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Transubstantiate Kindle Edition

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Length: 250 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"There is a deeper story, a deeper meaning behind his can feel its malice and foreshadowing, recognize its twisted brilliance." 5/5 --Bitten By Books

"The story reads much like a 200-page climax--[the] writing is always on the move, always frantic, surging forward...without pause, all while maintaining an intricate weave of narrative threads with deceptive ease." --Oxyfication (Jason Kane)

"This is a very dark, cynical, and intelligent novel. The way it's told only adds to both the tension and the mystery. A brilliant tale of a haunting dystopia" --Morpheus Tales (Stanley Riiks)

"In the true noir convention, there is blood, sex, and despair brimming through this novel, but at the same time, he subverts what we've come to expect, showing more of the neo than the noir" --Spinetingler (Chris Deal)

"[A] seamless melding of multiple genres while still retaining a literary voice, meaning it's a very well-written novel while still having the constant clicking of impending doom in the background." --Rotten Leaves (Nik Korpon)

From the Back Cover

"Transubstantiate is, is -- it's a visual: that 2001 baby opening its eyes in the monolith, but the monolith is shrouded in this story of loss and hope and identity, and encoded in the cadence of that story, if you listen close, is the genetic map with which to draw this impossible celestial infant, opening its eyes on the page, looking right into you."
--Stephen Graham Jones
All The Beautiful Sinners, Bleed Into Me: A Book of Stories,  Ledfeather, The Ones That Got Away

"Transubstantiate is an intricately-woven dystopian thriller, with every thread pulled tight. This is a solid debut from Richard Thomas."
--Craig Clevenger
The Contortionist's Handbook, Dermaphoria

"Richard Thomas's Transubstantiate constructs a collection of voices that reveals a disturbing futuristic vision of terror and beauty. The novel's island paradise, its imprisoned inhabitants, and the digital presence that works to control them, merge with ancient forces of rite and belief to create a surreal and devastating collage. This is a work that captures a world we almost know, its realities enough to raise an uneasy sense of potentiality."
--Karen Brown
Pins and Needles, The Best American Short Stories 2008

"Told through various shadowy narrators, Transubstantiate is a trippy, intriguing novel that forecasts dystopia for our near-future. Thomas successfully blends several genres here--noir, literary fiction, sci-fi--all with abrasive, haunting language."
--Joey Goebel
Torture the Artist, The Anomalies, Commonwealth

Product Details

  • File Size: 450 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Otherworld Publications; 1st edition (February 11, 2011)
  • Publication Date: February 11, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004NIFNY8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,459,883 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

BIO: Richard Thomas is the author of seven books: Three novels, Disintegration and The Breaker (Random House Alibi), and Transubstantiate (Otherworld Publications); three short story collections, Tribulations (TBA), Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press), and Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press); as well as one novella of The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). With over 100 stories published, his credits include Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 2 & 3, and Shivers 6. He has won contests at ChiZine, One Buck Horror, and Jotspeak and has received five Pushcart Prize nominations to date. He is also the editor of four anthologies: Exigencies and The New Black (Dark House Press), The Lineup (Black Lawrence Press) and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk (finalist for the Bram Stoker Award). In his spare time he is a columnist at LitReactor and Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press. He has taught at LitReactor, the University of Iowa, StoryStudio Chicago, and in Transylvania. His agent is Paula Munier at Talcott Notch. For more information visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brandon on July 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
The bottom line is that Richard Thomas has got the goods.

For a debut, he goes balls out on this one: sizeable cast, jumpy timeline, complex story, but Thomas pulls this off seamlessly without it ever feeling disjointed or convoluted. He doesn't spoon-feed the reader. TRANSUBSTANTIATE will make you think, question, and come up with your own theories about what's happening/going to happen, and I loved that aspect of it.

Regarding the actual writing, this has a Stephen King feel, and that might have to do with the size of the cast and the syntax that Thomas has. Make no mistake, it's reminiscent of King, but Thomas has a voice all his own that is sure to stand out in neo-noir genre he is taking on. The thing that Thomas does very well in direct comparison to King is the economy aspect of storytelling. Thomas doesn't waste a word and doesn't sacrifice any of the on-the-body description or gritty scenery. He paces what could've been a slow and confusing novel in such a way that's easy to swallow and effective. Readers should eat this up.

Thomas has been pitching this book as something akin to "Lost." I agree with that wholeheartedly. Not just because we're on an island with a large cast, but also because Thomas seems to pose great questions in his narrative that just have to be answered by us, the reader, and so we keep pouring through to find those answers. Every character is polished and worth watching. Everyone is connected somehow.

I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of "Lost" or looking to try a different flavor of novel. Great debut. Thomas is definitely a guy to keep an eye on.

-Brandon Tietz
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Poetry Chick on February 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not for lazy readers. Thank God! A lot of the creepiness and suspense is created by the use of the 7 different perspectives. Thomas has both urgency (the book grabs you from the very first page) and an admirable patience in his work. He lets the story and the plot progress at just the right speed. It did require paying attention to keep the ducks of the story in a row, so to speak, but it wasn't a bother. It was a pleasure. And there wasn't (as I feared there might be) a need to take notes or go back and re-read previous sections, etc.

I know basically nothing about noir or neo-noir. I've never seen Lost so I can't compare the book to it. What I do know is that Thomas has a style all his own and I love it--dark, sexy, gripping, and he's constantly cracking that whip to make me do the work, to pay attention as the pieces start to come together. It's interesting that a previous reviewer mentioned Faulkner. I thought of Faulkner, too, with regard to the style of diving right into the different perspectives and having the plot revealed gradually. But I also thought of Faulkner because this novel has what I've come to expect from Richard Thomas through his brilliant short stories--a gorgeous handle on language. His short stories keep getting better and better, and I expect his novels will do the same. I look forward to the next one.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steve Zissu on March 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thomas's plot is very unique and his distinctive voice blends gritty and choppy language with crisp exposition. He jumps through a fragmented time line as well as numerous narrators with ease. What I didn't care for was this book left so much to be explained. And if not explained, at least hinted at. By the end of the book there was a mountain of questions posed in the story that could not have possibly been answered with the few remaining left. I don't need to be spoon fed everything but I needed more than what I got. Without spoiling the book, a few questions I had were things such as, if the island so was well protected (as shown when Jacob tried running the fortified wall) how did Jimmy escape? And when he was trying to get back to the island, why not just reverse his steps? What trapped X on the island? Who were the women who collected a... uhhh... DNA sample from Gordon? What was Jacob's purpose? He was labeled as 'chosen' but by the end his contributions were fairly negligible. I also would have liked a bit more on X's sister. There was a lot of fertile ground for the teleporters. Overall I will be looking forward to Thomas's next book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roger on August 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Six people find themselves in a lone struggle against an alien (computer-generated?) entity known only as "Assigned" who has masterminded the almost complete elimination of human life in order to run God-like experiments on the survivors. Combining elements of neo-noir, science fiction, thrillers and social commentary, TRANSUBSTANTIATE confounds the reader's expectations through a story that is impossible to put down. I took extended lunches and stayed up way too late because of this book. If you're looking for a fresh and exciting voice in contemporary literature, look no further than Richard Thomas's debut novel. You will not be disappointed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Pettigrew on November 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I went into this book not expecting much, due to the classification of "neo-noir," -I have no idea what that means, and plus the length of the novel seemed a bit on the short side considering the story description.

But I was pleasantly surprised -to say the very least. Indeed it was a quick read -but for the simple fact that I did not want to put the book down. I finished in 3 days, and I'm a slow reader.

It's a Cool Story, with Good Characters, and Superb Writing.

Here's a sample: "Nobody noticed the clipboard clattering to the ground. Its fall from the 16th floor could have killed someone, but it simply cracked in two, bits of fiberboard splintering, the requisition slips flying into the wind, drops of blood splattered over the ivory sheets."

And that's just the Writing. The story itself, well the best way that I can describe this story, without giving anything away, is a combination of modern literary greats like Will Christopher Baer and Stephen Graham Jones meets JJ Abrams. It has familiar sci-fi elements, scenes, and scenarios, yet the Characters are extremely unique and the story takes an unexpected, original direction. The approach is fresh for sure.

I've read more than a fair share of disappointing novels this past year from authors I like and usually look forward to reading, and I have to say that this is the book that's stayed with me. It was the Best Read of 2010 for me.

If you like action, mysteries, but good writing and characterization as deep and fleshed out as much as the story, then this is for you. If you're not exaclty into sci-fi or noir, like me, then this might change your mind or restore your faith in genre fiction.
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