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The King of Babylon Shall: Not Come Against You Paperback – February 15, 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; 1ST edition (February 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156005530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156005531
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,470,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The King of Babylon Shall Not Come Against You starts off conventionally enough when journalist Billy Tone shows up in the town of Paradise Springs to investigate a bizarre murder that occurred on the same day that Martin Luther King was assassinated. But poet and novelist George Garrett has something else in mind. That something else turns out to be farce. A rich stew of chaos, comedy, old jokes, and ranting characters, the novel also finds room for a biography of Martin Luther King and a character named Raphael who smokes a corncob pipe, sports a pith helmet, and just might be the angel Raphael. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

One of our most protean writers, Garrett forsakes the Elizabethan world of Entered From the Sun in this nearly apocalyptic vision of American society. On April 4, 1968, the day Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, two murders, a fire, a grotesque kidnapping, a bank embezzlement and perhaps a suicide take place in the central Florida town of Paradise Springs. The chance to write a book on those events, plus some hidden circumstances in his own life, send investigative reporter Bill Tone to the community 25 years later. During the course of his interviews with witnesses and other town residents, he discovers a bizarre situation ignited by the religious frenzy of one of the murder victims, and a number of self-serving and immoral acts committed by others. Background to these revelations are flashbacks in which all those involved that day reflect on their actions. These include the promotion manager for an itinerant preacher, the preacher's obese common-law wife, a sex-obsessed minister and an elderly professor who deals in pornography. Clearly, Garrett's intent is to draw a picture of the moral breakdown of American society, using 1968 as the defining year that the culture changed for the worse. But because he seeks to assemble a wide spectrum of opinions, his capsule "interviews" serve to fragment the narrative, draining his mordant social commentary of dramatic momentum. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Cowell on March 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The author writes this novel set in Florida with a combination of vigor and poetry and humor that is very rare and wonderful; his many characters pull you deeper and deeper into this story which flies back and forth a generation to gradually reveal the truth of a 20 year old murder. One extraordinary character after another is born on the page and all together form part of the story. No wonder the author can write such very deep and real Elizabethan books for which he is justly famous.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By joshua chapman on March 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Outside of Virginia and graduate writing programs, where he is treated as a minor deity, Garrett is largely anonymous. This is a shame, since he is among our greatest living writers. I'm especially fond of this book, which explores the South's relationship with its own history in a way that respects and humanizes everyone without abandoning the humor that marks the best of the region's fiction. I do not wish to imply that Garrett is merely a local star. He writes about the South because he is from here, but also because it provides a microcosm of America. Issues of racial identity and religious splintering dominate this nation, and they also dominate this novel.
Garrett is an elegant stylist, a wry and fearless observer and a gifted humorist. This book ought not be discarded--it is the best American novel about America written in the past decade, and it is a shame that it has not crossed over into the mainstream territory of book clubs and high school reading lists.
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