Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Opposite of Art by Athol Dickson

Once in a while a novel comes my way that leaves me with mixed emotions. While I can agree the story is well told and holds the reader's interest in a tight grip, I'm left feeling a bit unsettled by the tale. This is one of those novels.

In "The Opposite of Art" we are introduced to the genius of Sheridan Ridler, known to the art world as Ridler and to his forever love as Danny. An up-and-coming painter, Ridler is full and yet searching: full of himself but still seeking that one thing.

When his best and favored model, Suzanna Halls, chooses her God over Ridler's love, his world begins to quake with the loss. Frantic, the artist rushes out into the darkness of the night to find Suzanna and bring her back.

Tragedy strikes and the world has lost one of its best and brightest...or has it? What follows is a search to capture and control the essence of faith, the image of God, what Ridler calls the Glory. It is a journey that takes him far and wide, to places most of us will never travel, finding things we'd never seek out.

Like life with a traveling sideshow! While I found this group a true oddity in the story, I was oddly fascinated by their company. Just one more quirky thing in this engaging tale of one searching for the Glory.

Ultimately, rumor begins that the artist once thought deceased is alive, and two begin to search for him. One who longs to know him, and one who longs to see Ridler truly dead. Who will find him first, and will Ridler find the Glory before his end finds him?

Mixed emotions abounded as I turned page after page. I was both turned off and intrigued by this unusual novel. Believe it or not, the most upsetting scene for me was the young boy paddling his way along the river to his home in Harlem. Why oh why do we allow people to live in situations such as this??

While I wouldn't call this my favorite story by Athol Dickson, I still highly recommend "The Opposite of Art". The elements of the story are so unique I believe you'll be held captive from the first page and eager to see where you and Ridler end up.

Quite possibly you'll catch a glimpse of the Glory along the way. My thanks to my friends at Howard publishing for my complimentary copy of "The Opposite of Art" and my gratitude to Athol Dickson for putting pen to paper to create a memorable cast of characters.

Happy Reading!



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