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The Book of Paul
by Richard Long

Published: 2012-06-07
Paperback : 492 pages
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"Everything you've ever believed about yourself...about the description of reality you've clung to so stubbornly all your life...all of it...every bit of it...is an illusion."    In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure "beyond all imagining...
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Introduction

"Everything you've ever believed about yourself...about the description of reality you've clung to so stubbornly all your life...all of it...every bit of it...is an illusion." 
 
In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure "beyond all imagining"-- an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will...and attaining eternal life.
 
When Rose, a sex and pain addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book's occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy. 
 
The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul's clutches and Martin's destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul's sinister legacy.  Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn't be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe--the Maelstrom.
 
The Book of Paul is the first of seven volumes in a sweeping mythological narrative tracing the mystical connections between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

Exercises

He practiced smiling.

Looking in the mirror, Martin pulled up the corners of his mouth, trying to duplicate the expression of the blond-haired man on the TV with the big forehead. Something wasn’t right—the eyebrows? His eyes darted back and forth f rom the mirror to the television, posing, making adjustments here and there…lips down, more teeth…comparing…nope. After a few minutes, his face started to hurt and he gave up. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Occult/mythology/religion are major topics in this book, calling into question some fundamental beliefs of Western cultural traditions. How did this impact your own perspective? Did the questions raised pique your curiosity and motivate you to explore these subjects or make you feel more reluctant?

How we process pain and trauma are explored to an uncomfortable degree. For the characters in the book, the trauma they’ve experienced has its roots in childhood experiences. Each of the characters develops a different (and generally extreme) strategy for coping. Can you identify what these general strategies are and how it informs their characters? If you have had a difficult time coping with childhood experiences, can you see any of the strategies you adopted mirrored in these characters?

Paul is not a very nice man. However, he can be quite amusing at times. How would you compare him to other villains you’ve read? Is he the guy you love to hate, hate to love, or just plain hate?

Suggested by Members

Is control always an element of familial relationship? How does that play out here?
What do you think of pain as an underlying concept throughout the book?
by buffisan (see profile) 04/15/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Dynamic Horror seduce as the peril unfolds in the Book of Paul
by buffisan (see profile) 04/15/13
This book is about so much - physical, mental, religious abuse; love, pain, and family. The four main characters are all instrumental in the tragedy of horrors and mystique that unfold as Paul’s story is told by the book Narrator, who is a 5th character, William. My suggestion for other book clubs with the discussion of this book is for red wines, pomegranate based drinks and rustic foods. Also, be prepared for the discussion to take all kinds of twist and turns into areas of child abuse, macabre subjects, religion and occult.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "No Paul of Mine"by buffisan (see profile) 04/15/13

When we thought of The Book of Paul, the things we know about this book are not at all what we had in mind. This book is riveting and twisted yet fascinating in a way that makes you turn to ... (read more)

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