The Prophet Of Sorrow

The Prophet Of Sorrow

by Mark Van Aken Williams
     
 

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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

Overview

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 voices—not the least of which are—anger, 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.

Editorial Reviews

Jesse Coffey
There is a sense of true tragedy within the spy game, and reading along is both painful and intriguing. Williams' plot is rich, allowing us to know these people and their motivations. While we may not agree with the ideals, we can certainly understand them. Set within the confines of fiction, the historical perspective reminds us that real people were involved—people that aren't as easily defined as the history books seem to want us to believe. A page turner that makes you think, reminds us who these people really were, and gives them a voice to tell their side of a dark event in history. Definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys historical or spy thrillers.
Lexington Literature Examiner
Midwest Book Review
An accomplished poet, in "The Prophet Of Sorrow", Mark Van Aken Williams has superbly crafted an historical novel around the assassination of Leon Trotsky. The killing took place in Mexico at the order of Joseph Stalin and was implemented by the men of the infamous Soviet organization the GPU. This is the story of Ramon Mercarder who spent twenty years in a Mexican prison for felling the old Bolshevik with a mountain climbing axe he had smuggled underneath his coat into the unsuspecting Trotsky's home. Told from the perspective of the assassin, "The Prophet Of Sorrow" is a riveting novel that plays careful respect to historical detail. An entertaining read from beginning to end, "The Prophet Of Sorrow" is an especially recommended addition to community library fiction collections.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780984631766
Publisher:
Lucky Press, LLC
Publication date:
03/05/2011
Pages:
160
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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