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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 08/2022
  • 9798834971719
  • 394 pages
  • $9.99
Thomas Drago
Author
The Gospels of Peter Star
Thomas Drago, author
What if future humans look back at our culture and believe that a rock star was the savior who brought peace and harmony to our world through music? Peter Star, Rock of Souls, sets out on an epic journey to unify people with songs that celebrate the beauty of life. Gifted to the universe by God, Peter Star embodies all races and genders as they forge a mellifluous path that attempts to redeem a society divided by the politics of equal rights and obsessed with the powers of sex and violence. Together with their devilish guide Major Tom, loyal companions the West Brothers, and unfettered lover Lady Madonna, Peter Star unfurls their lyrical ministry while feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and fighting for social justice in a landscape ravaged by war and decadence. As whimsical and layered as they are innocent, Peter Star advocates for those lost in the shadows while confronting the privileged few who flourish in the light. To spread their divine mission, they must carry the weight of Heaven in their soul or risk eternal damnation. They must believe in love after life. Do you believe?
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: A unique approach to dystopian fantasy, the book tells an alternative mythology of our modern world, told from the perspective of a future human species looking back. It loosely follows the form of the New Testament, and depicts an amalgamation of Christian theology and 20th-century rock and roll lore.

Prose: The writing effectively apes the diction and cadences of the Bible, as does character dialogue. The novel features a number of jokes and playful moments, often through punny names and musical or cultural references.

Originality: The premise behind this work is truly unique in its concept and scope; it challenges genre conventions and delivers wholly unexpected storytelling.

Character/Execution: Due to its structure as a series of connected parables, depth of character is not a narrative component the book relies on. The characters largely exist to further the premise and themes. Many are interesting and portrayed in entertaining ways, but few see much in the way of dynamism or development. 

Blurb: A one-of-a-kind novel that defies easy categorization.

Date Submitted: June 28, 2022

Reviews
Written as holy books from a future in which civilization spans planets and gender pronouns have been eliminated from English, Drago’s ambitious novel and thought experiment imagines, in the spirit of 1967, rock music and stardom as a breakthrough for human consciousness, as it follows the life, career, and globe-shaking legacy of Peter Star, Rock of Souls. Drago pens four ersatz gospels (cleverly attributed to John Paul, George, and Richard) that boldly mix and match elements of the New Testament with science fiction and rock and roll history, resulting in a playful, allusive, head-spinning narrative that continually challenges and rewards readers. Before it follows Star’s early career and miracles, Drago’s “Book of John” finds the star-to-be born in Motor City, where the slithering Major Tom—“the first proto-human to launch into space and circumnavigate the globe”—offers to guide the newborn to stardom, calling Star “the one who unites our peoples with song and dance as has been foretold.”

It all gets wilder from there. The subsequent gospels enrich and expand the basic narrative of Peter Star, “Not Son of God and Not Son of Man,” inviting readers to peel back the layers of myth, tradition, and reverence to try to spot the actual human events at their core. En route to Star’s inevitable crucifixion, and the end of what the gospel authors call “The Hard Days,” the satire is playful and biting: “But I tell you to have sex with your enemies, do favors for those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and embrace your abusers,” Star instructs his throng.

Most engaging among the playful provocations is the introduction, in the Book of Paul, of “Lady Madonna,” a figure who seamlessly ties together the biblical and the Beatle-y—and also suggests Priscilla Presley, too. The epic length, proudly archaic prose, and daring conceit means the Star story isn’t for everyone, but readers on its wavelength will find pleasure, insight, laughs, and astonishment.

Takeaway: This astonishing novel presents the gospels of a rock savior, in allusive biblical style.

Great for fans of: WIll Self’s The Book of Dave, Joseph Heller’s God Knows.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 08/2022
  • 9798834971719
  • 394 pages
  • $9.99

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