On the island of Shikoku in Japan, there is a pilgrimage of 88 temples. Once an ascetic rite of passage for monks, it has become a more generalized ritual of penance and spiritual rejuvenation for troubled souls. Seven juvenile offenders on leave from various reform schools are doing the 1,300-kilometer pilgrimage on foot with a counselor and some assigned wardens from the state. The youths are under strict observation with at least one of the supervisors with them at all times. Once the seven finish the pilgrimage, they will be released. Will they rejoin society or leave it behind?
Genre and market:
A 50,000-word thriller. The Seven Samurai meets The Fugitive for young adults.
Advance review of The 89TH Temple:
"Absorbing and harrowing, capturing the more ominous aspects of the society it describes. The reader is immersed in the situation from the outset and kept there till the end. Powerfully realized and tellingly paced." - Ciaran Murray, The Secret Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Charlie Canning taught English for ten years at three different universities in Japan before enrolling in the PhD program in creative writing at the University of Adelaide. He has co-edited a collection of Japanese American literature, written an academic writing textbook, and published dozens of articles and reviews. The 89TH Temple is his first novel. For more information, please visit the author website at: http://charliecanning.com/home.html.
|Publisher:||Outskirts Press, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.48(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Samantha Rivera for Readers' Favorite Seven children made terrible mistakes in their past that cost others their lives and now they are paying for it with their own. These seven children have spent the last five years in reform schools and are now being sent on a pilot program to make a pilgrimage that is intended to change their lives for the better. But with so much baggage and so much hatred within the community, this story presents problems for these children at every turn. Each one is willing to change and each one is struggling to do so but the world around them seems to have other ideas. I actually read this entire book in one day because I just couldn't put it down. I really liked the way that the characters were all very real. They had made mistakes and they definitely had problems but the things that they had gone through were things many people go through. These kids made the wrong decision to solve their problems but it was easy, reading along, to relate to what they suffered and why they did what they did. Charlie Canning was able to take the story of seven very different kids and turn it into one cohesive novel that really had me intrigued. "The 89th Temple" is a real coming of age story with a great plot-line and some very interesting peeks into the past of some terrified children. I liked the way the characters changed and really grew throughout the story since that made everything even more believable as if these things could really happen to anybody.
I loved this book. The author develops characters you know--and want to get to know better--telling their inter-weaved stories in a poignant fashion that leaves you turning page after page, anticipating the next heart-stopping turn of events you know is coming down the path. It's a beautiful evocation of the tension between the individual and his/her relationship to society and it begs discussion of the connections between the bullying and heartless cruelty we observe in children and the crushing demands of conformity and responsibility that define adult society. Anyone who appreciates good writing and has the courage to peel back the layers of what we expect people to be and act like in public will enjoy The 89TH Temple immensely.
This is a page-turner. The 89th Temple is a poignant, thought provoking and suspenseful novel. This beautifully crafted story explores the minds of the perpetrators and victims of bullying amidst the complexities of Japanese culture and society but then takes the reader along for the temple walks to experience the healing potential and spirituality of nature. The character development is so strong here you would know these folks if they walked into a room. And you 'll be on their journeys with them, every step of the way.
We are proud to announce that The 89th Temple by Charlie Canning is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is certainly worth their time and money!