Archive | April 24, 2007

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician: A Novel

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician
by Daniel Wallace
http://www.danielwallace.org/
ISBN:  978-0-305-52109-3  $21.95
Doubleday
Fiction, July 2007
Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

The stories setting is a rural southern one, and the story occurs in the middle of the twentieth century.  It begins in May of 1954, Henry is just a boy and he meets with a devilish magician named Mr. Sebastian.  Mr. Sebastian teaches Henry magic and all the secrets pertaining to the magic.  But at what price will Henry have to pay for those magic lessons?

Daniel Wallace is a master story teller and we eventually learn the true identities of Henry and Mr. Sebastian and the tragic events that occurred throughout the story.  The story is told by many of the different characters, and Wallace has a skill of using each of these characters in telling Henry’s story. 

Wallace writes with impact and the story is superbly crafted with twists and turns leaving you with a great sense of anticipation, making this a real page turner.  The conclusion is one that will leave you breathless.

Daniel Wallace was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended Emory University and the University of North Carolina, and now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife and son.  Daniel Wallace is the author of Four novels: Mr. Sebastian and The Negro Magician, Big Fish, Ray in Reverse  and The Watermelon King.   And Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, will be published by Doubleday in July 2007.

The Opium Of The People

The Opium of the People

The Opium Of The People
by J Alan Erwine
www.jalanerwine.com
Nomadic Delirium Press
ISBN: 1-4196-2588-8   $15.99
Fiction,  156 pages
Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews

The Opium Of The People is the third edition of the novel to be printed.  Along with corrections made to the two prior editions there was a change to the cover art, the cover is a piece from the artist Laura Givens entitled “Come to Jesus”.

 The Opium Of The People’s basic premise of the novel was intriguing.  This is a story of how the world as we know it could very well change.  What if the American government was overthrown, what would we or could we do?  The author tells a story of the American people falling under the control of what he calls “a radical right-wing fundamentalist christian government”.  This new government is ruled by the Grand Patriarchs who take away freedom and enforces a law that we would never have imagined possible.  He tells of a world full of gloom, torture and one filled with danger for all.  He also tells of how the best of people must resort to extreme measures in an effort to regain control of their futures before its too late.  Or is it too late?  You will have to pick up a copy and read this one for yourself, as mentioned at the beginning of the review this is the third printing of the title and was originally written and published before the current crisis we face now happened.

J Alan Erwine has a plot line that is creative, and he exhibits excellent writing skills and can effectively tell a story.  The characters are multidimensional and realistic.  Although the book still has a few errors and typos, it is very well written.

J Alan Erwine currently resides in Colorado.  He has published more than three dozen short stories and has published 2 short story collections.