up' before we are saved and many of us will delve into a myriad of things in search for the Truth. This is the story of one such person. That being said, it was pretty mild. No need for an 'R' rating, it just has more of a secular tone.

The christian issues aside... Athol Dickson did an incredible job of writing with such great detail that I had perfectly vivid images in my mind throughout most of the book. On occasion I felt as if the author has given a bit too much information, but when I reached the end of the scene, I was left with no doubt as to what he was trying to portray. His words were like that of a painter.

The characters are a very colorful cast. Ridler, the tormented painter... Suzanna, the girlfriend he left behind... Graves, the man who sold his paintings while robbing him blind... along with a host of others from many cultures who help to tell about Ridler's journey in search of the Glory.

The story is well written. It becomes very intense at times as you feel the torment and anguish of Ridler as he continues his quest for the Glory even though he isn't quite sure what the Glory is. The story will take you all over the world with action and adventure and gives you a strong sense of what the characters are feeling. It isn't a quick read. At times it seemed a bit much... but it kept me coming back until the end.

I enjoyed it. I think I'm going to try another Athol Dickson novel. 

*Thank you, Glass Road Productions, for providing me with a copy of this book and allowing me to be a part of your review program! :)

About Athol Dickson

Athol Dickson is the publisher of the popular news website,, 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.

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