Lexington Literature Examiner
The Prophet Of Sorrowby Mark Van Aken Williams
Set against the political backdrop of the Moscow Show Trials and the exile of Leon Trotsky in Mexico, a Spanish agent of Joseph Stalin's/i>
The Prophet of Sorrow is a tale of suspense, courage, and love as recounted by the assassin of Trotsky. Supporting characters help to develop the plot throughout the story, with the inclusion of personal journal entries.
Set against the political backdrop of the Moscow Show Trials and the exile of Leon Trotsky in Mexico, a Spanish agent of Joseph Stalin's notorious secret spy ring, the GPU, is sent to assassinate Trotsky. After killing the exiled Bolshevik, Ramon Mercader has spent twenty years in a Mexican prison. The Prophet of Sorrow is a tale of suspense, courage, and love as recounted by the assassin. The main characters help to develop the plot throughout the story, with the inclusion of personal journal entries. The author instills geopolitical depth of the times and psychological gravity into their voicesnot the least of which areanger, fear, passion, envy, discontent, and sorrow.
The main characters are involved in the tumultuous civil war in Spain, recruited as Soviet spies, trained in Russia, and unleashed as part of Stalin's private army of gangsters and murderers. Ramon Mercader and his mother are in a relationship rooted in a reign of terror led by the masterful old-time spy Leonid Eitingon. The famous artist David Alfaro Siqueiros masterminds an armed assault on the Trotsky compound in Mexico, but fails. It is up to Mercader to murder Trotsky through deceit and delivering the fatal blow with a mountain climbing axe, which was hidden under his coat.
Different characters that represent the middle of the twentieth century make cameo appearances in the novel. Diego Rivera and Freda Kahlo give Trotsky a house to live in. David Alfaro Siqueiros comes into contact with Ernest Hemmingway and Jackson Pollack. Charles Laughton, Ira Gershwin, and Tyrone Power commission works from Siqueiros. It is through art that a potential for connection and intercourse is revealed at the very core of our awareness. And through the murderer, Mercader, the author reveals what keeps us from being ourselves: our own nature broadening outward and furnishing evidence of our true tastes and convictions.
Lexington Literature Examiner
- Lucky Press, LLC
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.37(d)
Meet the Author
Mark Van Aken Williams received a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Arts from Cleveland State University and attended Hawken School. The Prophet of Sorrow is his second book. His first, Circus by Moonlight, Poems 1997-2007 was released in 2009. Midwest Book Review wrote: "A perfect browse for poetry enthusiasts…establishes Williams as an impressive talent and skilled wordsmith, deserving of as wide and appreciative an audience as possible."
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