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The Alchemists of Kush Paperback – July 1, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Minister Faust is a long-time community activist, writer, journalist, broadcaster, public speaker, martial artist in several disciplines, and the host of the MF GALAXY podcast (http://mfgalaxy.org). As a member of E-Town’s anti-fascist movement in 1990, he and other youth marched on a Nazi skinhead gang house, the hub at that time for a series of violent assaults. Confronted there by skinheads with guns, Minister Faust held them back with nothing but the power of his words. Thus began a speaking career that has taken him across Canada and before crowds in the tens of thousands. Minister Faust taught English Literature in E-Town junior high and high schools for a decade, and later worked as a mentor and trainer for the Keshotu Leadership Academy, an Africentric organisation whose manual he wrote. A radio broadcaster from 1989 to 2012, Minister Faust hosted Africentric Radio (formerly The Terrordome) for 21 years, for which he interviewed luminaries such as Tariq Ali, Molefi Kete Asante, Martin Bernal, Noam Chomsky, Chuck D., Austin Clarke, Angela Davis, Karl Evanzz, Tom Fontana, Glen Ford, Nalo Hopkinson, Reginald Hudlin, Ice-T, Janine Jackson, Michael Parenti, Ishmael Reed, Gil Scott-Heron, Vandana Shiva, David Simon, Scott Taylor, and many more. As a radio and print journalist, he went as far as the 1995 Million Man March in Washington, DC, and to the Ain-al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, to collect stories and hear directly from people living and making history. A maverick novelist increasingly described as one of the finest voices of his generation, Minister Faust is the author of the critically acclaimed The Coyote Kings, Book One: Space-Age Bachelor Pad, and the Kindred Award-winning Shrinking the Heroes. He refers to his sub-genre of writing as Imhotep-Hop—an Africentric literature that draws from myriad ancient African civilisations, explores present realities, and imagines a future in which people struggle not only for justice, but for the stars.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Narmer's Palette (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098690242X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986902420
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,192,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nathan Crowder on June 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Expectations are a funny thing. For the sake of this analogy, consider Starbucks as an example. In my mind, speculative fiction, urban fantasy in particular, has been a lot like Starbucks. (I agree there are exceptions, of course, so untwist your chainmail BVDs.) A coffee purist might be quick to dismiss the ubiquitous coffee purveyor; bitter, over-roasted beans, calorie-laden menu, a macchiato that is anything but. However they have mastered two things: training the world to drop a five-spot n a cuppa joe, and meeting expectations. True, they might not be the platonic ideal of COFFEE, but it will be the same when you order it, whether you order it in downtown Seattle or the Great Wall of China. Likewise, it seems that urban fantasy has been largely a brooding loners, predominately Caucasian, confronting supernatural threats of a European nature -- not that there's anything wrong with that. Like Starbucks, it fills the need but rarely excites me for long.

Granted, it's a tortured analogy.

So, Mr. Coffee Snob, what does this have to do with this review?

Everything.

The Alchemists of Kush by Minister Faust is no Starbucks. In fact, it blew my expectations clean out of the water, so much so that I hesitate to call the novel speculative fiction at all! This, despite the fact that the bulk of the book is split between two parallel stories with 7,000 years separating them. In one set of alternating chapters, Faust tells us the story of Hru, a boy who survives the destruction of his village only to encounter the Swamp of Death and the forces of the mysterious, and aptly named Destroyer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Found it a little difficult to get through, but kept going because there's certainly something there. It may be the writing style that made me feel a little distanced from the characters. The two stories do not gel as much as the synopsis may make a person think. I see the metaphorical link, I just didn't find that the connection between the two narratively harmonious. Sinking into the world of Alchemy and modern Kush was fun and certainly opened up my curiosity about it. The focus that it draws to the individual experience of refugee living, forced immigration and cultural identities is more than worth an extra star. Makes the problem more human and sets a scene for individual consideration of solutions.
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Format: Paperback
Minister Faust's moving story should - no, MUST be read. His skill to paint a scene with words is inspiring and unparalled. Aside from his gift, he has written a story of great import: his message is one that readers should feel honoured to share. Do NOT miss this important novel; it is sure to become historic.

-Kelly Komm, award-winning Canadian author
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the latest book by Minister Faust who's last book The Notebook of Doctor Brain was my intro to his literary prowess. This particular entry takes a very different literary turn in terms of tone and style. And I like it. Not that it reflects badly on Dr. Brain. This is simply a differently styled book which underscores the talent of the "good minister" as I like to call him. Without giving too much away, this is a book of two stories. Actually it's not. Well it is and it isn't. like the Kushite kingdom from which it draws from the book contains many layers of stories wrapped up in prose that is very poetic. As a matter of fact if the book hadn't been so long I would have thought it a long poem. This is a book that I would strongly suggest that parents of teenagers obtain and force to read. At gun point if necessary. No not really. My Mike Huckabee impression aside, I believe that many young people will benefit from a read of this book and are likely to relate to the characters.

It's been 3 weeks since I've finished the book and I'm still contemplating the scrolls. Pick up the book and you'll know what I'm speaking of. Trust me, I'm not the only one diggin' it.
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By Moe on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just completed this book...No this transforming MASTERPIECE, and I'm at a loss for words! The depth, range, careful disconnect/connections Minister Faust made with the readers are like nothing I've ever experienced. This book should be on every honor' s or AP English course reading list in Canada and the U.S.! This is definitely a book that you reread every couple of years so that as your intellect and spirituality grows, you can grasp even more of the brilliance Faust spit!
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Is this a great novel or what?
I really love the fact that you dont have to start from the beginning of the novel to really start the story.
In each chapter there's somewhat kind of a new story but are all interrelated. This is a MUST read. There is so many things you can learn...The Alchemists of Kush
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EXTREME WARNING: Unless your computer has updated Norton Anti-virus protection or comparable protection against covert & malicious software (which infects your computer & then downloads all your files at night by spies) DO NOT ACCESS ANY OF MY REVIEWS!!! [This is no hype or joke.]

Alchemy is the process thought (and sought) to turn common, dull, and base metals into something brilliant and rare. That something is gold.

People, too, can metaphorically be compared to metals. Some are base and very common; while others are exceptional and rare. Lead (just like ignorance and 80% of most people like us) is very common; while gold itself (very much like truth & true knowledge) is very uncommon. But both Knowledge and gold...(just the same as iron, lead, and ignorance)... were all born from calamity--- from the violent explosion of a dying star (or within a corrupt and/or dying culture.) And just like gold, Knowledge and Understanding of our true "Selves" (as African peoples of the Diaspora here in this Wilderness of the West) is very rare, indeed.

To restate it another way, lead (much like ignorance) is very common...a dull substance which rejects all efforts to see inside it---even with x-rays. But because another metal---iron pyrite---is shiny like gold---it sometimes deceives the undiscerning into thinking that it too is valuable---when in fact it is worthless. Thus, it is often called Fool's Gold... which is exactly the purpose of all the "bought-and-paid-for" deceivers, false prophets, and mis-leaders of Black people here in the West---to fool you--- to make you think that what they are selling you is real. But as Malcolm so brilliantly and hilariously explained: We've been deceived and "misled." We`ve been "had and `took`"...
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