Dagobert's Revenge Bookstore
Book Review:

The Sun at Night

by, Roger Williamson

Review by,
Tracy Twyman

For the first time this year, I read a novelle, a short piece of fiction literature bound in book for, a spine-tingling thriller of philosophical suspense. So how should I describe it to you without giving away those oh-so-important plot devices that give us the element of surprise? Perhaps I should first tell you the central conflict of the story. The lead character, who as far as I can tell, is not named, introduces the book by reflecting on his life, on all that has brought him to this moment. He especially ponders his mother, a woman “mysterious and elusive like the orient.” Born in the city of Albion, her family had been from in the East. When he was young she would tell hi bedtime stories about a Magical order called The Morning Star, “whose members used the colors of the spectrum and the symbols of geometry to walk the rainbow bridge to communicate with the gods. Like The Stranger, he did not mourn his mother’s death, but unlike that callous character, hr did love her, and soon misses her. The point of attack comes when he visits The Halycon Days bookstore. Outside he bumps into a strange man in a black overcoat, someone he remembers from his childhood and who haunts him in his dreams. Inside the store, he finds a bound book with the high price of 25 pounds, simply called The Morning Star. He then goes on a mission to find “the root of the blood which flows in my veins”, and “‘RA’, the seed of all we are.” He also begins using the magickal fomulae described in the book to attempt a union with God, and starts a diary called Conversations with the Sphinx: (Or How I Came to Understand Myself.) He embarks on a quest to find the true Order of the Morning Star, should it actually exist, and finds himself trapped in a labyrinth of occult conspiracy, involving the man in the black overcoat, his dead mother (whom he suspects is actually still alive), and a woman named Vivian, who at first appears to be a waste of the story’s time but later turns out to be something more. I won’t tell you everything that happens next, but I will tell you that he takes on the name of Frater Rubicon, learns the true nature and meaning of Lucifer, and cuts his arm to fuck with a razor blade. He is taught the biblical roots of his family’s bloodline, phantom videotapes appear on his kitchen table, and the Goat-Headed Baphomet is summoned into visible appearance.

One thing that’s good about The Sun at Night is that it goes quickly. It sucks you in at the very beginning and keeps you going until the last page. I read it in the span of three hours and didn’t get any bedsores. The story gets kicked off immediately and there is hardly any time to get used to the cerebral and sophistical nature of the protagonist before you are plunged into a world of mystery and intrigue. An economy of dialogue and backstory is used so that within 87 pages, a tale is told to completion with room left for a romantic subplot, poignant observations and some lush descriptions of scenery. The only thing I would have cut if I had been the editor would be the “Hymn of Lucifer” at the end, which brattily states that “The Christian God is a god of the shroud, one who would conceal truth”, and certain finger-wagging moralizations, like “There is no god but man and life is what you make it”, or “Magick is the art of living, it is not life.” I think the lessons taught in this short book would be better learned if they were not stated so overtly, causing the conscious mind to rebel and reject. The story itself teaches these lessons quite adequately, and the moral of the story is more likely to be absorbed if it is expressed subliminally. Other than that, this is an excellent page-turner, a trip through the mind of an armchair philosopher as he battles with the demons of his own making.

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