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The Unhappy Medium [Kindle Edition]

T. J. Brown
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

About The Unhappy Medium

When even the laws of physics let you down, the absurd, the ludicrous and the frankly impossible may be all you have left.

Dr Newton Barlow has everything a theoretical physicist could ask for – a glittering career both in the lab and on television, a beautiful wife, and best of all, the opportunity to promote his rock-solid certainty that supernatural and religious beliefs are nothing but complete and utter hokum.

But Barlow is about to take a tumble. Mired in accusations of fraud, incompetence and malpractice, Newton is cast out from the scientific establishment and ejected from the family home. With his life in tatters, he descends into a wine-sodden wilderness.

Then, after three lost years, Barlow is suddenly approached by his old mentor and fellow sceptic Dr Sixsmith with an extraordinary proposition, an offer that Newton simply cannot refuse. There’s just one small problem:

Dr Sixsmith is dead.

Thrown headlong into a new reality that simply shouldn’t exist, Dr Newton Barlow is about to come up against the best and the worst of human nature: tooled-up vicars, paper-pushing ancient Greeks, sinister property developers, a saucy rubber nun and possibly the most mean-spirited man ever to have walked the earth (twice).

From the dusty plains of Spain to the leafy vicarages of Hampshire, Dr Barlow will have to contradict everything he ever believed in if he wants to save this world – and the next.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2412 KB
  • Print Length: 439 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ILRX3D0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,819 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unhappy Medium Will Make You Happy March 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The Unhappy Medium has everything I look for in a comedic fantasy/SF novel. The protagonist is a skeptic (think Mythbusters, James Randi, Harry Houdini et al) who finds that reality is...not as he had always assumed. Call it supernatural noir with a dash of historical (not to mention prehistorical) fiction for flavor, along the lines of the Bobby Dollar series by Tad Williams, the Inferno series by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the Reality Dysfunction series by Peter F. Hamilton, or the Ghost Trilogy by L. E. Modesitt.

Although the novel is a self-contained story, the author also sets up what looks to be a bang-up series. Highly recommended to any SF, fantasy, or horror fan who likes their humor dry and their spooks snarky. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I’ll just say if any of this sounds like your cup of tea (with a nod to the charming UK and continental settings, including castles *and* pubs, not to mention the lovingly restored WWI-era tank that plays a role), grab this book!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant hit! Funny, original and most enjoyable. February 26, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Brown's writing style flows with ease; a wry smile quickly appeared in the corner of my mouth and I was laughing by page two. This book has all the promise of a great potential series! Respected physicist Newton Barlow has spent his life rejecting the spiritual, but when your reputation is destroyed and your dead mentor tells you (to your face) there's more than just this life, and offers you a job, well...things get interesting!
There are really relatable characters in this tale and everyone, from heroes to villains, is distinct, memorable and enjoyable. I'm a big fan of this genre and this one was a true joy to read. It's earned its place alongside my favourite books, and there aren't many debut novels on that shelf! I really hope he writes more of these, I'm hooked!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fun! June 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was such a delightful read! My life's so busy I don't allow myself the joy of reading fiction often, so when I do it must be entertaining. This certainly was. The story flowed well and kept my interest, the characters were unique and enjoyable. The writing was wry and witty and had me laughing out loud several places (which drew the attention of my husband and children, so I had to read them parts--makes a good read-aloud, too). As a skeptical atheist woman with a scientific bent, I loved the clash of science, skepticism and the supernatural. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a casual, fun read. I'm looking forward to whatever Mr. Brown has next for us.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I only liked the middle. July 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I really wanted to like this book. I stuck with it until the end, but I skipped parts. The first 30% (sorry I don't have numbers)was supposed to introduce the characters, but I spent the whole time thinking what is this all about and where is the medium. The middle I enjoyed when the main character started doing missions but things started getting violent and gross. I don't enjoy reading about torture so I skipped large portions of the book in the back. It just might be my age, but I didn't like it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A large, happy surprise July 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This was unexpected. I happened upon this after developing an itch to read a book by a new author and at the same time having this one recommended to me by a friend. It hooked me early on as it zigged and zagged and outpaced my expectations. Just when I thought I had a handle on the book, Brown shifted scenes and styles -- scientific, historical and magical moments follow one another in The Unhappy Medium and Brown handles them with equal aplomb, eventually placing them all on equal footing as the book became impossible to put down. Along the way there's a warmth in each of those distinct perspectives that felt like taking a vacation to a foreign place I've always wanted to visit and finding the best tour guide who shares both his home-grown excitement for the spots that made me want to go there in the first place and his disfavor over the things robbing it of its essential charm. There is an unmistakable, genuine British wit in the Unhappy Medium that can't be manufactured elsewhere. It's worth seeking out and sharing.

Of note is that the characters and scenes are drawn with a painter's eye for detail and precision. I found the depictions of the characters and scenes engrossing in and of themselves -- beyond what what they contributed to the story's progression. Those finely wrought moments were like going to a museum and appreciating a painting without worrying about what movement the painter belonged to or what it's supposed to mean.

Collectively, though, the book concerns a Dr. Newton Barlow, a character who initially struck me as sharing a similarity to Richard Dawkins in their outspoken reliance on science as their first and last method of understanding the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very unusual novel in that it starts out as an apparent one genre novel but soon morphs into several genres, to include, time travel, historical fiction, action, skulduggery, ghosts, etc. This should be enough for almost any reader. If you get bored with one segment, then just keep reading. I really don't think anyone would get bored. The author has put many fictional characters in this novel but also mentions a lot of real characters. I found it interesting to do a Google of these characters in order to understand the development of the author's main characters. This had the additional benefit (to me at least) to review my history of the Spanish Inquisition and other past or present incidents mentioned in this novel.

I won't go into the story since much of this has been mentioned in previous reviews. Don't be afraid to read these other reviews as they contain no spoilers and may further incite your curiosity of this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ghost story for the ages
I normally don't read ghost stories, or the paranormal, or werewolves, or vampires. But I read this one, and I wasn't sorry. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Margaret Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars I always wondered about Purgatory. Now I know!
I actually wanted a 4.5 - somewhere between "I like it" and "I love it". There are slow spots, but overall, the story was a very enjoyable read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by AMCIT
4.0 out of 5 stars but I enjoyed
It took a while to get started, but I enjoyed it
Published 3 months ago by L. Eger
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and a good tale. I would recommend this to just about ...
Well written and a good tale. I would recommend this to just about anyone.
Published 3 months ago by Chad
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun!!
This is a very fun read and a novel look at the after life. Hope there is a sequel coming!
Published 3 months ago by Mary A
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the main character -- very well drawn and sympathetic
Very entertaining. I loved the main character -- very well drawn and sympathetic. Mind movies of the "enhanced" car were great!
Published 3 months ago by Linda Mikkelsen
5.0 out of 5 stars A few moments of dread punctuated by gobs of laughing
A fun ride and a great story. A slow but very enjoyable build of a very interesting cast of characters. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Geekinthegarden
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A fun read that kept me interested from the first page to the end.
Published 3 months ago by Tracy A Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well written with a droll edge. Very enjoyable read.
Published 4 months ago by Gary Wasserman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed this e-book. I would recommend this to anyone that likes a little paranormal read.
Published 4 months ago by Luna
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