This fictional autobiography of a bright, but introverted and slightly insecure Henry Lawson begins at a young age when he hears strange voices, which at first he does not recognize. He attributes one voice to Sable Shadow, a confidant of the devil, and the other to The Presence, possibly a representative of God. His life becomes a “sort of board game” for these powerful contestants.
In high school, Henry is introduced to the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre, and he begins to see life in existential terms, though this does not infringe on his rudimentary Christian beliefs.
Upon Henry’s entry into the business world, he receives guidance from Sable Shadow, and advances to a high corporate level. But with his career nearly at its peak, Henry suffers a series of devastating tragedies. Feeling tormented, he attempts suicide. With the help of his wife and a psychiatrist with whom he engages in philosophical dialogue, he constructs a completely new identity in an attempt to overcome tragedy.
Sable Shadow & The Presence is a novel rich in triumph and tragedy, success and failure, good and evil. The story develops a fascinating framework for understanding these complexities of life.
|Publisher:||Strategic Book Publishing|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||670 KB|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Bill Peace has done it again. His latest book, Sable Shadow and the Presence, which has already won several awards, combines a clever plot with thought provoking discussions on good and evil, the contradictions and complexities of life, and the meaning of relationships. The book is written by the main character, Henry Lawson, in autobiographical form. It is difficult to sustain the first person voice and not have the reader tire of it, but Mr. Peace has managed to make the story interesting, readable, and anything but tiring. We meet Henry's parents, learn about their individual personalities and the way their relationship develops over a long marriage and his very likeable, but different from him, sister, who is also his friend. His grandfather and uncles seem to Henry to be more successful than his father and Henry admires them, while not yet understanding his father or his motivations. As he matures, he grows in his understanding of his mother and his father is able to help them through this crisis in their marriage. We follow Henry through college, his success in business, his marriage to a woman he deeply loves. There are some wonderful vignettes describing the world of office politics and what some people do to get ahead. Everything seems to be going just the way Henry has planned until a tragic fire in a plant in Mexico that he technically supervises results in the deaths of many people. Sentenced to jail in Mexico, his career over, he begins to think about what is really important in life and when he is released turns his life in a completely different direction. Mr. Lawson explains in the first chapter what the title means. Sable Shadow and the Presence are two voices that Henry begins to hear as a child. Lest you think that Henry is just some closet schizophrenic, that is not the case. These two represent "good" and "evil" and Henry hears them the way we all do when we are making a decision, whether it be a serious moral one, like deciding to have an extra-marital relationship or something more practical like choosing a career. How many of us have felt/heard those voices arguing inside of us, each presenting a different way of looking at the problem., As in previous books, Mr. Peace explores questions of religion. In Efraim's Eye and The Iranian Scorpion he investigated Islam and it's tenets. In Sin and Contrition different branches of Christianity were examined. In this book he presents the thesis that existentialism is not necessarily in conflict with the beliefs of Christians. Not everyone will agree with him., but he posits some compelling arguments to support his ideas. As in all his previous books, the research is amazing. Many famous authors employ researches. Mr. Peace does all of his own and does a superb job with it. One of the things I like best about Mr. Peace's writing is that one is able to read on so many different levels. His plots are well thought out and his characters developed nicely. One is anxious to turn the page and find out what will happen next. But when the story is over, one is left thinking about the ideas that have been raised. What are good an evil? What makes success and how do we measure it? What makes something moral and something immoral? It is easy to see why it has won awards.