I really enjoyed this book and give it five stars. It is different than anything I have ever read. It is a story of redemption, so there are a few grisly bits to demonstrate what was healed and overcome, but I found the premise inspired, the unfolding struggle and development interesting, and the ending satisfying but not exactly as I expected. I did not find the few unlikely mystical aspects necessary to the story, but neither did I find them too distracting. The main character, in trying to paint the “Glory,” or great Truth, God, travels the world in search of it. In the process, he comes close to death many times before learning to truly live.
The writing I found to be excellent. Here are a two examples:
“Pollen layered the air like smoke within a shuttered room, illuminated only by a few bars of sunlight that managed to penetrated the jungle’s canopy and understory… Grass and bushes thrived in the cracks along the walls. Massive trees astride the rooftops sent roots as thick as a man’s thigh down around the lichen-spotted stone to flow without motion in a testament to passing time, as if poured in molten streams which had solidified into an implacable embrace.”
“Standing halfway between Carlsbad and El Paso, he wrote the address on the shipping label. The ballpoint pen he used was attached by a beaded metal chain to the post office countertop, which was fastened to a wooden cabinet, which was connected to the building foundation, which clung somehow to mother earth. Ridler held the planet on a tether. The responsibility weighed heavily on him. He wrote carefully.”
I understand all too well the drive to paint the “Glory.” I share this quest, which probably contributed to my enjoyment of this book. Nevertheless, I’d recommend it to anyone regardless of art or spiritual background, as an enjoyable read in its own right.