Paradise

Paradise coverJamie Smith discovers his soul.

Then he wonders what to do with it.

Jamie Smith, web designer and curry-lover, meets Keziah Mordant, death-wishing criminal lawyer, head on, at 140mph, on a crowded road.

Entering the afterlife together, Jamie and Keziah are captured and sold to evil spirits who set them up in an artificial Paradise, guinea pigs for a trial of new Satanic enslavement products.

But Jamie and Keziah are not dead, merely persistently vegetative. As doctors fight to revive them, the demons hurry to rush their product to market.

Counseled by a serpent with a personality disorder, hounded by memories of his lovelorn ex-girlfriend Caroline, Jamie fears a worse nightmare than death, demons, or even an eternity with Keziah: facing his own soul.

Paradise

  • A comic novel about intimacy, with God and people, how we both long for it and flee from it.
  • A parable of repentance.
  • Glenn Myers is the prize-winning author of 17 books of fiction and non-fiction, with translations into six languages. See GlennMyers.info

Comments from my original focus group

7 thoughts on “Paradise”

  1. ‘Hitchhikers Guide meets Screwtape meets Pilgrims Progress meets the Discworld!’ (Phil G)

  2. The most thought-provoking read I’ve had for a long time!

    My challenge … is how to stop my brain working overtime as it tries to tie up all the theological loose ends …

    (Hugh O.)

  3. Thanks for letting me read through Paradise. As you so rightly said, it would probably not be the kind of book I would normally pick up to read. Nor would the average person of my age read it – I can imagine the reactions of one or two of my friends – but you have a very different generation in mind. Yet I have enjoyed reading it.

    You described it as comic fantasy, and it’s certainly that and you’ve maintained it really well throughout. It’s quirky, humorous and imaginative … the closing encounter between Jamie and Keziah and their conversation … if the reader really thinks about it, [bring] in much deeper issues than appear on the surface.
    (Daphne S.)

  4. I have just finished reading your novel. It is utterly marvellous. Very subversive … I loved the humour, the witticisms … I like the use of the concept of an afterlife starting off in a kind of waiting room at least for those souls who are not quite dead. It allows a good deal of fun. Osama becoming a target for Jamie’s anger management had me in uncontrollable laughter. Your portrayal of the demons was simply delicious. The golden rain was a lovely touch for getting (God’s) grace in: toxic to demons but healing for humans. The ‘salvation’ of Keziah and Jamie’s role in it were beautiful. (Cy W.)

  5. I started reading before lunch and read right through till gone 5pm when I’d finished and realised that I’d got no work done. Needless to say I enjoyed it! Wonderfully descriptive and exciting (Andrew W.)

  6. I enjoyed the tone of the piece a lot. The light comic touch was handled skilfully and confidently … The style had shades of authors like Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde, all of whom use a comic touch for more than just whimsy. This is a tricky thing to achieve, allowing the comic and serious themes to complement each other.

    I liked the growing realisation that all was not well in Jamie’s garden. The intervention of his sister and his subsequent attempts to get back to his body worked well. I found the action outside of Jamie’s bubble convincing and unsettling … The contrast between Jamie’s and Keziah’s worlds and activities was handled well. I liked the way they mirrored their attitudes and responses to their predicament.

    The spirits also carried an air of threat to them covered over by a veneer of good humour … There was something of the Walrus and the Carpenter about them.

    I liked the post-modernist themes that began to emerge as the spirits’ intentions became clearer … I found Jamie and Keziah’s conversation at the end powerful and clear.

    The author profile I compiled as I read was one that I warmed to. I felt that I was in good hands and was being taken on a journey by a guide I could trust. There was a sense of integrity to the work and commitment to it on your part.

    (Corin R)

  7. … The fact that Jamie remains thoroughly likeable despite (or because of) his self-absorption, his gluttony, his escapism and cowardice, is a masterstroke. We can get into his mind and identify with him (especially if we like cricket). Very witty portrayal – running jokes on Afghan food work well. His ‘figments’ tell us more of his character too. I loved the way he retreats into the lighthouse to re-run the Ashes etc after big stress points.

    Keziah – effective character who raises deep issues. The falling memory bubbles when tortured is a brilliant touch. Likewise the Golden Rain/Grace image is highly effective. Good ‘parable’ technique.

    The Spirits – Leopold and Gaston as characters work well. The infighting in the evil spirit world effectively done. Almighty Toad loomed nicely in the background.

    Stub/snake … adamantine chains sequence again brilliant.

    First Trumpeter – possibly my favourite character… Had to feel sorry for the little guy.

    The dialogue is slick, witty and true to life. Especially when each character is caught in his/her own focus, not really listening to the other – the dialogue is convincing. Jamie’s inability to refrain from wise cracks, and Keziah’s or Caroline’s withering responses are priceless.

    It was a good read. Thoroughly enjoyable. Made me laugh. Made me think. (Paul H)

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