I think I’ve done a piss poor job telling people what my book is about. Here’s another sad attempt.
My Babylon is the story of a man obsessed with his lost love. He goes so far as to try and create a replacement for her using magick, which requires the theft of a body. His plan works, and of course, he doesn’t get what he’s expecting. Through her creation he learns that he has a much bigger role to play, and that she may be a form of salvation not only for him, but for others.
As usual, my friend Steve Loy does a much better job describing my books than I do. While he may not tell you the plot, he captures the feel of the story perfectly. Here are his reviews.
My Babylon is a serialized novel in five parts. I’ve read all of them, but will consider each segment separately within its own review. This first episode, Body, is by far the most creepy of the five. The development of the misanthropic main character is every bit as realistic and unnerving as the main character in Dostoyevky’s Crime and Punishment, but with much more of a lean toward horror. The character is also equally as complex as that in Dostoyevsky’s other psychological tour de force, Notes From Underground. It’s interesting and unsettling to see the extents this character goes to rationalize his horrific behavior. Wilber certainly understands psychological character development.
This chapter of the My Babylon series would not normally have been my cup of tea, so to speak, as eroticism doesn’t do much for me. But the care taken with the psychological development of the main character, as well as that of the title character, was everywhere evident and mesmerizing to watch unfold. Not for the timid this book, but well worth it. The main character’s motivations are laid bare here, which somewhat humanize a man who, from part one of the series, the reader might not have wanted to meet on a lonely street at night. Still might not, but you no longer see him as a monster.
In this chapter of the story, the exposition is pretty much over and the plot really takes off. And, in true Wilber style, it takes off in a direction you don’t expect. Without giving too much away, it was fascinating to see the author’s play on “the monster”. He kind of makes you wonder where that role is best hung, on the actual monster or on the people who surround it. The main character enters a struggle over what he should do, why he should do it, and who might wish to do something to him. And all of this careens entirely out of his control. If you were disturbed by the main character so far, you’ll love the messes he gets himself into. The universe believes in payback.
In this segment of the My Babylon story, the protagonist continues his free fall through confusion and lack of control. His world is reforming around him and he can neither influence nor guess at its final form. We don’t get to that final form in this section, but we get some surprising and surreal double-takes as some of the thematic and plot questions are answered for us.
This is the last segment of My Babylon, but it is by no means a long denouement. It begins at the ultimate climax of the overall story, but the resolution of those events is a long time coming. Whereas most books hit a climax and begin their downward curve to the end, this one maintains the tension for quite some time, and even ups the ante when you think it should begin letting off steam. In the end, you’re left with the sense of a masterfully conceived protagonist who gives credence to the idea of the unsympathetic character. It also maintains an orbiting cluster of supporting characters who are interesting in their own right but also necessary to the development of the protagonist.