Tim Davis

Jack O'Connell's new novel, The Resurrectionist, invites readers to willingly suspend their disbelief as they are drawn into a world dominated by terror and tragedy, fantasy and reality, and hopes and dreams. Upon entering the novel's paradoxical world, readers are introduced to Sweeney, a widowed father from Cleveland, and Danny, Sweeney's six-year-old son, who languishes in a coma following an unspecified accident. Newly arrived at the Peck Clinic near Quinsigamond in Massachusetts, Danny—as patient—and Sweeney—as the clinic's newly hired pharmacist—are relying upon the clinic's extraordinary claims that doctors there have successfully used experimental therapies to "resurrect" patients who had previously been lost within the unfathomable oblivion of comas.

As readers are introduced to a singular assortment of people at the clinic (obsessive neurologists, cunning nurses and strangely preoccupied staffers) as well as those beyond its walls (including a terrifying motorcycle gang whose mind-boggling preoccupations are sinister, brutal and—surprisingly—redemptive), Danny's guilt-burdened father soon begins to realize that the only hope for his son's recovery may lie within Limbo, a fantasy comic book world into which Danny had been drawn at the time of his mysterious accident.

In a risky but brilliantly successful narrative strategy, O'Connell deftly weaves together several plotlines—the story of Sweeney and Danny at the clinic, the story of the doctors who own the clinic, the story of the outlaw bikers and, most audaciously, the mesmerizing story of a troupe of wandering circus freaks. With four superb books already to his credit—The Skin Palace, Word Made Flesh, Wireless and Box Nine—O'Connell has boldly entered exciting new territory with The Resurrectionist, a remarkable novel that is hilarious, baffling, terrifying and reassuring. O'Connell adroitly blurs the not-so-clear boundaries between fiction and real life, inviting readers to re-examine the often ineffable power of myth, fantasy and stories.

Tim Davis writes from the Gulf Coast of Alabama.

Jack O'Connell's new novel, The Resurrectionist, invites readers to willingly suspend their disbelief as they are drawn into a world dominated by terror and tragedy, fantasy and reality, and hopes and dreams. Upon entering the novel's paradoxical world, readers are introduced to Sweeney, a widowed father from Cleveland, and Danny, Sweeney's six-year-old son, who languishes […]

Karl Iagnemma was declared an innovative voice in American literature when his award-winning collection of short stories, On the Nature of Human Interaction, was published in 2004. His spellbinding first novel, The Expeditions, is certain to draw similar acclaim for the engineer-turned-author, who merges science and fiction in surprising ways.

Sixteen-year-old Elisha Stone loves nothing more than the secret beauty of nature, and in the summer of 1844 he is about to begin a transformational journey into the untamed wilderness of northern Michigan. Having run away from his home in Newell, Massachusetts, Elisha has worked his way across the country to Detroit. Now the sensitive and artistic young man has landed himself what he believes will be a dream job with an eclectic expeditionary team that will include Mr. Silas A. Brush, an entrepreneurial though duplicitous surveyor; professor George Tiffin, an agenda-driven and relentless anthropologist; and Susette Morel, a singularly beautiful but mysterious half-breed Chippewa guide. Before leaving on his demanding journey into unexplored Indian country, Elisha writes a poignant letter to his mother that will forever transform more than one life.

When Elisha's estranged father, the spiritually and emotionally conflicted Rev. William Edward Stone, receives the letter, he understands suddenly that he must leave Newell and go to his son, to tell the boy about his mother's death. After three years of knowing absolutely nothing about his son's whereabouts, the acutely ill Reverend finally has a clue as to where his son might be, and so hoping and praying for reconciliation and forgiveness he begins his own harrowing expedition westward to Michigan and northward into the primitive wilderness.

Iagnemma's debut novel is provocative, elegiac and highly recommended. The Expeditions is something of a Transcendentalist Bildungsroman: The characters must navigate through hazards and obstacles real and imagined in a quest for truth. At the end of their pilgrimage each person will discover that the natural world might be the one place other than deep within the self where a person can begin finding answers to life's most perplexing mysteries. Tim Davis writes from Alabama.

Karl Iagnemma was declared an innovative voice in American literature when his award-winning collection of short stories, On the Nature of Human Interaction, was published in 2004. His spellbinding first novel, The Expeditions, is certain to draw similar acclaim for the engineer-turned-author, who merges science and fiction in surprising ways. Sixteen-year-old Elisha Stone loves nothing […]

When fire damages the new Globe Theatre in London and disrupts rehearsals for Hamlet, young American director Kate Shelton finds herself enmeshed in a malignant drama of staggering proportions in Jennifer Lee Carrell's first novel, Interred with Their Bones. Just prior to the fire, Shakespearean scholar Rosalind Howard had given Kate an enigmatic gift in a small box, and she included this cryptic admonition: If you open it, you must follow where it leads. Then Rosalind is brutally murdered precisely in the manner of Hamlet's father. As the police look into Rosalind's bizarre death, Kate realizes that the box's contents a Victorian mourning brooch may be the most important bit of evidence. Following Rosalind's injunction, Kate takes it upon herself to find her friend's killer.

Kate is immediately confronted by a series of ever-increasing dangers, but she soon discovers to her surprise that she is not alone in her quest for the truth. Ben Pearl, Rosalind's strikingly good-looking nephew, turns up in the nick of time and becomes an indispensable friend and ally.

Piecing together an elaborate puzzle, Kate and Ben travel around the world to Harvard and the American southwest in pursuit of a tantalizing series of literary clues hidden in the words of Shakespeare, Cervantes, the Holy Bible and ciphered texts that will lead them to the murderer and unlock one of history's greatest literary secrets. Taking her title from Mark Antony's ironic eulogy in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Carrell, the author of the much-praised nonfiction book The Speckled Monster: A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox, has proven that she knows how to write a fast-paced, highly entertaining novel. Erudite and complex, Interred with Their Bones draws readers into an allusive labyrinth embellished with the words and plots from the plays of the upstart Crow, as one contemporary dubbed the Bard. Here is a novel that will appeal to mystery-thriller fans as well as Shakespeare aficionados.

Tim Davis teaches literature at the University of West Florida.

When fire damages the new Globe Theatre in London and disrupts rehearsals for Hamlet, young American director Kate Shelton finds herself enmeshed in a malignant drama of staggering proportions in Jennifer Lee Carrell's first novel, Interred with Their Bones. Just prior to the fire, Shakespearean scholar Rosalind Howard had given Kate an enigmatic gift in […]

Henry Walker, the magician in Jeremiah Mosgrove's Chinese Circus, has been having problems: He can't do a trick to save his life. Yet before joining the circus, as the shadowy Mr. Sebastian's protŽgŽ, Henry had been doing not merely tricks but real magic. Now, though, Henry has suddenly vanished in the volatile springtime of 1959 in northern Alabama, and his few friends in the circus a patchwork conglomeration of freaks and castoffs ponder his baffling disappearance. Had he found love, religion, money, or had some new trick gone diabolically wrong? Comparing what they think they know about Henry's past, his friends put together a kaleidoscopic portrait of their missing magician. Henry, as everyone slowly begins to understand, had spent most of his illusory life floating in the no-man's land of the imagination, somewhere between this life and whatever is on the other side. And the truth of the matter, as his friends realize, lies hidden in plain sight within the reality that none of us are what we appear to be. And, as readers discover in this phenomenal fourth novel from Alabama writer Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), all of the life-enhancing illusions for Henry may have finally fallen apart.

Wallace in the tradition of magical realism has created a paradoxical, though seamless, fusion of wistful fantasies, terrifying nightmares and the extraordinary twists and turns of our not-so-ordinary everyday lives. Like the best magic tricks, Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician is a very clever illusion, and that is the secret of this luminous new novel's superior value as literature and entertainment. So, reader, prepare to have your heart broken and then as if through magic restored and enriched by Wallace's mesmerizing tale of life's relationships and possibilities.

Tim Davis teaches literature at the University of West Florida.

Henry Walker, the magician in Jeremiah Mosgrove's Chinese Circus, has been having problems: He can't do a trick to save his life. Yet before joining the circus, as the shadowy Mr. Sebastian's protŽgŽ, Henry had been doing not merely tricks but real magic. Now, though, Henry has suddenly vanished in the volatile springtime of 1959 […]

As A Good and Happy Child opens, narrator George Davies is seeking relief for his chronic anxiety and alienation through psychoanalysis. His marriage is falling apart, and his effectiveness as a father to his newborn son is threatened. George believes that the solutions to his problems can be discovered in a careful re-examination of his past, but he must be ready for what comes of recalling things that have been locked away for more than 20 years.

It was at a crucial point in George's childhood immediately following his father's death that the problems seem to have begun. After seeing a spectral, doppelganger-like figure when he was 11 years old, George began his descent into an existence dominated by what seemed to be visual and auditory hallucinations. Several of his father's friends possessed a flair for spiritualism, and George gradually came to believe that his affliction was identical to what had apparently affected his (possibly murdered?) father. Grieving for a dead father like a young Hamlet, the young George moves through a frightening world complicated by madness, spirituality and tragedy.

In this chilling tale, Justin Evans adroitly manages a compelling narrative style, complex plot and intriguing characters. His debut successfully hovers between the sublime terrors of Dostoyevsky and the melodramatic extravagance of The Exorcist.

As A Good and Happy Child opens, narrator George Davies is seeking relief for his chronic anxiety and alienation through psychoanalysis. His marriage is falling apart, and his effectiveness as a father to his newborn son is threatened. George believes that the solutions to his problems can be discovered in a careful re-examination of his […]

Brace yourself for a pulse-pounding immersion into the fear, the stench, the horror, the rage and the valor of a Holy War. The Religion transports you to 1565 and delivers you into the frightening maelstrom of combat and the complicated passions of love.

The Islamic forces have begun their siege of Malta, and their grand plan is nothing less than the conquest of the world. The Christian stronghold is protected by the Knights of St. John, and they know what's at stake: the destiny of mankind for all eternity. Calling themselves the Religion, the knights defend Malta the strategic key to Europe with a profound, spiritual fervor. For the knights, war is God's blessing, a manifestation of divine will. As the battle unfolds, the indefatigable defenders, outnumbered 10 to one, will go beyond knowing God. They will discover that war makes men mad, and a select few will also discover that love makes them madder still.

Key figures in screenwriter and novelist Tim Willocks' epic, fiendishly insightful novel include Mattias Tannhauser, the blood-stained veteran of the most ferocious infantry of the world, now a successful businessman whose loyalties are dangerously divided; Carla, the sensual countess who must suddenly confront the love and shame of her secret past; and Ludovico Ludovici, the treacherous Inquisitor whose subtlety and duplicity are exceeded only by his absolute trust in his God.

Beginning with the most frightening scene in contemporary fiction, The Religion goes on to become a fast-paced, stomach-churning depiction of the sublime beauty and grotesque brutality of a religious war the apotheosis of power, fear and faith yet through it all, something strange and wonderful survives: the exquisite resilience of the human spirit. The narrative is exuberant and extravagant. The imagery is luminous and visceral. The Religion is magnificent, passionate, terrifying and in 2007 profoundly relevant. Don't miss it! Tim Davis teaches literature at the University of West Florida.

Brace yourself for a pulse-pounding immersion into the fear, the stench, the horror, the rage and the valor of a Holy War. The Religion transports you to 1565 and delivers you into the frightening maelstrom of combat and the complicated passions of love. The Islamic forces have begun their siege of Malta, and their grand […]

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