Open Distanceby Michael Vorhis
Within an intrepid world of high profile international rivalry, two men struggle for glory, survival, and their claim on a turbid past. As stakes escalate and conflict turns venomous, their destinies entwine in a lethal tangle of resentment, calamity, sacrifice...and the unacceptable risk of regret.
- FreeFlight Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)
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"Open Distance" is the second book I have read by Michael Vorhis (the first being the excellent "Archangel") and, if he continues to pen novels of this caliber, he can count on me to be a permanent fan. As with "Archangel" the story is superbly written. The technical explanations of "Deep Flying", (the imaginary sport that is an integral part of the story), and the detailed descriptions of aqua gliding, put me in mind of the hard science-fiction of writers such as Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov - - both personal favorites of mine. The attention to detail brought the sport to life for me and helped suck me in to the world of the protagonist. While the story is told first-person narrative, in a style that allows you into the deepest parts of the protagonist's psyche, it is done in such a way that we don't automatically assume that all will be well for our hero in the end, and this creates an undercurrent of tension as the story unfolds. The protagonist, Nolan Farragut, is a wonderfully flawed hero. We discover that he is basically a good guy, who loves his wife and kids but, as the story unfolds, we can't help but wonder if the friction between him and antagonist Brian Lumfer is as completely cut-and-dried and justified as it seems to be. The author creates some very emotionally intense passages during the course of the story which, I will admit, had me choking back more than a few tears. All in all I found it an extremely satisfying read, more than worthy of a five-star rating. Perry Martin (Author of "Pretty Flamingo" and "Savannah")
Open Distance is a multilayered, highly original and fascinating book. On one level it is an excellent action/adventure story about the protagonist who invents the new competitive sport of “aqua-gliding.” This creatively imagined fictional sport with its physics, technology, equipment, tactics, competitors, fans and dangers is central to the plot and is developed and described in believable, but not overly lengthy, detail. The main characters, all of whom are seen through the protagonist’s first person point of view, their lives and relationships are the real drivers of the story line against the backdrop of the sport. There is plenty of action and adventure in this first level story. However, I believe the sport of aqua-gliding and the title “Open Distance” itself are metaphors for life, and on the subsurface level the book is deeply psychological, even philosophical. For me, the book is about life, love, ambition, loss and meaning. The protagonist’s first person voice is skillfully woven into a veritable meditation on these themes. The book is a work of literary fiction although it can be read as action/adventure genre fiction. Either way, it is an outstanding work and a great read.
Unique concept, serious tension. Tense, adventurous, emotionally driven. A bold tale that weaves in and out of itself, told with the raw, realistic passion of a stream of vivid recollections. Well done; recommended.