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The Stages: A Novel by [Satterlee, Thom]
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The Stages: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A deftly crafted mystery that will leave readers curious and surprised, as well as empathetic to Daniel, whose Asperger's is portrayed realistically." Publishers Weekly

"[Satterlee's] debut places the solution to a mystery in the hands of someone whose own mind is a mystery, most of all to himself. Here's hoping [he] will give Daniel another go." Kirkus

"Within a few pages, I fell in love with this book...an ambitious undertaking and couldn't have been done better." Suspense Magazine

"Satterlee's writing gifts are enormous. The author of the highly acclaimed poetry collection Burning Wyclif, he is adept at rendering Kierkegaard's dense philosophy not only readable, but exquisite." Mystery Scene

From the Author


This is my first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 569 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: December 18, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AQA6JJ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,582 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must confess that the "mystery crime" genre is somewhat alien to me. However, I thought that that was a very-well done part of the story that made me very excited to finish the plot. In addition to that, though, the writing style was so good that I also read it out of the sheer intrinsic value of appreciating good craftsmanship. The background information is solid, and it only lends value and significance to the narrator's excellent choice of words and verbiage (not to mention the author's, of course). Educationally, I have an English degree as a background (and graduate study), and it is one of the most fun novels I have ever read. I also enjoy Kierkegaard, philosophy, and theology (which I currently study), and, from that perspective, the thoughtful insights of the narrator peppered the novel with a gorgeous mental landscape and added a richer dimension on top of an already interesting "whodunnit." It's never overwhelming, though, and it always fits well along the path of the plot and narrative. I highly recommend it for absolutely anyone. It was a perfect read to decompress after a long semester.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel, while being a first rate historical mystery, offers significant insight into the life and work of Soren Kierkegaard, about whom I knew little when starting the book. The author also does a fine job of describing the life of a man with Aspergers. As you read this, you will be entertained at the same time as you learn a great deal about these two subjects (and also Copenhagen and Danish pastries). The other characters are wonderfully drawn, the plot moves along quickly, and the door is open for a sequel. I highly recommend this work.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Character is everything for me when it comes to a good book. In The Stages, the main character Daniel is an American translator living in Denmark. Daniel has Asberger's so when the story is told through his eyes, the viewpoint is different, unique and interesting. Daniel is a very likable character who has managed, with the help of his friend, to live a fulfilling life doing what he loves. When his friend, who also happens to be his boss and really only friend, is murdered Daniel's life grows complex and he steps far outside his comfort zone to understand what happened.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book, the characters were interesting, the story was compelling and Daniel was interesting and likable. I'm looking forward to other books by this author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel had a murder, a mystery, and a police investigation, but what enthralled me was none of the above - they were simply the events that the author used to give us a window into the detailed workings of the main character's mind. Daniel was a fascinating, realistic, quirky man, and the way a hot dog from a street vendor and his favorite hat can linger in my memory show that he is the work of a master character-maker. Unfortunately, about 3/4 of the way through the novel, the author appeared to remember that he was supposed to be writing a mystery novel, and dutifully focused on that, wrapped up all the loose ends and relegating the heart of the story to the shadows.

Very, very enjoyable for the most part - I am eagerly looking forward to more work from Mr. Satterlee, and hope he writes completely to his strengths in the next novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was shocked by how much I learned about Kierkegaard by the end of this! That was probably my favorite part, I'm still thinking about the curious personality quirks I learned about.

It started slow and innocent and became quite the page turner by the end of the first third. I had no idea how it was going to resolve and was surprised by the ending. A great whodunit.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't quite know what to expect in a novel centered around the writings of Soren Kirkegaard, but not to worry... this is a wonderful novel based in Copenhagen. The characterization is excellent; the narrator and protagonist is an interesting character and his uniqueness provides the twist I reference in my title. The book is extremely well-written and the plot carries us along quite well. And still, we get to learn a lot about Soren Kierkegaard.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I received this as a Goodreads giveaway from the author, Thom Saterlee, but that in no way affects the review which follows.

What a wonderful book! First, I loved the idea -- a murder mystery whose main character, Daniel Peters, an American translator working in Copenhagen at the Soren Kierkegaard Research Center who has Asperger's Syndrome, is himself an all-too-trusting suspect who ends up helping the police with their investigation. We learn along the way that he has many things in common with the famous Kierkegaard. (A later summary of Daniel's thoughts on this says "...I am an unmarried, unsexed middle-aged man who lives alone in this harbor town and spends most of his time in the company of words rather than people. Like him, I had one important romantic relationship in my life, and I regret that it had to end...." - pp. 181-182) This puts him in the unique position of being able to think like Kierkegaard, even to the point of deciphering when Kierkegaard is being literal and when he is being ironic or even sarcastic -- a big advantage in his work as a translator.

Saterlee, who says that he spent the better part of four years writing The Stages, has really done his research on Kierkegaard (both writings and biographies), as well as on Copenhagen (where he first visited three decades ago), and this is evident in his command of the subject matter. But at no time did I find myself mired down in unnecessary information; whatever he shares with the reader is essential to the story line and to the character development.

Speaking of character development, I really loved his characterizations of all of the major and minor characters, as well as their interactions.
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