Betsy Speicher

The Outcasts by Bill Bucko

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The Outcasts by Bill Bucko.

Book suggested for rating by Bill Bucko.

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THANK YOU, EVERYONE! This is my
magnum opus
I’ve been working on and polishing for several
decades
.

Some of you have read earlier versions, or selections. Part of a very early version was published in "The Atlantean Press Review." This is the final version, available today on Amazon Kindle. I expect a print version to follow shortly.

From the product description:

A 14 year old boy at the dawn of the Renaissance … in a world of believers, he dared to say: "It would cost me my soul if I
didn’t
question."

The Outcasts
is the story of a family destroyed by the "family values" of faith, obedience, and conformity … and a boy’s rebellious quest for truth.

It’s the story of Messer Agostino, a gruff patriarch who staggers back to his native Florence after being held a political prisoner for five years, his eyes burning with religious fervor—to find the city has sold his house for back taxes, his wife fears and hates him, and his son has turned away from the Church.

And it tells of his young wife Monna Teresa, obsessed by the damnation of unbaptized infants—who fears her husband will discover the secret she hides behind locked doors—and, in mounting hysteria, keeps a bottle of holy water at her bedside.

And it’s the story of Marco, beaten since early childhood to teach him "you do as you’re told"—a lesson he refuses to learn. An outcast and alone in the world—till he sees a savage Tartar slave girl stepping off a boat, in chains ...

These are people who stake everything on their beliefs—and pay the consequences, however high. Powerfully conceived, dramatically plotted,
The Outcasts
is a counterpart of
The Brothers Karamazov
, written from an opposite point of view: the unbeliever’s. There’s never been a novel to challenge Dostoyevsky’s oft-quoted dictum that religion and morality are inseparable—no story that celebrates the pure gutsy rebelliousness of a thinker who dares to question and defy centuries of dogma. Until now.

“It will become a classic in the 21st century.”

Edward Cline, author of the Sparrowhawk series, First Prize, Honors Due, China Basin, We Three Kings, etc.

Don’t own a Kindle device? No problem; you can download the free Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac application. And Amazon allows you to download a sample of the book, the first two chapters, for free.

Any reviews would be welcome!

Thank you,

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I have bought the book for PC and will read it when I can give it the full attention it deserves. I will then review it. I wish you every success with this.

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I had the pleasure of reading the book a couple years ago when Bill was posting a couple chapters here. It's excellent and I highly recommend it. Congratulations, Bill!

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Thanks, everyone!

@ Erik Christensen: it's an Amazon Kindle title, uploaded in Kindle's standard .prc format. I don't know anything about Nook, but I assume not. Unless a Nook device can read other Kindle titles.

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My novel is now available in a handsome paperback edition:

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First a general opinion. I read this on Kindle for PC, as it wasn't available for my KOBO. The book held my attention enough to engage it for hours at a time; it was an enjoyable and suspenseful experience. It is a very worthwhile read.

About it's sense of life: It is a ten out of ten, but that is the Objectivist in me speaking. I couldn't help observing Ayn Rand shining through some of the words expressed. I wonder how a non-Objectivist would respond to these ideas in that setting. The contrast against the stifling religious background is stark indeed. This is not a book with which a religious person will be comfortable.

About style. The book is very well written, and I marvel at the details covered, along with the research involved. Much of the book involves descriptions of Italy around the year 1400, right down to the names of streets and buildings. For those who have been to Florence, the scenes may have come quickly to mind, but it requires effort to take the time to construct a mental image from the descriptions, for the unfamiliar. In this regard, I asked a lady friend who also read the book, for her opinion. Her comment was that she glossed over many of the visual descriptions in order to focus on the story itself.

About the story:This is a good story of triumph over misery. It has heroes, villains and those between. It really shows how dominated by the church, life was then (it still is for many to this very day).

The story is educational in the historical sense because it does put one in the picture. As mentioned before, it takes time to absorb the visual descriptions, and one almost wishes for a map to help in this effort.

There is a range of characters to invite discussion. The following is my subjective observation of some of them in a questioning vein. One destroyed by the inability to question, another changing character inexplicably, another rigidly uncompromising, and still another wise beyond his years.

The Father at first appears a strong uncompromising man, but in the end this (unlike his son) works against him. The lesson is that WHAT you are uncompromising on also counts.

The Hero: The character a reasonable person will love to identify with, and of course the point of the book. Someone who looks to reality for the answers and succeeds as a result.

In summary, a book worth the time and money to read. It is beautifully written and quite educational, It's shows a religious world with its true character exposed..That might upset the faithful.

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Thanks for the review.

NEWS FLASH! My novel has made it into the second round of Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award Contest!

For more on the contest:

http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011

I think there were 5,000 entries in the General Fiction category. It's now down to 1,000.

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Congratulations, Bill. This must be a very exciting time for you; I wish you great success. I enjoyed reading the chaptersyou posted here and I look forward to reading the entire story in paperback publication. It’s an enthralling story and your vivid writing captures the imagination fully.

Bravo!

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About it's sense of life: It is a ten out of ten, but that is the Objectivist in me speaking. I couldn't help observing Ayn Rand shining through some of the words expressed. I wonder how a non-Objectivist would respond to these ideas in that setting. The contrast against the stifling religious background is stark indeed. This is not a book with which a religious person will be comfortable.

A Catholic, of Italian ancestry, friend I've known since 1st grade read it. Here is her response:

Not only was it written quite eloquently but also answered many questions I've had in life.

I learned a lot of Italian history reading the book but more importantly I learned it is okay to have independent thoughts. I live on the peripheral of life. And that is okay today!!

Free thinkers. Explains a lot.

Please tell your friend I am very impressed with his book. I hope he continues to write.

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