"A Life Transparent," by Todd Keisling, grabs you right from the start. The novel's anti-hero, Donovan Candle, might as well have been the inspiration for the old Beatles' song, "Nowhere Man." His existence is so devoid of meaning and substance that he literally starts to disappear. Or at least in the physical sense. This plot devise is so simple and yet so compelling that you cannot wait to find out how it all plays out.
Given the possible directions the book could've gone, I wished a less traveled path had been selected. It turns out there's a plot afoot to make many a soul disappear, replete with monsters and the lot, and Candle must rescue his wife--i.e., prove his manhood. I'm sure that many readers will like this tale as it is, and certainly it is well written and made credible through the author's skill. Keisling is an urgent and sincere writer, with good horse sense for what a character would or would not do in a particular situation. But ultimately I felt that Keisling's promising talent was not being used to its full potential. He seems to have much more to say than his own storyline permits him.
Specifically, I took issue with Candle supposedly being a nothing of a person while at the same time sharing so strong a love bond with his wife. Call me old-fashioned, but when you have this kind of love in your iife, you definitely are somebody.
Still, it's a book you'll remember, and you'll look forward to Keisling's next book.
Jon P. Bloch
(The Kindle Book Review)