David Czuchlewski Empire of Light

ISBN 13: 9780142004913

Empire of Light

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Researching a powerful religious cult into which his ex-girlfriend Anna has disappeared, Matt Kelly pretends to join in order to rescue Anna, an endeavor that is complicated by his own vulnerability to the cult's seductive ways. Reprint.

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About the Author:

David Czuchlewski is currently a resident in the Department of Pathology at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center.

From Publishers Weekly:

Czuchlewski's first novel, The Muse Asylum, was a highly praised psychological thriller; his second, the story of a mysterious-and possibly sinister-Catholic sect's impact on two former lovers, is considerably less exciting. An underachieving Princeton grad, Matt Kelly might have tried to forget his ex, the beautiful, rich Anna Damiani Barrett, but then she shows up on his doorstep, disheveled and disowned. After an awkward night, she disappears, but soon sends Matt letters about the wonders of Imperium Luminis-the Empire of Light. The powerful society, founded by a shady Sicilian mystic, boasts papal approval and a publicly announced spectrum of noble motives, but its means to its ends are far less noble. Anna, like many new disciples, was fogged with drugs and alcohol; she's sober now, but she's not exactly free. The narrative cuts forward and backward in time, as Matt embarks on a long and confused chase to rescue Anna from the clutches of Imperium Luminis. Slowing the pace even further are frequent theological digressions and windy excerpts from the sect's founder's confession ("As the sheep went about their mindless business, I would spend the day perched on a sun-warmed rock, reading of the Israelites and the Apostles"). As the novel moves toward its climax, things get a little more stimulating, as characters' motivations and confessions are called into question, and Matt uncovers the influence of the sect on his own past. Czuchlewski is still a writer to watch, but this sophomore effort, with its winding narrative and passable prose, will likely disappoint fans of his debut.
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9780399151033: Empire of Light

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ISBN 10:  0399151036 ISBN 13:  9780399151033
Publisher: Putnam Adult, 2003
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