Last Rites: Book review 4 of 8: by Dhanalakshmi Ayyer, India, Asia: Featured Books: Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Book Reviews. Vol.8, No. 1, January - June 2009
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Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Book Reviews

Volume 8, Number 1, January - June 2009

Featured Books

(Review 4 - by Dhanalakshmi Ayyer, India, Asia)

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FEATURED BOOK : REVIEWS

WELL WRITTEN, BUT AMATEURISH IN APPROACH

quote start...Hypothetical as an autobiography, assumed to be a bio-epic Last Rites remains just a diary without life, a logbook minus the fervour, a narrative sans the soul all of which goes into making a journal alive, tangible and meaningful. This at best is a chronicle that conveys the travails of an acolyte on whom ambition is thrust, vocation enforced and whose occupation is pre-ordained by design of birth and position. ..quote end

Rating : 3.0

 Last Rites by Charles Patterson, Paperback, 6" x 9"

Booklocker, P.O.Box 2399, Bangor, ME 04402, USA. Fax: 207-262-5544. Phone: 207-262-9696. E-mail:eternaltr@earthlink.net: Publication Date 2007. 296 pages, ISBN-10: 1601453124; ISBN-13: 978-1601453129. List Price: $15.95

Official site: Please click here to visit

Amazon Link: Please click here to visit

Last Rites by Charles Patterson
Click to buy from Amazon

Last Rites is to the Christian Church what Ed Husain's The Islamist is to Islam. That is the nearest one can compare and the most poignant one can get.

Last Rites traces the life of Thomas Aaron Reed III from his cradle to his ordainment to his apostasy. All of this in the light of the family background, which is inured in the Church, identified with the Church and evermore is as a family considered to be one with the Church.

However, the entire narration is personal, personalised and represents no schism, no ideology. This book disappoints. It is well written, but is still amateurish in approach. It is detailed yet the entire perspective is lost in those very same details. In fact, it is opportunity lost for what could have been a brilliant occasion for exposing the rot in the house, so to say. Given the current context, as it has been for a while now, this could have been the time for digging deep into the workings of the Church in all its avatars. The narrative could have gone beyond the pale of the immediate and explored and perhaps revealed the reach of the Church in the present time.

Hypothetical as an autobiography, assumed to be a bio-epic Last Rites remains just a diary without life, a logbook minus the fervour, a narrative sans the soul all of which goes into making a journal alive, tangible and meaningful. This at best is a chronicle that conveys the travails of an acolyte on whom ambition is thrust, vocation enforced and whose occupation is pre-ordained by design of birth and position. That our protagonist breaks away from the shackles of birth and education, is depicted more as an act of rebellion than as an expression of conviction and passion. While his tentativeness and hesitance in the profession he is ordained for, remains the sub-text of the narrative, it is never all consuming nor is at any point in the narration convincing. And when the break comes it is almost a fait accompli with a sense of déjà-vu than being a vibrant and conscious decision.

Last Rites could have gone beyond the pale, it is a promise unkept, unmet and disappoints. The reader need not be convinced but even the writer doesn't seem to be persuaded of what the narrative conveys.

--Dhanalakshmi Ayyer

Dhanalakshmi Ayyer
-Dhanalakshmi Ayyer

 Dhanalakshmi Ayyer is on the editorial board of this journal since its inception. She can be contacted at dhanalakshmi60@yahoo.co.in



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 Interview with Charles Patterson.

 

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