The best way to communicate the message of William Mueller's book is to look at the quotation which was at the head of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead before she removed it from the final, published book: "The noble soul has reverence for itself." Likewise, Mueller found a better or a more palatable quotation but in essence was pursuing the same thing. There are very few guideposts to find. The Fountainhead is one. THE MAGNIFICENT MAN is now another.
Mueller starts, "The magnificent man is not the type to fall in love so easily, but is the one who is free from all desire and lives a life immense in passion, pulse and power, and seemingly has no time for love, doesn't want it, for it imprisons his spirit and foils his destiny in life. This is because the magnificent man is stronger than others, stronger behind the hint of emotion and stronger within the very depth of his own actuality."
THE MAGNIFICENT MAN is the story of a banker-turned artist, his journey to Italy, his solitary struggle to overcome the status quo in order to accomplish great things, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful Venetian who dares him to love her. Yet the novel's most unforgettable character is the protagonist's teacher and friend, a master stone carver, who is awarded a commission to replace the Vatican Obelisk with a marble statue in a sweeping story that illuminates the creative process. It poses one of the most challenging concepts ever presented in a work of fiction: that man's spirit has an inherent certainty for magnificence that is to be discovered and kindled but never betrayed.
In this credible novel, Mueller transports the reader to Florence, Italy, and other great historic and cultural centers of the Italian Renaissance, tracing the transformation of a forty-year-old man as he learns about the art of carving white Carrara marble and himself.
A magically told novel...profound...many layered. It is a most interesting examination of man's nature and of life's potential, in fact a confirmation of the spirit of youth.
THE MAGNIFICENT MAN is an adventure, mystery, romance, and philosophical novel in one. It is a rich and compelling work of fiction. A story of many pleasures. Every page pulses with intellectual and aesthetic excitement.
Mueller infuses a meaningful message of personal courage and American exceptionalism into this compelling novel.