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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book Of Paul - The Ride of a Lifetime!
Imagine Quentin Tarantino, Brett Easton Ellis and the DaVinci Code with a liberal sprinkling of the occult and Irish lore all blended together and you have the brilliant, powerful, thrilling, page-turner that is The Book Of Paul. Richard Long has created a villain, Paul Kelly, who makes Hannibal Lecter look angelic, in this deliciously terrifying novel where everything...
Published 20 months ago by AZ

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Different but gripping
A strange story , but rather gripping . I enjoyed it
Published 2 days ago by beachgal


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book Of Paul - The Ride of a Lifetime!, 8 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Book of Paul (Paperback)
Imagine Quentin Tarantino, Brett Easton Ellis and the DaVinci Code with a liberal sprinkling of the occult and Irish lore all blended together and you have the brilliant, powerful, thrilling, page-turner that is The Book Of Paul. Richard Long has created a villain, Paul Kelly, who makes Hannibal Lecter look angelic, in this deliciously terrifying novel where everything you assumed you knew about being human, the meaning of life and what it is to be part of something bigger than most of us are capable of imagining, is turned on it's head.

Paul Kelly revels in life as much as Martin, the heroic, yet deeply scarred protagonist and Paul's former protege, hides from it. That is until Martin meets Rose. What unfolds is an often hilarious, though just as often terrifying, always riveting romp through the seedy Lower East side's pre-gentrification squats where Paul holds court while trying to keep his eye on his "sons." This book is impossible to put down. The short chapters serve to increase the tension and propel the story forward. It's a train wreck with Paul at the controls, or so he thinks. I cannot reveal too much of the story as there are too many plot twists that will be ruined if I do. But in the end this is a thriller, twisted, provocative and thoroughly enjoyable, but it is also a love story and a tale of redemption.

Richard Long the talented and brilliant writer, successfully weaves together many lives while telling a compelling, startling tale, unlike anything I've ever read before or since. The Book of Paul is the first of a series. I cannot wait for the next installment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work Of Genius, 17 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Book of Paul -- A Paranormal Thriller (Kindle Edition)
Author Richard Long's magnificent debut The Book of Paul is - and I do not employ this expression lightly or often - nothing short of a work of genius. In the wake of such a frankly stunning and original first book, further literary surprises we may expect him to deliver are to be eagerly anticipated in the years ahead. Happily, we are unlikely to be disappointed since the author has promised in several interviews that this novel is merely the first in a series of seven.

The work is a dramatic paranormal thriller which successfully mixes sharply disparate genres - from horror to history, romance to crime, paranormal to erotica, and science to humor - a supremely difficult achievement which Mr Long manages wonderfully, exhibiting the skill and timing of a Vaudeville performer spinning plates in the doing.

From the memorable first line "He practiced smiling" the author draws us deep into the lives of the complex and conflicted characters - lives which, will by turn, amuse, amaze, puzzle and disgust.

At the heart of this beautifully mysterious train wreck, adding a new conundrum to every new clue and each reveal, is Paul, a authoritarian and brutal genius whose depraved appetite for homicide, maiming and mayhem makes him one of the most frightening antagonists in literature. Herein lies the brilliance of this book, as while Paul is a despicable creature bearing down on the more sympathetic characters like a banshee and as hard to shake off as their shadows, he is also immensely amusing, and as the pages turn it's impossible not to fall in (to some extent at least) with his macabre sense of humor.

Rarely, if ever, have I read a work of fiction which has plainly been so comprehensively researched or one which so entirely captivated my imagination as The Book of Paul. Richard Long has pulled an absolute blinder with this book, which is brilliantly written and perfectly realized, effortlessly impacting his robust and very adult fiction with the conceptual marriage of accepted scientific fact and the mysteries of Ancient Egypt, Christianity, Gnosticism and the ancient Celtic Druids... All of this Mr Long does, and more, while merrily leading a conga-line of thrills through the very individualized and engrossing modern world of his stupendous imagination.

Astonishing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book of Paul is absolutely gripping., 26 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Book of Paul (Paperback)
I got this book from a dear friend of mine, who said it was a must read. I am not much of a reader, but this one just got to me. The story telling is excellent, the characters really come alive in your mind, and I cannot wait for the other 6 parts in this series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Syzygy - the duality of "Life and Death, Love and Hate", 8 Nov 2012
By 
CabinGoddess (Fairbanks, Alaska) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Book of Paul (Paperback)
Syzygy
Oh what a word, one of my favorites and one that fits all aspects of this gorgeous amalgamation of craziness and story arcs throughout the book! But wait, which definition applies to this book?

Syzygy (astronomy), a straight line configuration of three celestial bodies
This book involves Hermetical teachings, some that may fly right over your heads like those celestial bodies, do not fret though, you do not have to get that stuff to enjoy this read! Just blow through it like I do in battle scenes of epic fantasy novels.
Syzygy (Gnosticism), male-female pairings of the emanations known as aeons (which means "life", or "for eternity")
--Oh yes, definitely! This is truly a love story and not just between Rose and Martin. The aspect of eternity can be seen as a theme with everything in this book. What you read it and do not agree? Come on think about it! I will win this argument just like I won the ones about how it is not a cupcake without frosting and how Avatar is a Western (do not even try to win that one!)
Syzygy (mathematics), a relation between the generators of a module
Numbers numbers numbers.... the wheel is all about numbers. 1+1=2 right? The cards are all about numbers, Martin must have equal and balanced aspects in what he wears, what he carries or his OCD goes ballistic. Where as Rose is OK with just having odd aspects mixed in with the even. She is OK with "prime" qualities instead of constant equalities. And William... Paul? They are to freaking selfish and must have them all!

Syzygy (poetry - specifically Greek poetry), the combination of two metrical feet into a single unit - where one consonant is used repeatedly throughout a passage, but not necessarily at the beginning of each word.
--Honestly, I caught several examples but if I start talking about that I may lose half of you. Just think of it as something quirky and clever .... that aha! moment when you take a sip of your coffee and go, "Wow how cool was that, he just brought it back to...." ya one of those... so no worries I have some great material to get to the meat of this puppy!

Syzygy - (X-Files) an episode of The X-Files
--OK seriously, this was on the bloody list and I am going to say, yes it fits! I about fell out of my chair laughing my rear off, in fact I could probably write a pretty decent thesis argument just around this. The show was made for the fans. It addressed several complaints and questions (will Scully and Mulder finally make-out [yes they did finally make out and more but at the time the writers were not having any of that PERIOD], would Mulder let Scully drive the car [seriously fans bitched about this?? Sheesh people are such philistines at times!] and all of this was because of some "rare planetary alignment" effecting the behavior of everyone in town, including two murderous teens (again with the bloody DUO of DEATH)

Where do you start with all that info? See how each can be applicable, if what I say is true (*giving you the death mask again* what I say is always true!) I am going to do my best to expand on the above ideas while reviewing and convincing you to go buy the book and read it (*giving you my death mask*...you will buy the book and you WILL enjoy it...).

Let's start off with a few basics for you interested readers. First, this book is NOT for the faint of heart. It is a book which should not be expected as a quick weekend read. Which is one reason my review was not up and out there yesterday like I was targeting it for. That and I kept falling asleep and going into this screwed up fairyland full of bloody altars, crucified squirrels and a moose with a key around his neck *shuddering*. This is a dense read; literary fiction folks, there are no sparkly vampires frolicking through cedar trees or a love spell written in frosting on that cupcake. This is a thick porter house steak, dripping in blood and still moo'ing as you saw into it with a lovely Wüsthof steak knife.

I read Tarot, in fact I read with the Thoth Deck which is a creation of Aleister Crowley (the crazy and very infamous Occultist who believed the Necronomicon was a real book and had long drawn out correspondences with H.P.Lovecraft over the years of those wonderfully loony mens lives, both which have brought me much pleasure in mine). Something Crowley wrote popped into my head when I read the word syzygy within the pages of The Book of Paul:

A curious conflict this of love and fear..."
Aleister Crowley from his Coll. Works ii. 77

This wraps up a lot of what the book talks about. There is pairing and duality, the main aspect of anything involving syzygy. You cannot have a true aspect of a singularity within the definition of this word, well ideal and philosphy and.. and.... I do not think there is a way to give you spoilers with this complex story, you just have to read it so I will be doing a bit more sharing than I usually do. (*slipping death mask on again* you want to read this book, this book is amazing, it will change your life...)

Any successful pairing, be it numbers, or spices or people, must start with a single idea or thought or spark of energy. It grows as more things are added, and as Paul enlightens us, it never dies; "Energy cannot be destroyed" (loc; 6893). But it still needs to be created and fed additional energy, that spark of chemistry between a man and a woman when you "see" them for the first time, I mean really see them. When Martin looks down at Rose and she up at him amidst the fluffy down comforter and their sweaty bodies right after they meet and umm do a special dance, it clicks and the energy is and will continue to flow, to grow to become .... indestructible. (BTW Richard gets a 6 out of 5 stars on his sex scenes and for those that do not get that joke, refer to this post when regarding how much importance I find when adding a sex scene to a novel)

Aha! Martin and Rose, the love story right? Well yes, it is... well one of the love stories in the book. There is the love for Rose that William has, our fourth-wall breaker, the orator of this tale, the Kelly family story teller. Another spoke on this grand wheel of characters. His love of Rose is intertwined with and branches out to that of knowledge and of death. His photographic memory allows his love of knowledge to grow exponentiallyand his love of it turns into his obsession with objects of death; ie: from my teaser last week "...up to thirty or even fifty, written by another sicko, each and every one of them covered with the skin of their victims." These are books that William loved, coveted and had an intense relationship with. Is it a duality? Yes the duality of conflict within himself. How can one be as obsessed with such morbid and macabre items steeped in the blood of countless victims and still thing of himself as a good person? Oh man, that is a dicey question, and for the answer you best crack this book open because that would be a spoiler! (*my death mask slips on....*)

There is the love between Martin and Paul. A damaged boy's love for the man he thinks of as his father, if not in blood (or could it be? oh I am being bad... *death mask slipped back on* go buy the book... read it.. you will LOVE it..) This man, Paul, mysteriously appears in his life and as a child all Martin has known is fear and a darkness by the hands of his mother. The syzygy of lightness and darkness...The darkness of the cellar, the darkness of her moods balanced with the rare light from his visists with his Aunt Norine, where cuddles and happiness reigned.

Paul brought with him another form of love, as only a man can bring. His love of control, of death, a detached death. Martin learned how to kill as a child and he started with shooting rats at the dump. Sounds pretty bleak right? It is very and this damaged boy turns out to be someone who recognizes the right kind of love in the end. Another turn of the wheel.

Am I stretching this a bit? Perhaps but love can mean many things, just like those four trump cards above, as Richard explains in his guest post. Paul happens to more than a little resemble one of those trump cards, The Devil. In the tarot The Devil can represent a irresistibly strong and unscrupulous person. Wait, that is Paul.. oh and it gets better, the card also can be representative to ambition, temptation, obsession... someone who has a secret plan about to be executed...(yanking hard on that wheel to break through the rust) Oh yes indeed. This is Paul people. Plus Paul, it seems is made up of pure energy for he may or may not have been around for quite some time. This is where I will leave it for if I went on about the transmigration of souls it would get murky and I would lose you. Let's also say this plays into the syzygy of the mathematical aspects, for numbers make up everything, math can be found in all things as so many stories having used the Fibonacci sequence have shown us. I am pretty sure you can grasp that one... but I really am digressing and I want to get a move on here!

Over all by the end of The Book of Paul we have been fed with Hermetics, sadism, masochism, blood, death, damage, lightness, love, violence, god building, crucifixion, resurrection, obsession, body modification (I am so needing ink and a new hole punched into my body now) and in it all the wheel keeps turning. Life moves forward, where it will end with this book depends on who does that final crank of the wheel.

Who will end up standing, even it is barely, with his head still on? Will the Malestorm rip someone part? Will any come away still whole, or at least almost as they were with only some parts missing? Will some of these parts be assimilated and absorbed into another? Isn't this love? A chemical reaction of energy?

Syzygy is about a pairing, be it two numbers, two people, two sparks... a hammer pounded into the head of a nail... and to make these things work there are opposites, the magnetic poles on a parallel path; such Martin and Rose or William and Paul. Each damaged, each with different obsessions, each with different goals and in the end fitting together and balancing each other out, creating an extra spoke in that wheel, or perhaps a pole to thrust in and cause a crash of monumental proportions that no one, even one who has lived hundreds and thousands of lifetime sees coming...

Love is the syzygetic ideal of this story. But it left some sparks behind, which found some other sparks and I have a feeling the next six books are going to blow my mind as much if not more than this one. I wish I could keep going because I did not even come close to touching the core aspects of this book, I have already gone on to much but if I were to sum it up I would have to say this:

"The Book of Paul a twisted, festive, life & death tale dragging us from sunlit rooms into the dark corners of our minds one hammer swing at a time."

The book is one of my top reads of 2012, no question about it. In fact Geoff even wants to read it and that is no small feat as many of you know! I am going to rate this a full five of five whacks! *death mask slips back on* Go ...buy it now, it is only 99, what do you have to lose, I have never steered you wrong this book is a bloody festive romp of delight into those dark recesses of your soul that you would never admit you like... kind of like William's little collection of skin covered journals...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Great Read!, 8 Nov 2012
By 
J. Turner - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Book of Paul (Paperback)
Richard Long is a master of suspense, thrills and chills. The book is fast paced with chapters that cut straight to the bone. He had gore and religious lore, love and lust, and psycho crazy killers who once you get to know them, maybe aren't so psycho anymore. The story is captivating, and vivid; at times horrid and scary but with equally beautiful parts sprinkled in. This book is the true definition of a thriller.

There were a few times where I found myself fumbling over the some of the concepts and cult names. Mr. Long seems to have infinite knowledge on the occult, religion, history and physics. And at times he seems to forget that the reader might not be as versed in these areas. With that said, I still give the book 5 stars. Because that's how good it was! Never have I read a book with so many aspects. Prophecies, treasure, blood, and power, hate, and love all sewn into a beautiful masterpiece called The Book of Paul. -J.S.Turner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book guaranteed to cause nightmares. This is a five star read folks!, 8 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Book of Paul (Paperback)
The Book of Paul

At first glance you think, oh boy here's another book about a psychotic serial killer in the vein of Silence of the Lambs. But then as you read you realize The Book of Paul is so much more. The first installment in a seven volume series sets the tone of what to expect in the other six volumes.

The intricate vignettes Long weaves are the stuff nightmares are made of. Not specifically a horror in the holy crap it's scary style, but is more the feeling of a prickling up your spine. The Book of Paul is definitely not a book for the faint hearted. It's often graphic details of body modification, piercing and torture, which incidentally, I think is necessary to the telling of the story, are enough to make even the seasoned reader of horror wince a wee bit.

Written in short chapters some narrative and filled with mystical details between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly, the reader needs to pay close attention to keep the details straight as Long switches so quickly from one character to the next, which is in my opinion a little befuddling at times.

I think The Book of Paul is an example of what a gift Richard Long has in his writing. His ability to draw the reader into the story and keep them engaged, as he sets the stage for what will happen next is brilliant. The Book of Paul is definitely a great read and I can't help but thinking it would make a pretty intense television series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Different but gripping, 10 July 2014
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This review is from: The Book of Paul -- A Paranormal Thriller (Kindle Edition)
A strange story , but rather gripping . I enjoyed it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 28 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Book of Paul (Paperback)
To be honest I didn't know what to expect when I downloaded this book on my Kindle. I paid a mere 49p for a book that has numerous 5 star reviews so I felt compelled to read it. I can honestly say it's one of the best books I've read in a long time.

Everything was right about it: the style of the writing, the flow of the story, the suspense, the love story, the characters. The story gripped from start to finish. Even more incredible, The Book of Paul is the author's debut novel. I for one will be watching out for his next book and I've already reserved a folder on my Kindle entitled 'Books by Richard Long.'
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Dark Fantasy/Horror, 27 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Book of Paul -- A Paranormal Thriller (Kindle Edition)
‘The Book of Paul’ is the mysterious, suspenseful and brutal story of loner Martin and tattoo artist Rose. The story begins shortly before the two meet and it soon becomes obvious there is a lot more to both of them than meets the eye, though neither of them would have suspected the truth as it is revealed.

First off, this was just brilliantly written. The mash-up of genres was impressive and very well put together. I really liked the way the narrative was used with the different characters but I can’t really say more about that without spoiling a bit of the mystery! There are quite a lot of layers to the story but the way it’s told makes it all fairly easy to absorb. I couldn’t really identify with the characters but it was easy enough to sympathise with them.

This is a page-turning and suspenseful read that grips at the start and doesn’t let go. There were some great twists and horrifying revelations and each new discovery made me want to find out more. I have to say there were a few lengthy explanations further into the book, sometime past the 60% mark, which I found pretty tedious. Aside from these few parts I found this book to be gripping throughout. This is very hard to put down once you start reading!

I will warn if you’re a sensitive sort this isn’t the book for you, as there are a lot of gruesome moments, erotic scenes, and one of the main characters has had a very harrowing life. If you love horror or darker reads I would highly recommend this book. It’s a powerful story; chilling, brutal, and full of shock twists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Book of Paul - a MUST read book .., 20 April 2013
By 
The Lionheart (Plymouth/Vancouver) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of Paul -- A Paranormal Thriller (Kindle Edition)
If You like Clive Barker... Neil Gaiman... Stephen King... Scarlett Thomas... You will love Richard Long's book 'The Book of Paul'.

Long takes the reader on a leather-clad, pierced, tattooed, BDSM thrill ride through Horror, Religiosity, Druidism, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, Christianity, Magic, Science and Technology laughing maniacally all the way (except for the portions that make You gasp in shock and queasiness).

Fast-paced from word one, this book (which is the first of a series of seven) drags You by Your freshly pierced nipples into the lives of Martin and Rose, the very darkly humorous Paul and William the Narrator, the plot twists and turns like a twisty turny thing and keeps You on the edge of Your electric chair right to the bloody climax.

As a debut novel this is deeply impressive... In fact at any point in a writers career this would be deeply impressive... And I'm itching to get my hands on the next installment ..

Now... Buy the book, then help even more by becoming a backer of The Book of Paul Trailer Kickstarter project .. visit the project here... [ ... ]

Happy reading,
Martin ..
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