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Steven Kotler's first book, The Angle Quickest for Flight, is visionary fiction the way we always hoped it could be--the quintessential quest, gripping by the ninth page. It's hip, literary, and poetic yet down-to-earth, with plenty of good story and brimming with sense of place. Even literary giant John Barth deemed it "a brilliant novel!" The fast-paced adventure unravels, ravels, and unravels again as a runaway boy christened Angel finds himself entangled with an odd assortment of eccentric metaphysicians searching for a sacred book looted during the Spanish Inquisition and tithed to the Vatican. Dodging a madman, Vatican agents, and his own past, Angel flits from a café in Santa Fe to the streets of San Francisco, the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem, Rome, Colorado, and Sumatra--Indiana Jones would have signed up for this assignment in a second had he known about it. Angle is a story about finding what is lost, metaphysically and in every other sense. --Randall Cohan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The plot of Kotler's intriguing but often maddening first novel may perplex even the most patient reader, but what book-lover can resist a story about book thieves? Using the jump-cut technique now almost compulsory in mysteries and thrillers, Kotler takes the reader from New Mexico to Tierra del Fuego to Old Jerusalem, weaving together several characters into his complex if not quite winning story about drifters, a renegade priest and smugglers of precious documents. The mysterious Pena, an old Santa Fe woman, draws Angel, a 17-year-old runaway, into her scheme to locate an ancient Kabbalistic text, the Sefer ha-Zaviot, believed to hold a secret shortcut to heaven. Pena persuades Angel to accompany her to Mexico to find another Sefer-seeker named Padre Isosceles, but Pena dies upon reaching the padre's monastery. Angel flees to the States to find Pena's friend, smuggler Coyote Bl#, who plots to retrieve the Sefer from the Vatican, although by then he knows that Padre Isoceles and his dedicated followers will kill any competitors. The story then moves on to rock climbing in California and to the depths of the Vatican library, and it is there that Kotler sets his most powerful scenes, depicting the Church's need to bury contrary beliefs. Along the way, Kotler dips into enough esoterica (the Kabbalah, I Ching, set theory, Sufism) to keep a curious reader intrigued, and the dialogue is always witty and cool. But the novel is overwritten, and the plot far harder to piece together than it should be, making this ambitious intellectual thriller less involving than it might have been.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I am a reader who appreciates nuance and complexity in a novel, but this book was an abomination. It was barely coherent, poorly dialoged, sloppily written, and intellectually... Read morePublished on August 16, 2012 by drwfishesman
An enigma of a book. In one chapter a central charater meets Jesus in some of the best writing I have read in years. Read morePublished on April 3, 2004 by Daiun
The plot, character development, and structure of this title has made it #1 on my favorites list. When I finished it, I began again.Published on February 21, 2003
As I was reading this, I thought, "Hmm. I wonder if any secret messages are encrypted in this text." Well, turns out, probably not. Read morePublished on October 31, 2001 by New Age of Barbarism
Perhaps overly complex. The story jumps out and grabs you. The writing is quirky, but the sentences are almost poetic. Read morePublished on August 16, 2000
200 pages into the novel, these are my thoughts.
Two things can be said about Kotler's novel: it's written with unique characters and in a unique voice. Read more
This book was a disappointment. The author seems to have pared down every line in some sort of quest for trendy minimalism. Read morePublished on October 25, 1999 by steve hunter (firstname.lastname@example.org)