The Powerful New Novel from Jory Sherman Comes Straight from Eden
December 30, 2012
Jory Sherman has done it again.
I am not surprised.
Ring up another novel for the master wordsmith. He does things with words that astonish others and sometimes even astound himself.
Jory Sherman turned eighty not long ago. He’s legally blind. But the fingers he pounds on his keyboard don’t need eyes. He knows his wife Charlotte is always nearby, and she will clean up the spelling and the grammar and the typos.
His mind is as clear as ever.
Perhaps, it is even clearer than before.
And nobody has ever been able to string words together with more grace and poetry, and power and elegance than Jory Sherman.
Those who love great books are always crying out for a new one.
Jory has delivered a new one: The Tree of Eden. The novel reaches out and grabs you with the opening line of the prologue: David Gentry couldn’t shake the feeling that this would be his last day on earth.
You can’t help it.
You must read on.
His descriptions are filled with power and insight. He touches the senses and squeezes them dry. He writes scenes and phrases I wish I had written”
The Humvee was ahead of them, crawling through the street like some armored beast. It was blowing dust back at them, clouds of it, superheated in the Iraquian heat. It was like breathing lead weights or sparks blowing off a fir. His teeth made noise like sandpaper scraping against porcelain. His tongue tasted of oil and tomb dust, of carbon and dead rats.
And you can’t help it.
You must read on.
Especially when he writes: An old man in baghdad had told him once, “When you open the door to Heaven, you also open the door to Hell.” In that last instant of breath turning to fire in his lungs, David Gentry knew what the old man meant.
Jory Sherman has written somewhere between three hundred and four hundred books, most of them novels. The exact numbers isn’t important to him anymore. He’s mastered most of the genres: Westerns, mysteries, science fiction, some romance, and a little paranormal. He was there when the golden age of publishing in New York was golden. He could walk in off the streets and meet with any agent or editor or publisher he wanted to see.
No appointment was necessary.
They all took time for Jory Sherman.
He had been a beat poet during the late 1950s and early 1960s, hanging out with the other beatniks at the coffee houses in San Francisco. His poetry was acclaimed from one end of the country to the other.
But one thing was self-evident.
Beat poets were hungry poets.
So he took the poetry of his words and turned them into prose, and his elegant prose became the stuff of novels, and nobody ever wrote them any better.
In a description of The Eden Tree, he writes:
Dustin Ferris received a package from his father after his father’s death in Irag. The box contained books of ancient knowledge and a book of spells, plus a pair if magical rings. There was also a letter from his father telling him what to do with the rings and the book of spells.
When his mother refuses to go into the woods and sit on his father’s favorite rock, Dusin asks his neighbor, Pepper, a girl his own age to do what his father told him. She agrees and the two are transported to an ancient land, S’inar where they set out on a journey to find the E’din.
Their journey is perilous. They are purified in a ziggurat by the Spider Woman, Sybil who guides them through the portals where they find themselves in the midst of a terrible battle. They are given protective amulets and backpacks.
They, along with Dustin’s dog, Bucky, venture on the harrowing journey to find Dustin’s father. They must outwit and kill a Cyclops, endure the forest where tiger birds roam, a dangerous swamp and terrifying apparitions.
The story is as timeless as civilization itself and culminates in a place where knowledge abides in a tree that grows only in ancient Eden.
The Eden Tree is a novel.
It is a parable.
It’s an ancient tale told again and far better this time.
If you haven’t yet discovered the works of Jory Sherman, it’s time you did. There is no reason to read his works chronologically. Start at the back. Start with The Eden Tree and work your way backward. It will be a journey you never forget.
All I ask you to do is save some time for his next novel. He probably hasn’t thought of it yet. But he will.
Legions of stories are constantly crawling around in his brain.
Jory Sherman just has to sort them out.
He always does.