Purgatorium – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest
A remarkably creative spiritual thriller, J. H. Carnathan’s Purgatorium twists the mind and abounds with psychological complexity. The protaganist experiences a seemingly frightening and confusing scenario only to wake up in his own bed. His watch starts ticking off the seconds and he unknowingly only has one hour to live his entire day. Day after day, he reawakens in a “Groundhog Day” type of ordeal. Eventually, archangels begin showing up and explain to him that they’ve spent hundreds of days trying to save him while he mindlessly remains “content” in his state of limbo. Yet, the man eventually surprises these soliders of God and begins moving toward real change. Will he be able to transform enough in the few short days he has left, which are really just single hours at a time, to save his life and preserve his soul?
Purgatorium is a book that in no way should be judged by it’s cover, which does little to attract readers. J. H. Carnathan’s fairly long and involved tale offers readers hours of psychological twists and turns as well as a blend of metaphysical and religious questions to ponder. Without a doubt, Purgatorium is a unique and refreshing fictional perspective on what happens when a soul is hanging out between physical life and what comes next or, perhaps, what came before. It’s a long story, but one readers will be unlikely to put down. Even though God, archangels, purgatory and ultimately, second chances are at the core of Carnathan’s Purgatorium, it isn’t a soft and fuzzy read. Instead, it’s action-packed, and honestly, would make a sensational movie for the big screen. J. H. Carnathan’s Purgatorium will twist readers’ minds while touching their hearts all while Christianity remains it’s strongest frame of reference. Well done!
Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.