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Richard Grabmeier
Across The Chasm

Christopher Redding, a middle aged businessman, experiences a psychic
phenomenon that changes his life. He meets a young woman who triggers
the event. In the course of happenings he fi nds himself in the body of
another man in Mexico during the Mexican war. He meets a woman he
feels he’s always known.
On his return to the present he fi nds that the man whose body he entered
had transmigrated to his own body and caused havoc with his life, including
making love to his wife and attempting to seduce his step-daughter.
With his life in chaos, Chris moves back and forth between eras, trying to
choose between lives, loves and problems that have become increasingly
bizarre. He is hospitalized, jailed, wounded by Apaches and chased by
Mexican cavalry. He pursues his Spanish love but encounters diffi culties
he couldn’t imagine.
Chris’s modern life is in shambles and he decides to give up his family in
favor of the young woman he is now living with. But that is not the end
of the story.

Plot/Idea: 5 out of 10
Originality: 5 out of 10
Prose: 5 out of 10
Character/Execution: 5 out of 10
Overall: 5.00 out of 10


Plot/Idea: Across the Chasm follows protagonist Chris Redding as he struggles to make sense of his existence in different timelines. The premise is interesting and ambitious, but Chris’s love affair with his stepdaughter’s best friend may strike readers as implausible. 

Prose: Grabmeier’s prose, coming straight from Chris’s voice, vacillates between crisp and clumsy. The flashback sections of the story are rendered well and evoke the romance of colonial Spain, but when the novel returns to the present, the dialogue becomes forced and the writing style awkward in places. 

Originality: The story jumps timelines, lending it intrigue, and combines historical fiction with romance, but the somewhat far-fetched plot interferes with the novel’s standout elements.

Character Development/Execution: Despite Grabmeier’s attempts to paint Chris as troubled and haunted by his past, the end result is an unpleasant character whose questionable choices may alienate him from some readers. Supporting characters lack vibrancy and come across as a means to an end for the protagonist.

Date Submitted: August 25, 2022