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The Atheist and the Parrotfish Kindle Edition
A transplant patient possesses eerie knowledge of his organ donor’s most intimate secret. This could change everything.
- WINNER: Pinnacle Book Achievement Award – Best Literary Fiction
- RECOGNIZED: IndieReader’s Best Reviewed Books of 2017 – Literary Fiction
- SILVER MEDAL: Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) – Best Cover - Fiction
- FINALIST: National Indie Excellence Awards – Contemporary Novel, General Fiction
- FINALIST: Next Generation Indie Book Awards – Religious Fiction
Nephrologist Cullen Brodie’s disbelief in the afterlife is tested when a cross-dressing transplant patient exhibits behaviors and traits of his female organ donor—details about whom the patient inexplicably knows. The patient’s eerie knowledge of his donor’s greatest secret forces Cullen to consider the unimaginable: transmigration of a human soul.
Midwest Book Review: "As events spiral beyond [the characters'] control, readers are introduced to a questioning process that challenges them to consider the disparate paths of personal change and the possibilities of medical and religious realms intersecting in unusual ways. All these facets, especially the winding commentary on transgender identity and evidence of a soul, could easily have become confusing, especially when given an added shot of intrigue and the elements of a medical mystery; but under Barager's pen the logic of events and the evolution of personalities and new beliefs are impeccably drawn, and fascinating."
EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS a fascinating glimpse into a world where medicine and religion/philosophy intersect, in a literary novel sure to fascinate, and quite possibly to entice you to examine your own beliefs. [DRM-Free]Books by Richard Barager:
- Red Clay, Yellow Grass (A Novel of the 1960s)
- The Atheist and the Parrotfish
- The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky by David Litwack
- Hannah’s Voice by Robb Grindstaff
- Enfold Me by Steven Greenberg
About the Author
EDITOR: As an editor, I appreciate stories with pace and humor-and no dangling participles. Genres of particular interest include nature writing, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and books for children & young adults. I earned my MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and I teach at New Hampshire Institute of Art. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B06VY7PZ4Q
- Publisher : Evolved Publishing LLC; 1st edition (20 May 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 2415 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 334,431 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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His nephrologist Cullen Brodie is the main protagonist though, and through him other themes are explored. A dedicated rationalist, Brodie is very anti-religion. His Catholic father was very opposed to abortion and when a young Cullen reveals that his girlfriend is the daughter of a well known abortionist Brodie senior slashes her painting, setting off a Greek tragedy of events that scar not only Cullen and girlfriend Angie but many others. Years later, with two divorces behind him, Cullen finds himself wishing that he had descendants, and sizing up his heart/kidney patient’s shrink as breeding material. However, when a painting from the Cook Islands arrives, he drops everything to go there and re-connect with its painter - Angie. Things go well till she drops a bombshell. Or two.
Life on the Edenic islands is well-described. The author must be one of those polymaths who collect all sorts of information like a sponge. Naturally, as a doctor himself, everything medical is also well-described. Back home in California a thorny problem of parentage that involves Cullen’s boss and his heart/kidney patient sees Cullen wrestling with the faith question and reversing his point of view. So the book is interesting intellectually and narratively, and the characters are well drawn. It’s well worth reading. I’m not convinced of Cullen’s conclusion though, and I think some of the obscure words could go.
Top reviews from other countries
Both male & female at once, the parrotfish of the title refers partly to Ennis, but also seems to represent for the author some kind of symbolic truth about God. ..”but a parrotfish, the Christian paradox of Ennis, both male & female, the most beautiful fish in the lagoon.” This has to do with the god-given duality of things & of God himself, as Barager sees it.
For me, it represents one of the major faults of the book, which is the fudging necessary to evoke a sheen of religiosity over the proceedings. One theme that recurs is the (supposed) way in which art - painting, poetry - can point to an ineffable truth, a truth beyond words or reason. Barager is trying to emulate that through his book, to write a parable of ignorance transformed to enlightenment in God. But such didacticism goes contrary to art, because the feelings inspired by art are nebulous in form, not tied to a particular goal.
Similarly, a great deal of sentimental suspension of disbelief is necessary to bring about the kind of ending the author wants, after the various trials & tribulations of the plot.
Also fudged is one of the central planks of the book, the question of Carla’s soul communing with Ennis. While any rational person would be sceptical of this belief, Ennis reveals certain facts that he could only have learnt from Carla, post-mortem . The important point here is that his revelations of this knowledge are necessary to move the plot along, yet later this is placed in brackets, so to speak : “Ennis’s eerie unmasking of MacGregor aside, Cullen did not believe that transplanted organs had the capacity to drag their donor’s souls into unsuspecting recipients.” Thus is an awkwardness in the plot brushed aside, because Barager cannot connive in such unchristian possibilities.
The prose is good, although in keeping with the book’s aspirations it has a tendency to be overwritten, even overwrought. There is a fondness for lingering or lavish descriptions of stylish interiors, for example, almost to the point of ‘life-style’ or product placement. Whether via a quick sketch or precise detailing, landscapes, people’s clothing, faces, emotions - no description is ever understated, but tends rather to the baroque. This is perhaps something more typical of American novels, which tend to aim for the ‘heroic’ style, whereas the English preference is for spare, pared down prose. In this case, the paradox is that the density of the prose tends to obscure, rather than illuminate the characters & events.
Barager is himself a nephrologist, which makes for authoritative & interesting details of medical conditions & treatments, if not always easy for the layperson to understand.
What this book says to me, above all, is that it is not a good idea to use a novel as a proselytising, let alone an evangelising medium.