Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tea & Read: According to Their Deeds

Title: According to Their Deeds
Author: Paul Robertson
Rating: Two cups of tea
There are certain books that reward you for your diligence. According to Their Deeds is one of those books (Pride and Prejudice is another). I originally bought this book for my husband. When I'm in the bookstore I'm often looking for what I call Man Books. Little to no romance and lots of action. But when I got the book home, it called to me and I decided to read it before my husband did.

I'd only seen books by Paul Robertson before. I began the book with no expectations. The first thing that struck me was the book is almost all dialog! Sharp, powerful dialog that carries the story along. If you'd asked me before I picked up this book if it was possible to have a book full of dialog, I would have told you no.
The novel is the story of Charles Beale, an antique bookstore owner, who reclaims some books an estate auction. It is the estate of someone working for the justice department and a friend of Charles killed in a break-in gone bad. Charles finds that the books contain more than he expected.

Many Man Books I've read often are fast pace, the flow taking on the characteristics of the hero. This book does the same, expect it takes its pace of Charles, an aging man. The pace isn't stifling but refreshing. We walk through the book with Charles, following him down rabbit hole after rabbit hole.

Of course, there are several memorable characters in the novel. I think my favorite is Angelo. I love the way Robertson succinctly uses Angelo's dialog (and the rest of the cast for that matter) to show his personality. Angelo is a steathy character that says very little. Robertson reveals this in a brilliant way.

Also, the themes in this book come through loud and clear. Judgment and redemption are woven in every character and every situation. Robertson also gets props for quoting Immanuel Kant. I never thought that I would be glad that I studied Kant in Seminary.

This book was an enjoyed change from other Man Books. No young strapping heroes, trying to solve the mystery and win the girl. No, there is just Charles the reluctant adventurer, his wife, and his books. Great book.

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