Home   Audio   News & Reviews   BPM Smith Blog   Events & Links   Contact Us

News & Reviews

REVIEW: Brian D’Amato is back, and the Apocalypse is coming
Review by BPM Smith

After a hiatus of more than a decade, Brian D’Amato is finally back with his sophomore novel "In the Courts of the Sun" (Dutton) that is equal parts literary exodus, science fiction and thriller, and oh yes -- don’t forget about the Apocalypse that is coming in the not-too-distant future.

I became an instant fan of D’Amato after his promising debut novel "Beauty" in 1992 that led most of us to expect a big follow up. Instead, he created sculptures, installations and paintings that garnered recognition and respect in the art world but had most in the insular book scene figuring he had simply disappeared from the literary landscape.

I’d often look at that copy of Beauty sitting on my bookshelf and think to myself, "Well, another top talent bit the dust."

Not quite. As he churned out artwork at a prolific rate, he also spent some 15 years researching the ancient Mayans that’s yielded a dense novel where a computer savant tries to avert the end of the world that the ancient civilization forecast would occur on December 21, 2012.

Protagonist Jed DeLanda, a Mayan descendant, spends his time playing computer games and trading corn futures. But when his former mentor and a sketchy computer game magnate convince him that he must avert the Apocalypse by traveling back in time, his life as well as the world’s future are thrown into chaos.

Since time travel isn’t exactly a perfected technology -- and after all, this is a thriller -- Jed’s mission is thwarted from the start. Instead of morphing into the consciousness of a king who can actually do something about Mayan events, Jed arrives in the body a famous ball player who is about to throw himself down the steps of the Great Pyramid of IX as a human sacrifice.

As any successful novel that handles issues of time travel, "Courts of the Sun" smoothly shifts from the near-future to distant past with both epochs written in convincing, efficient language. Thanks, D’Amato, for sparing us the boring, long-winded details that some authors lapse into when trying to convince us of their historical knowledge base.

I had some worry when first opening this massive 649-page tomb (the advance proofs’ page-count I received will vary from the edition now in bookstores but you get the idea: it’s a long read), but D’Amato’s tightly wound pacing thrusts the reader into his world just enough to keep the pages humming along.

"Courts" will appeal to fans of the late Michael Crichton for its thriller aspects while some have compared D’Amato to Simon Levack for his mysteries about he Aztecs.

As a reader and novelist engrossed in the present, I’m especially interested in finding more about our future according to D’Amato. That just might happen, since "Courts" is the first of a trilogy. Let’s just hope he doesn’t make us wait 17 years for his next installment.

Scale: 5 stars: Incredible!... 4 stars: Excellent... 3 stars: Good... 2 stars: Mediocre... 1 star: Lame!...

Rating: 4 stars

BPM Smith, a longtime journalist and editor of WORD'N'BASS.com, is putting the final touches on his latest novel "Bistro de Mars." He enjoys dry martinis, electronic music and trying to pull off absurd bluffs at the poker table. E-mail him your comments, gossip or shout-outs at editor (at) wordnbass (dot) com


< Back to News & Reviews Home



Home  |  Audio  |  News & Reviews  |  BPM Smith Blog
Events & Links  |  Contact Us

Copyright © 2005 WORD‘N’BASS.com                                                            Web Design provided by DiazWebDesign.com

Friend Link: Timberland 6 Inch Boots Herren Nike Air Max 2016 Nike ELASTICO Finale III Street TF Adidas Messi 16.3 IC MBT Lami Damen TIMBERLAND CHUKKA BOOTS Adidas Superstar 2 Shoes Friend Link: NIKE ROSHE TWO FLYKNIT SHOES AIR JORDAN 23 Adidas Originals NMD Adidas Yeezy Boost 550 Adidas Tubular Schuhe Adidas Springblade Schuhe ADIDAS D ROSE 7 MEN