Sunday, November 14, 2010
Looking for the King
I'm naturally skeptical of novels that have their own trailer, but I'm intrigued by Looking for the King, by David Downing.
The book is not another group biography of the Inklings. In fact, it sounds more like an imitation of That Hideous Strength or one of Charles Williams' novels, in which supernatural events in modern Britain evoke the island's ancient past and speak to the contemporary threat of evil. The background is Nazi-occupied Europe, the protagonists are two young Americans at Oxford, the object of desire an ancient relic and the wise old men who aid our protagonists are the crew you've been waiting for: the Inklings.
A variety of reviews have been positive, praising the novel for its measured action, its historical research and its decision to leave the Inklings in the wings, rather than trying to put them on center stage.
If you'd like to read a passage before buying a copy for yourself or a loved one, you can do so here. I found the excerpt a bit flat at first, but soon I was reading out of genuine interest, and not simply as a test. I ended by deciding not to finish reading the passage, since I'll probably read the book some day and it would make more sense to do it in order.
H/T to Maggie Perry for sharing this post.