Purple Jesus

Purple Jesus

by Ron Cooper

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610880077
Publisher: Bancroft Press
Publication date: 10/15/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 347 KB

About the Author

Ron Cooper was born in the South Carolina Low Country, where he grew up traipsing through the swamp. He received a BA in philosophy from the College of Charleston, an MA from the University of South Carolina, and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He moved to Florida in 1988 and since 1995 has taught at Central Florida Community College in Ocala, where he lives with his wife Sandra and their three children.

With his debut novel, Hume’s Fork (Bancroft Press), Ron drew comparisons to John Kennedy Toole on the way to becoming a finalist for the Bread Loaf Conference’s Bakeless Literary Prize. His fiction has also appeared in publications such as Yalobusha Review, Apostrophe, Timber Creek Review, and The Blotter.

Former president of the Florida Philosophical Association, Ron is also the author of Heidegger and Whitehead: A Phenomenological Examination into the Intelligibility of Experience.

Ron is a bluegrass enthusiast, and he challenges anyone to play and sing worse than he does.

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Purple Jesus 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
andster01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very hilarious book! I rented it from the library, and finished it overnight. It has been compared to "A Confederacy of Dunces", and I agree. If you like your comedy dark, read this!
jcmontgomery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For nothing else either is or shall be except Being,since fate has tied it down to be a whole and motionless;therefore all things that mortals have established,believing in their truth, are just a name;Becoming and Perishing, Being and Non-Being,and change of position, an alteration of bright color. ¿ ParmenidesTomorrow is the launch of an amazing, intriguing, transformative, philosophical, thought-provoking story by Ron Cooper titled Purple Jesus. Honestly, I can¿t explain the title, other than in the book, it represents several things: a wooden carving, an alcoholic drink, and an erotic portion of the female anatomy. Each play a part in the story, and each in a way represents the three main characters. Or could if your mind likes to find connectivity in all things like mine does.As noted in the quotation by Parmenides, there is nothing except ¿Being¿. So is life merely a journey through the illusory, tangibility a tool we use to try to give things and ourselves meaning? Is our true purpose what we make it?Humans are by nature, goal-oriented. By having the end defined and visualized, we have a sense of purpose. Without this, we feel lost, unable to reach our goal.It is through this journey, we either become who we are meant to be, or discover what we have been all along.For some, like Purvis, Martha, and Andrew, they search not only to escape this sense of being lost, but to find a place where they truly belong. However as Ron Cooper shows us, ultimately, it is not about belonging and finding peace, it is the journey helps us discover many things, the most frightening of which is that this journey can be dark and ugly and may not end in a way you expect.I got the impression that having three main characters was in a way, a trinity; a triangle in which each side is connected to another. That each was separated by an acute angle, yet they remain connected and part of a whole.On one side, Purvis, a simple man. He is frail, fearful, yet has a desperate drive to change himself and his life any way he can.On the second side is the beautiful Martha. Ethereal, haunted, also seeking a change and a way out of her circumstances and to be free of the ghosts that haunt her.Lastly, there is Tom aka Brother Andrew. Mysterious and silent, connected to the earth and nature. A hunter who seeks, but doesn¿t use language to express his needs and desires. Yet his thoughts speak for all the characters, and more eloquently than they can with the spoken word:"Is mine a contradictory life, imbedded in forest yet alienated from nature? . . . Have I abstracted myself, stepped back as a spectator, forever cut off from a world that I can neither possess or renounce." ¿ Brother AndrewIt is like each represents a different side of ourselves: desperate, haunted, and hunting for something different. Something . . . transcendent.The writing is poetic at times, coarse in others. The author¿s background in philosophy and as a professor of humanities is evident. Using his knowledge of the South Carolina Low Country, he conveys to the reader language and nuances that help create the setting and characters to an astonishing depth. The only detraction may be that this depth is one which some readers may never reach. Light reading this is not.Purple Jesus has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner award, and I have no doubt it will be a strong contender. I can also see the easy comparisons made to another southern writer, Flannery O¿Connor.This is literary fiction, but of a different kind. It is not for everyone. But for those of us who seek out the unique, a new voice in the wilderness of literature, I recommend you check out Ron Cooper. If Purple Jesus sounds a bit much, his first book Hume¿s Fork has received wonderful reviews and may be a better introduction to his work.
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mlcap123 More than 1 year ago
Darkly comic, intimately entertaining, and packed with meaning, Ron Cooper's second novel, Purple Jesus, is shockingly funny and thought-provoking from beginning to end. A world of revenge, spirituality, and love at first sight entangle the destinies of three unusual characters. Set in South Carolina, the beautiful young Martha wants a fresh start, but first she has returned to her home town with a vengeance and thirst for the truth. Not quite the fresh start she was hoping for, she appeases her obese mother by participating in a baptismal, which is a day at the lake being dunked under water by a perverted minister who gropes at her chest. This is not Martha's first experience with this kind of inappropriate behavior, but he is no concern to her. Her vengeance lies deeper. With a pistol and a purpose, she bides her time, caring for her weight challenged mother and her mentally challenged cousin until it is time to journey to the Jacarandas with her bundle of cash. Purvis, a fearful young man with little hope in making much of himself in life, would give anything to escape to the Jacaranda trees of Florida with Martha. He struggles to see what the world - and the beautiful gesticulating Martha - is trying to make him understand. The Monk, Brother Andrew, is obeying a vow of silence while searching through the dark forest for what is worth making him break that vow, knowing all the while it is beyond the confines of the monastery, Martha in the water. In the world of Purvis, philosophy is as down to earth as back country America. If you are familiar with the Russian 9/11 Tear Drop Memorial, you may be familiar with this similar account of the controversy of meaning. This memorial sparked the kind of conversation that is reminiscent of the symbolism of this novel and it is impossible knowing that to not draw a comparison. Ron Cooper has a talent for creating a seemingly generic scene in American life - young people partying and drinking, eating mussels, the hobby of wood carving - and extracting hilarious and thought-provoking moments from pathetic people in ordinary lives. Praise a Purple Jesus for animal food processing factories in which to dispose of our dead evil relatives. No one will notice Uncle Armey in the meat grinder. Besides, who is going to miss him if his own family is the one to put a bullet in him, steal his money, and cut him into pieces. He must have been a pretty bad man to get that kind of treatment from flesh and blood. Condensed milk cans, arbitrary décor strewn throughout a creepy old dead man's house, is enough to make you wonder how people live the way they live and why they live the way they live. But, as far as his family is concerned, staring at dead Uncle Armey slumping in a chair with his face bent down, as if to drink out of one of these cans, only makes them think to clean the mess, also crime scene, so that people don't think the man is a slob and judge them by association. What could Purple Jesus possibly be? Is it a spiritual art form? Or could it be a potent concoction intended to make one fearlessly embrace new meanings? Perhaps it is a code phrase for something much more mysterious and intimate? A Monk, a backwoods loser, and a determined young woman may each have their own idea... Read the rest of this review at www . baltimorebookreviews . wordpress . com !!!!!