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Author: Christopher Adam

Book Review: Wanted by Chris Hoke

This book isn’t about a pastor’s triumphant journey into jail to teach inmates and preach about salvation. Rather, it’s an exploration of how a wavering, vulnerable man, sometimes without convincing answers, a clumsiness and awkwardness that comes from raw uncertainty, opens himself up to learning from the gang members, felons and violent schizophrenics to whom he ministers — men whose…

Book Review: Closer by Dennis Cooper

There is barely an ember of warmth in Dennis Cooper’s work of transgressive fiction Closer. Instead, we meet a handful of young men on the threshold of adulthood who seem emotionally detached from any sense of community, family or from the concept of human dignity. It’s almost as if they exist as merely biological bodies–vessels devoid of that which actually makes…

Book Review: An Ocean of Thoughts by David Jones

Told in the first person through the eyes of Tony Joppa, this highly readable account of a young man’s struggle to overcome alcoholism is something of a glimpse into the world of Alcoholics Anonymous and an introduction to Buddhism. The protagonist and the characters who populate his world sound authentic, even though dialogue is used sparingly in this novel. At…

Book Review: An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Brown Taylor, a professor of religion and an Episcopal priest, makes a compelling case for erasing the artificial boundary between the sacred and the secular, and adopting a spirituality firmly grounded in the physical world that surrounds us. We can walk with reverence in this world and not neglect the life or the moment that we are presently living.…

Book Review: Breakthrough by Fr. Rob Galea

Father Rob Galea, a Maltese Catholic priest serving in Australia, writes in a highly conversational style about his journey from addiction, depression and anger to a life of faith and ministry. Somewhere between memoir, homily and a Catholic youth group talk, the book documents the path of a priest who speaks quite candidly of his own struggles and who is…

Book Review: The Wars of Heaven by Richard Currey

The most striking aspect of Richard Currey’s collection of stories, The Wars of Heaven, is how from the raw, coarse and tragic lives of working class people in West Virginia we get such richly atmospheric prose. There are two ways to escape the misery of the present: either find refuge in nostalgic images of the past or else in the…

An author interview

Many thanks to the Literary Titan website for giving me this opportunity to answer questions and share some thoughts on my book, I Have Demons.  * I Have Demons is a collection of stories following three characters grappling with the demons in their lives. What served as your inspiration while writing these stories? Fiction is usually built at the crossroads where…

Book Review: Cryptofauna by Patrick Canning

Patrick Canning’s thoroughly quirky novel about a depressed janitor from Idaho who finds himself in the midst of a bizarre game feels like an adult psychedelic take on The Wizard of Oz, or else a literary escape room. Replace Dorothy with Jim, the dog Toto with a scruffy mutt called Mars, the Yellow Brick Road with, in the first part at least,…

Book Review: Luke 17:2 — A Memoir of Abuse, Recovery and Triumph by Michael Emerton

This candid memoir explores how a man who built a successful career in the technology sector as a public relations specialist is forced to confront his repressed childhood memories of abuse from the early 1980’s. In 2002, when faced with the series of investigative reports by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team detailing the systemic abuse of minors by Catholic clergy,…

Book Review: The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh

British novelist Evelyn Waugh perhaps reveals more about himself through the fictional character of Gilbert Pinfold, a middle-aged novelist who suffers a mental breakdown brought on by the use of sedatives and pain medication, than through any of his other creations. Like Waugh, Mr. Pinfold is a convert to Catholicism who lives at a country estate somewhat withdrawn from society.…