A Gripping And Absorbing Read HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY It Is Northern Europe Is In The Grip Of Sweeping Plagues And Religious Inquisitions, And In Daily Terror Of The Day Of Judgement In The Town Of Den Bosch, The Artist Jerome Hieronymus Bosch Paints His Visionary Denunciation Of Sin And Folly, The Garden Of Earthly Delights , While His Neglected Wife Aleyt Strays Into Sin Herself But Jerome Is Not Immune From The World He Portrays A Rival Artist And A Corrupt Abbess Concoct A Hellish Plot That Threatens To Destroy Him A powerful storyA marvelous read Five stars The author had me spell bound from the beginning A powerful story of forgiveness. I say up front that this is an astounding work of literature It portrays life in the middle ages under the horror of the Inquisition that sucks you into it and the lives of the people in the town The characters are exceptionally well developed The complexity of the story is intriguing, the drama keeps the reader on the edge of his her seat, the emotional undercurrents will rattle the soul of the most hardened reader This is a story of life in a dark age It is profound and will affect me for the rest of my life The only flaw is there is too much tell pulling the engaged reader outside the scene where thoughts and descriptions would have worked better The story and character development are so well done, they overwhelm any negatives I wholeheartedly recommend this historical novel to anyone interested in the complexities of life regardless of the genre preferred This is a work of art. Interesting and well written Full of detail and the horrors of the Inquisition, and the references to the painting quite enthralling In my view, the story line was a bit tame for the period it felt like a modern story than mediaeval, but nevertheless it was a good read which kept the reader guessing as to the outcome It is also well worth viewing the painting as the story progresses. This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review Helen Hollickfounder DDRevs Dodds writing is exceptional he draws in his reader gently, almost subtly, and I found myself reading on long after I should have put the book down each evening. In the year 1490, Brother Jacomo of Seville is sent to Brabant as a Papal Inquisitor He loses no time in condemning a man to be burned alive in the main square of Den Bosch It is a public warning be sure your sins will find you out But who is without sin in Den Bosch Not the local abbess, nor the local artist, Jerome known to us as Hieronymus Bosch , nor his wife and best friend, who share a mortal sin, nor his serving maid Nor, as it turns out, the Inquisitor himself, who takes far too much pleasure in devising hideous torture devices, which he insists the local blacksmith makes against his will.Robert Dodds has taken the creation of a triptych depicting Man s Fall from Grace for his canvas and created in turn a compelling read Each character is real, each has his or her good points and weaknesses Even the foul minded Inquisitor has a backstory to suggest how and why he has become the man to disrupt and ruin forever the convivial peace of a provincial town The setting is Hieronymus Bosch s home town, but it could be any small town in Northern Europe, for this is the late 15th century when ordinary folk believe utterly in heaven and hell, and that they must do all they can to lighten their burden for the Day of Judgment The story opens and unfolds in a quiet fashion befitting the location, yet it is a page turner, and by no means predictable The artist s wife and friend and servant share a not uncommon secret, but even that does not play out as one might expect Dodds writing is exceptional he draws in his reader gently, almost subtly, and I found myself reading on long after I should have put down the book down each evening The Garden of Earthly Delights is skilfully crafted, well written, informative and enjoyable it is in every way a Discovered Diamond. I really don t know what to say about this book as I found it difficult to connect with the story and the characters.I think the history had been well written and researched, but I found the writing to heavy Please don t ask what I mean by that, I don t really know.It s not often I get a book that leaves me this flummoxed.However, I did feel the characters to be well written and believable at least to the point I can understand it.The bottom line is that this book needs time to be read and appreciated to the full It isn t a book you will read and understand in just a day or two The story is good and well worth making the effort to read, as I will be doing again at a later date. In God we trust This story set in the Middle Ages is what I would call a profound expose on religion.The lives of several characters are followed over a several week s period in a European town where an inquisitor has been given papal authority and instruction to root out devil works in the community His investigation leads him to a God fearing master painter and his adulterous wife.I admit I am not a religious person, but a spiritual one who believes in God This story emulates my convictions about organized religion and false prophets Who is to determine what God thinks and how we are to be judged in this life Regardless of whether one is labeled Christian, Moslem, Jew or any number of beliefs, who are we to judge This story of an inquisition and its effects on all involved is exceptional in its creativity The emotions, inner thoughts and especially the descriptions in the mind s eye of the master painter are exquisite As well, the avarice of the church and self aggrandizing church officials are well done and develop as they continuously excuse their own duplicitous and inhuman behavior The idea that one is an instrument of God and using torture to elicit a confession as a justifiable means to that end is dealt with here in all its gruesome religious glory But what happens if you are wrong Is the instrument of God as imperfect as man So many questions come to mind here Such an engrossing plot A definite thumbs up to this author I highly recommend to readers of historical fiction. It is worth the read Wonderful book that while there is history it doesn t go in depth about it The characters are well put out and you get to know them It isn t the hangman s daughter but a basic slice of a good book. A very good tale which really brings the period to life and goes a not a little way to explain Hieronymous s paintings.
- Kindle Edition
- 395 pages
- The Garden of Earthly Delights
- Robert Dodds
- 06 October 2019 Robert Dodds