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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
Journey to Colonus, a stupendous novel by Franklin Debrot, is accessible to readers on every level: plotting, character development and revelation, dialogue that is authentic in every way, an empathy for racial and personality differentiation that leaves one wondering about the author’s own, and prose so exquisite it makes another author weep. Not to mention, a mesmerizing storyline.
Thomas Doswell is an enigmatic black professor at a southern college, who has an oddly-earned reputation as an Uncle Tom. Two student-professors come directly under his wing – a young black activist and a young white scholar – creating a strong thematic tension that ultimately defines the foundation for a profoundly intriguing plot regarding the background of Mr. Doswell, ultimately revealing the historical reason behind his strangely ironic obscurity – a history based on America’s early leftist movements and revolts.
In Franklin Debrot’s masterful, historically-loaded book, Journey to Colonus, there is another element that might be overlooked by the less methodical reader; by the one who is so caught up in the story that he fails to savor the innate beauty of this writing. I am talking about a uniquely individual style so beyond the norm in today’s books that one might mistake it as coming from an earlier classic time. Debrot is so conscientious about providing descriptive context and atmosphere that the grateful reader is forced to inhabit this compelling story as a sensory reality, and the author is so creative and intelligent in his presentation that one remains constantly amazed, intrigued, and delighted by the evocative subtlety of his twists in plot. Journey to Colonus is a book to thoroughly savor. Franklin Debrot is an author to envy and admire ... and enjoy immensely.