Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

David Maine Blog Tour: Review of Fallen and Preview of Gamble of the Godless

Welcome to the David Maine Blog Tour
This tour is the brainchild of Lori Hettler of TNBBC's The Next Best Book Blog and novelist David Maine. What happens when a successful, well-published writer decides that now it's time for something entirely different? I'll let David explain that himself, here, in his guest post for Lori "On Being Indie."

The Blog Tour is a kick-off for the publication of David's new book, released in ebook format only: The Gamble of the Godless: The Chronicles of Avin Book IGamble is a Sci-Fi creation on an epic scale, the first in a series David plans. Check out Lori's Introductory Blog Post here for details on the entire blog tour.  Don't forget to visit the next stop on the blog tour tomorrow (Thursday, August 24) at BookSexyReview where Tara Cheesman will review The Gamble of the Godless.

Review of Fallen by Davide Maine

by David Maine
published 2005

What could make a man murder his own brother? Why would one brother be favored and the other brother rejected? What would it be like to commit the first sin, to taste of forbidden fruit, to be cast out of paradise?

The stories of Genesis are so primal most of us know them on a cellular level. The first act of human disobedience. The clash between two brothers in the original family of original sinners. The stories are almost too powerful. How does a writer take stories that nearly every reader thinks he knows and bring them to life?

David Maine does it by creating characters who are achingly human. The psychological acuity of Maine's writing is astonishing. Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve, and all their offspring, become flesh and blood on the pages of Fallen.

Maine tells the story of the first murder, beginning many years after, with an aging, cranky, and surly Cain hiding from the world in the home of his son Enoch (Henoch in Maine's telling). The narrative of the murder is told backward, adding to the suspense. Abel is poignantly innocent and naive. Cain is strangely attractive, even when he is being sullen, resentful, and mean. The murderous act is sorrowful and inevitable in this telling.

Book I of Fallen tells the story of Cain as an old man, living in exile, and shows how he became that old man. Maine imagines an entire lifetime for Cain, the full story of his life before and after the murder, his life wandering, wearing the infamous mark, his marriage and family life. Book II is the story of the two brothers growing up, the rivalries and misunderstandings and resentments-all of the events and emotions leading to the murderous act. Finally, in Book III, we get the story of the original fall. This was my favorite part of the novel: Adam and Eve are like two rebellious teenagers who are caught and cast out by their father.The journey away from paradise is enthralling: Maine captures the aching sense of loss (especially for Adam), the confusion and helplessness, and Eve's pragmatic acceptance.

Fallen is absolutely captivating. The characters, cast out into the wilderness, are lost, human, fleshly and real. Eve's experience of childbirth is brilliantly imagined, and Maine's telling casts a human and humane light on the story of Cain. Fallen is one of those books that stays with you. Weeks after reading it, I find myself thinking about the characters and scenes.

David Maine is one of the most original writers I have encountered. His imagination seems to be of biblical proportions, and maybe that's why he's chosen to tell biblical stories in The Preservationist, Fallen, and The Book of Sampson. Maine switched genres with Monster, 1959. Now he is switching genres and formats, with his sci-fi epic fantasy The Gamble of the Godless: The Chronicles of Avin Book I, published in ebook format. I find David Maine's writing to be intriguing, entertaining and compelling, so I'm ready to take a leap into the sci-fi genre with a writer whose work I respect. I'm reading Gamble even as you read this, and I can tell you that so far I'm not disappointed. A full review will appear as soon as I finish reading. In the meantime, you can hop on over to Tara's BookSexyReview on Thursday. Or check out Steve Himmer's blog for a guest post and review. Or Michael Davidson's review of Gamble at The Open End.


Audra said...

Wow -- SF for Maine! My wife loved his take on the biblical books and really found him inventive and creative -- I'll see if I can sell her on his SF.

David Maine said...

Hi Audra-- If either you or your wife would like a review copy of GoG, give me a shout. I'm on Facebook & Twitter, or you can leave a comment on my blog: http://davidmaine.blogspot.com. Thanks for your kind interest...

Anonymous said...

I definitely must get to reading 'Fallen' sooner rather than later. Great review!

bibliophiliac said...

@Audra-thanks for your comment! And look at the wonderful Dave Maine offering you a review copy for your wife! How can you pass that up?

bibliophiliac said...

@mandythebookworm-Fallen is highly recommended. I'll have my review of Godless up soon-so far I love it.

michael davidson said...

Fallen does sound excellent. I feel like most stories, whether they mean to or not, are a spinoff of something in the Bible. There's just so much in there. I'm thinking of Leviticus.

Kenneth said...

Fallen seems like a very interesting thing to read. It would be great to get a fictional glimpse of what might have happened to Adam's family after those events in the Genesis.

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