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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Frank Turner Hollon's first novel is an unusual and affecting blend of storytelling and philosophy. In this story of loss, suffering, and a peculiar strain of faith, readers are introduced to Gabriel Black, a man in prison for a murder he didn't commit -- but who is all too familiar with violence, crime, and desperation. Gabriel is no saint, but he's full of questions about the significance of his apparently purposeless life, and about the unjust punishment that has befallen him.
These perplexing questions convince Gabriel to begin assembling his "God file," comprised of his notes on surviving in prison, his fellow inmates, childhood memories, letters received from the outside world, and letters never sent. The goal, in Gabriel's words, is "to collect the evidence…to look for God in the tiny details, the corners of my days in this place," and to use what's accumulated to decide for himself whether or not meaning can be found in his painful and violent existence.
The result is a fascinating set of linked short stories, character sketches, and essay-like meditations by Gabriel on such diverse subjects as faith, Darwinism, predestination, and television "weather ladies." Through the twists and turns of his notes on God, readers get to know Gabriel's personable and unapologetic voice; the voice of a man who knows well his own limitations, but cannot shake his belief that he has something to say to his creator.
In Gabriel Black, Frank Turner Hollon has created a memorable and deeply thoughtful narrator, with stories to tell that both surprise and inspire. (Spring 2002 Selection)