Wednesday, February 01, 2006

'The Promise Of Eden' by Eric Durchholz

TITLE: The Promise Of Eden
AUTHOR: Eric Durchholz /
PRICE: $19.72
GENRE: Fantasy/Horror
ISBN: pending
PUBLISHER: Lulu / Concrete7

In the aftermath of a showdown between ghosts and gods, sixteen-year-old Gregory Coleman explains to his lawyer that things aren't as they seem. A conspiracy is afoot and it has to do with... well... lots of things, actually, but mainly ghosts. In particular, a ghost called Anna, who enlists Gregory to help her find heaven.

Eric Durchholtz's The Promise of Eden finds space for everything and I'm really not exaggerating. There are large slices of homoerotica, forbidden love and family issues on offer, not to mention the hidden agendas and growing pains thrown in. What could be more exciting than washing it all down with an almighty splash of the paranormal and a lick of science fiction?

Unfortunately, lack of suspense leaves the fantastical plot to flounder by itself for over 400 pages, and it's a bit of a stretch. This is partly due to Durchholtz's style, which is straightforward and easy to read but somewhat lacking in energy. The storyline is practically begging for shock value—it's so absurd that the twists ought to be damn well unpickable—but the reader is let down at every turn by the narrator's habit of anticipating the tale before he tells it. Information leaps out of nowhere and is validated as an afterthought, while intriguing ideas about god and religion are completely overshadowed by the straight-outta-left-field introduction of ghost-on-human sex.

To Durchholtz's credit (and the reader's relief) no loose ends are left flapping in the wind, although one could be forgiven for wondering if the story needed quite so many threads. Points are won for sheer originality but lost again in the search for suspense—and perhaps a better proofreader.

For fantasy fans looking for something... different.

RATING: 4/10



Reviewer: Stephanie C.


Eric Durchholz said...

"I take up this book and call your attention to it. You perhaps will say, 'Oh, that is the old Bible, worn threadbare long ago. We do not wish to be fed with its dry husks. We want living food and drink.' Well, that is what I am going to give you.

Yes! it is an old book, a very old book. There are very few books extant that can compare with it, on the score of age, at least. Some parts of it were written over three thousand years ago; and all of it more than eighteen hundred years ago. Yes! an old book. And yet everybody seems to have one about the house. What is the matter with the old book? Why do people cling to it with such tenacity? Can any of those who have, laid it, on the shelf as worthless answer these questions? Why do they not burn it, so that it shall no longer cumber the house? This was a mystery to me for many years; but it is so no longer. I know the reason for its hold upon the people. It contains that, though clad in mystery, which acts upon the soul like a potent spell; like a magnet, which it is indeed. Had it no value, or had its value been wholly extracted; were there no truth in it unrevealed, it had long since ceased to exert any influence whatever over anybody. Books that are exhausted of their truth by its being transferred to the minds of the people, lose their force and die. And this is the reason that, Task you to search its hidden mystery with me; to cast aside preconceived ideas of its meaning; to commence to read it as if it were for the first time."

-excerpt from The Garden of Eden; or The Paradise Lost & Found
by Victoria Claflin Woodhull

Stephanie C. said...

Hi. I'd like to ask you Mr Durchholz, does the excerpt you posted pertain to the review in any way? If it does, could you tell me directly what you're implying? Cos I'm a little confused as to whether it's a retort or what.