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The Old Royal (Volume 1) Paperback – June 13, 2012
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About the Author
J.R. McLemore began writing horror stories. He later developed a love for hard-boiled crime fiction and Southern Gothic. He lives in Rome, Georgia with his wife, daughter, and two hyper cats. J.R. works as a computer programmer by day. Learn more about him and his work by visiting www.jrmclemore.com.
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Top customer reviews
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The main character, Anthony Jessup, is a wonderful study in human motivations and skewed ethics. The bizarre circumstances expose what a man might do if he thought he could literally get away with anything. In some ways, the novel reminded me of "The Invisible Man" by H.G. Wells. Like Griffin, Wells' protagonist, Anthony becomes increasingly more arrogant and reckless each time he gets what he wants and doesn't have to pay the piper. McLemore shows how Anthony is inwardly conflicted in the beginning, but quickly becomes seduced by the mysterious power that has fallen into his possession.
Reading this novel made me take a look at myself, and ask: "What would I do if I knew I could get away with it?" As it turned out, it wasn't about Anthony Jessup. I was about me. Maybe that was the point.
That said, the positives definitely make up for this one negative. Anthony, the main character, is believable and gives readers a glimpse into the mind of the resolution, and sometimes desperation, it often takes to become a professional writer. The underlying tension, driven by Anthony and the surprisingly deep antagonist, makes the story a fast and interesting read. And without giving away any spoilers, I'll simply say that the ending wasn't something I expected, even right up until the end.
Mr. McLemore's style of writing also really works with this story. He gives the reader a handful of clever, memorable metaphors like, "He might as well have written with the pen gripped between his two toes." He makes careful, tactful use of cliche's to draw the reader more quickly into scenes and to keep the plotline moving. He also handles the passage, re-passage, and reconstruction of time extremely well.
The story itself centers around an old typewriter and desperate wannabe. A hero worshipping wordsmith who wants to identically follow the path of his hero- A renowned writer.
What really struck me about this book was the originality of the story. McLemore writes with such a feel for his character and gives him such a strong dose of realism. I found myself actually having to pull away from his fictional world at times- I could feel myself being sucked into the world of a writer desperate to be a someone...
I won't be giving you much more detail about the story... I think you will just love this one, if you enjoy great storytelling. If you enjoy great writing then you will also enjoy this one. If you enjoy being sucked into a story and having to pull yourself out- you will love this one...
Just be careful about befriending typewriters... You may just become your own hero...
Five stars for sure! Six if I could!
I must admit to being a little bit disappointed in the ending. As Anthony's plan unfolds, various events take place and numerous people enter his life. I felt that somehow, all these things would come back to haunt him. The ending was quite a bit simpler than I would have expected. Still, The Old Royal is a well written and captivating story that grabs your attention from the first page.
What sets McLemore apart is something very simply defined as a few things. He has a style, he has culture, and he has the ability to zoom into the body of a character and make that character believable from the outset. I was transfixed by this writers attention to detail and concise literary talent.
Other reviews have spoken about the story. I want to concentrate on the way the writer writes. He does something that I rarely see in novels anymore. He writes a story and tells a tale... I haven't seen anyone TELL a tale in a long time.
Would I read this again? You bet! I suggest you do too... McLemore is a writer you need to take notice of.