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Turning Idolater Paperback – September 15, 2008


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About the Author

Edward C. Patterson has been writing novels, short fiction, poetry and drama his entire life, always seeking the emotional core of any story he tells. With his eighth novel, The Jade Owl, he combines an imaginative touch with his life long devotion to China and its history. He has earned an MA in Chinese History from Brooklyn College with further post graduate work at Columbia University. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he has spent four decades as a soldier in the corporate world gaining insight into the human condition. He won the 1999 New Jersey Minority Achievement Award for his work in corporate diversity. Blending world travel experiences with a passion for story telling, his adventures continue as he works to permeate his reader's souls from an indelible wellspring.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440422109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440422102
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,598,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Edward C. Patterson has been writing novels, short fiction, poetry and drama his entire life, always seeking the emotional core of any story he tells. With his eighth novel, The Jade Owl, he combines an imaginative touch with his life long devotion to China and its history. He has earned an MA in Chinese History from Brooklyn College with further postgraduate work at Columbia University. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he has spent five decades as a soldier in the corporate world gaining insight into the human condition. He won the 2000 New Jersey Minority Achievement Award for his work in corporate diversity. Blending world travel experiences with a passion for story telling, his adventures continue as he works to permeate his reader's souls from an indelible wellspring.

His novel No Irish Need Apply was named Book of the Month for June 2009 by Booz Allen Hamilton's Diversity Reading Organization. His Novel The Jade Owl was a finalist for The 2009 Rainbow Awards.

Edward C. Patterson currently has 26 published books and several in the pipeline. He is the proud founder of Operation eBook Drop, a member of Kboards, The Gay & lesbian Writers and Readers Group, and a Veteran - US Army 1966-68. He has guest blogged extensively and has appeared on the Bobby Ozuna - Soul of Humanity Show.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Chambers HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on July 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Note: This review was originally published at Red Adept Reviews on June 21, 2011.

Overall: 4 3/4 stars

Plot/Storyline: 5 stars

"Turning Idolater" was the story of Philip Flaxen and his search for love. Thrown out of his home by his father when he discovered that Philip was gay, Philip turned to Sprakie, an acquaintance. Soon, Philip was working at the online porn site where Sprackie worked. The story took off when Thomas Dye, a famous author, met Philip online. Their ensuing relationship - with its ups and downs - formed the crux of the story.

The title words "turning idolater" came from Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick, where Ishmael wrote, "I must turn idolater," meaning that Ishmael must ignore the line between different religions and customs, allowing the acceptance he craves from Queequeg, a harpooner on the whaling ship Pequod. In the symbolism of Turning Idolater, Philip was Ishmael to Thomas's Queequeg. There were significant differences in their age, lifestyle, and background. Could the two overcome these differences and find a happy middle ground?

Meanwhile, someone was killing Philip's friends. It gradually became apparent that the murders were connected, but by the time Philip understood the connection, it was almost too late. A sharp reader might have figured out who the murderer was from some earlier clues, but they slipped by me.

One of the highlights of the story was the trip that Thomas, Philip, and two of their friends made to Provincetown, Massachusetts, a coastal village renowned as a gay Mecca. It was.

Characters: 5 stars

The story revolved around the relationship between Philip Flaxen and Thomas Dye. Although from different worlds, they had an immediate mutual attraction.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on January 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Emotionally distraught after finding male pornography in her son's room, Philip Flaxen's mother shares her discovery with her husband. Ashamed and disgusted with this revelation, Philip's father disowns his son, kicks him out of his only home, and warns him to never return. Philip turns to his only friend, Robert Spraque - "Sprakie" - who takes him into his apartment. Sprakie introduces him to the seedy world of adult internet sites where Philip can get work by "baring it all" in order to stay off the streets.

Online, Philip encounters a "customer" different from his normal patrons - this client is well educated, articulate, and thoughtful. Intrigued, Philip breaks all the rules to meet this man face to face in hopes of kindling a romance. As it turns out, Philip's admirer is an extremely successful though considerable older author. A May-December romance ensues yet both men struggle with their very different backgrounds and social strata. Each consider whether they should turn idolater or leave love behind. Meanwhile, a series of cold blooded murders involving Philip's acquaintances occur and neither Philip nor his lover realize that their choice for love is also a life or death decision.

In "Turning Idolater", Edward C Patterson has create a novel best described as contemporary literary fiction. Inspired and anchored by Melville's "Moby Dick", Patterson explores the social mores impacting two men drawn to one another yet kept from complete commitment due to the fabric of their very different backgrounds and colliding realities.

Through Patterson's lyrical prose and keen understanding of the human condition, he creates characters so real I felt as if I was reading a memoir. Frequent reference to literary classics and intricate and loving descriptions of priceless book restoration invite the reader into a contemporary equivalent of a Jane Austen novel. Fans of Patterson's work will certainly enjoy Turning Idolater.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lannie on September 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first book I read by this author, but a very good story.This book has an interesting cast of characters: Thomas Phillip Sprakie,and Flo. A story surrounded by the words from the story of the great whale MOBY DICK. A great mystery. Come read this book, enjoy it as I did. A MUST READ.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ECH on May 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was not expecting to really like this story but it surprised me through each paragraph and chapter, left me feeling like I was floating on a cascade of words that were moving me further out into the horizon of light, each word awoken me to new meaning that made the story rich each page I progressed through, I just adore this book and want to read it again and again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sharon E. Cathcart VINE VOICE on July 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was initially uncertain what to make of "Turning Idolater." I'm a great admirer of Edward C. Patterson's work, but I just could not imagine how a book about a gay man who strips on the Internet, whilst obsessing over the language of "Moby Dick," could somehow intertwine with information about the rare book trade and a murder mystery. Yet, in the end, that story turned out to be absolutely brilliant.

As always, Patterson's prose is gorgeous; the descriptions of whales, gulls, a cat and a dog in Provincetown are particular standouts in that regard. His protagonist, Philip, is a sympathetic fellow -- not without his flaws, certainly, which make him human instead of a cardboard caricature. There's more to Philip than meets the eye, which we learn as the tale progresses.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy a good literary novel.
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