Saturday, March 01, 2008

Kudos for Brother Brigham

Congratulations to D. Michael Martindale for getting a very positive review of his novel Brother Brigham in the Mormon scholarly journal Dialogue, spring 2008 issue. I published this novel through my Zarahemla Books enterprise.

Here's one particularly interesting chunk from the review:

Like a Stephen King novel, perhaps, Brother Brigham has no real literary aspirations. Still one does not read a King novel for its prose or rich characterization, but rather for its propulsive, mind-bending plot. Here Martindale succeeds with page-turning gusto. Indeed, though I've never counted myself a fan of the science-fiction or fantasy genre, I found Martindale's enthusiasm for his subject matter infectious. Speculative fiction fans will certainly embrace Brother Brigham as a welcome addition to the growing Mormon SF subgenre.

But non-SF readers need not pass up Brother Brigham, for at its heart Martindale's story is also something of a romance novel, albeit from a decidedly male point of view. In that regard, Brother Brigham is pretty edgy stuff, if a Deseret Book novel is your primary frame of reference. C. H. is "called" upon by Brother Brigham to get his Big Love on, and C. H.'s sexy coworker Sheila, an aggressive, promiscuous, inactive Mormon, is only too eager to be his mistress, or, what the heck, his second wife. If C. H. needs to rationalize extramarital sex with delusions of polygamous grandeur, who is Sheila to argue if the end result is the same? How C. H. convinces his wife Dani to go along with the plan and how C. H. maneuvers to marry Sheila polygamously in the Salt Lake Temple are two of Brother Brigham's more exciting plot threads.

Brother Brigham's handful of descriptive sex scenes (as well as its boundary-pushing speculative theology) seems to be in keeping with Zarahemla Books' stated commitment toward more "frankness and realism, [and] earthier explorations of Mormon culture and experience." In other words, staid The Work and the Glory retreads need not apply. That said, Brother Brigham is never too steamy or too graphic. Anyone who has read Levi Peterson's The Backslider or any number of popular Gentile mystery, crime, spy, science fiction, or romance novels, will not be put off by Martindale's depictions of the "earthier" side of life.
For more information about Brother Brigham, click here. And here's the Amazon link.

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