The Seeker in Forever

~by Alan Fox

One of the things I enjoy about reviewing books is that occasionally I am contacted by an author, either with a request to look at their work or to discuss something I've already reviewed. Unfortunately, these are not always positive interactions. When Alan Fox contacted me about his books The Seeker in Forever and The Girl Made of Cool, I was somewhat reluctant to accept because of a rather poor author experience that I had recently had. But in the end, I did because he obviously took time, thought, and care in his e-mails to me; Mr. Fox was a delight to work with. And (partially) because of that, I was genuinely interested in reading his work. He thought I would most likely enjoy The Seeker in Forever the best of his two books and so that is the book that made it into my reading pile first.

Cinjun Khan S'mythe, a political strongman, is quickly becoming one of the most powerful men in the United States. Behind him is the newly established House Crimson, determined that he should become the next president. Miles Roark, a man of no particular note (at least to begin with), was just fired from his job for nonconformity. Behind him is the devastating Daphne Fox, and it is his dream to become a sound chaser and to challenge S'mythe and his authority. S'mythe does the best he can to ignore Roark, but eventually the two men must confront each other in what can only end in a spectacular fashion.

The first thing I should probably mention is that I read the revised second edition of The Seeker in Forever. I have no idea what has been changed, added, or removed from the book's first edition to make this one different. And speaking of different--The Seeker in Forever definitely is, which in some ways makes it difficult for me tor review since I don't really have much to compare it to. Fox doesn't use standard narrative techniques. Instead, The Seeker in Forever reads almost like a 318 page freestyle poem. The prose is visceral and emotive. Occasionally, a phrase would catch me in the gut and I would sit for a moment in surprise before continuing on. To me, the book felt like it was begging to be read aloud or turned into a performance piece. The style is definitely not one that everyone is going to appreciate--making the book difficult to recommend to just anyone--but I actually quite enjoyed it, even though I couldn't read it for long stretches at a time. The narrative techniques were a bit unusual and resulting in somewhat of a mind-bender so I would need to take intermittent breaks.

In addition to being imaginative, The Seeker in Forever also acts as a political satire. I know that I must have missed many of the references made, but I'm fairly certain I at least caught nods to quite a few authors, including Ayn Rand, Frank Herbert, Robert A. Heinlein, and George Orwell. (Of course, I realize I could be wrong.) Another interesting tidbit of information is that The Seeker in Forever was at least partially based on two screenplays that Fox had previously written: "Throwing Sketches at the Wind" and "The Sidewinder." Even if I didn't quite get or understand everything, I did enjoy The Seeker in Forever as unusual as it was and am glad that I had the opportunity to read it.

Not available in a library...


Jeanne said...

I'll keep an eye out for this one.

Phoenix said...

It's definitely different. I'd be interested in hearing what you think of the book if you get a chance to read it. Thanks for stopping in again!