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C H Edwards
on May 15, 2013 :
Darkness and desire . . .
I have agonised over writing a review for this book, my words just don’t seem to flow, I feel somehow inadequate for this task. The shadows of things unsaid and the impact of the things that are, memories and ghosts, fears and desires, darkness and light . . . This is quite a deep, and at times disturbing, tale with characters real enough to fall in love with. It is probably best for me to leave it there and let you dig deeper into it yourselves, you won’t regret it. All that’s left for me to say is – Thank you, Ruby Barnes, for writing the best book I have read in a long time!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Mallory Heart Reviews
on Jan. 29, 2012 :
Fascinating! Utterly riveting; I couldn’t take my eyes off the page. Devouring the novel, I marveled at the protagonist/narrator: so self-referential, so self-convinced of his right-doing (regardless of legality or moral value), yet in some ways so emotionally immature and childlike, easily led by certain others, readily induced to act in ways which are not beneficial-for himself or for those near him. His character is a fascinating psychological study, intertwined as it is with various religious allusions and overtones.
Author Ruby Barnes gives us a masterful portrayal of the protagonist, John-from the inside through first-person narrative, and from the outside, as in later life he develops an obsession with a sort of friend. Through this individual, Feargal, we see John as if we were watching him in a mirror, for he is a reflection of the better parts of John’s own personality and character. (Spoiler: I shall refrain from going into further detail about John’s discovery of Feargal and his intent to befriend him, for those who have not yet been fortunate enough to read this story.)
John is on a tight-wire by midlife, balancing demands of his inherited business, his wife and family, and what passes for normalcy, against his medications (which he often forgoes), his friendship with the elusive (now you see him, now you don’t) young Feargal, and remembrance of his mission to eradicate the spawn of Satan-those over whom John spies a red halo. While on the outside he appears to maintain, on the inside forgotten memories and actions, and behavior patterns he had earlier set aside, are beginning to taunt him in ways he does not understand.
“The Baptist” is a powerfully written, strongly-motivated novel, one that could be read and reread and new layers of meaning would be discovered on each reading. Rarely have I seen a protagonist dealt with in so scrupulous and fascinating a manner as Author Barnes delivers John to the reader. Amazing novel!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Dec. 25, 2011 :
This is a book that I could not put down. This story gave us a peek into the unstable life of a mentally ill person and his friends, and what happens when he stops takings his meds. This book has and ending not expected. I have read other works by Ruby Barnes and he is a wonderful author can not wait to read more by this author.
(reviewed long after purchase)