The Resurrection of Charles Witchway

by John Pascal



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 10/3/2005

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 352
ISBN : 9781420858310

About the Book

The Resurrection of Charles Witchway is a travelogue, a gastronomical guide, and a socio-political commentary; it also is a romance novel, a thriller, and a mystery; and it is, to some extent, an autobiography; but we should keep in mind that it is Pascal''s first novel, and, as did Robert Graves in describing his  first book, Goodbye to All That,  Pascal says he wanted to "put a lot of interesting things into it, something for everyone."  Of course, the reader may begin to wonder as he goes along if Witchway, ostensibly a man of action, paradoxically but eventually will talk his friend Somerville into a state of coma, or perhaps even to death (provided both men don''t die sooner of cirrhosis of the liver from their excessively bibulous habits). 

Some critic once said that a detective story or a thriller should contain nothing that distracts from the plot, that nothing should be included which doesn''t further the story line. The Resurrection of Charles Witchway  is not merely a wordy "pot-boiler," though a superficial reader might see it as just that: a melodrama or thriller, with a lot of unnecessary ironic dialogue and stream of consciousness engaged in by the principal character (from whose point of view we mainly get the story) which explains a good deal about Witchway''s character, but which doesn''t "advance the action."  If that were the case with Witchway we''d have merely a small, good, fast-paced "pot boiler," but my God, what we''d be missing besides!  

The character of Witchway''s friend J.D.F. Somerville--picture someone between the late Terry Thomas and the late David Niven--is purposely anachronistic, and is used  to play off and reveal Witchway''s ambivalence in language, social position, and his general indecision about what he really is and what he would like to be. The relationship between the two old comrades during their European "holiday odyssey"  provides an Anglo-American tug and tension which the reader, on both sides of the Atlantic, will find irresistible.

As Winston Churchill might have described it: [This is] "a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma."

"[The Resurrection of Charles Witchway ] resembles a properly planned and balanced four or five course meal, with a nice Chablis accompanying the fish and a rumbustious Burgundy to go with the meat, and a glass or two of crusted port afterwards, rather than an indiscriminate greedy feast.... it is a complex tapestry...but the reader is in no danger of losing the thread of the ''story.''  It has pace and wit, is stylishly written...the author has been able to mine a rich lode of invention...."

A.J. Thorndyke, Chief Editor, Minerva Press (London).



About the Author

Following twenty years as a U.S. Army officer in such fields as intelligence, research and development, psychological operations, special operations, and  political warfare (during a tour of duty in Vietnam he was Senior U.S. Advisor to the then Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Political Warfare College), John Pascal acquired an additional bachelor''s degree and two master''s degrees, after which he lectured in English and political science at the university level in both Germany and Italy for eight years.  He has traveled widely in Europe and Africa as well as in South and Central America, lived for many years in Hawaii and for six years in the Near and Far East.  He began writing full-time in 1992, and in 1993 won  the élan  short story prize in London''s The European . In 1996 he was awarded the Writer''s Digest  first prize for unrhymed poetry.  He has published Antipodes 10,  Antipodes 20,  and The Imposture and Other Tales, all collections of short stories; two novels, The Dartist  and Travels With My Ass ; The Man in the Moon and Other Poems, a collection of more than 140 of his poems; and The Latter Day Gentleman and Other Essays, which was written under the pen name "Atticus Grammaticus." He lives in Upstate New York, where he writes prose and poetry.