Reviews - What do customers think about The Party (The Passing of Shadows)?
Enjoy The Party (on Several Levels) Aug 4, 2004
Think it's impossible to roll a no-holds-barred political tale, a rollicking yarn about country and western music, and a story with deep spiritual implications into one page-turner of a novel? Then you haven't read "The Party," the third volume in Steve Fortney's magisterial "Passing of Shadows" Trilogy. Were you at all concerned when the Bush administration recently started planning how to call off the 2004 presidential elections in the event of a major terrorist attack (Newsweek, July 12)? Your fears are amplified by righteous anger in this book, which envisions a dark America spiraling into totalitarianism about fifty years from the present. Have you ever been momentarily entranced by the sweet bitterness of a country and western song accidentally overheard on the car radio? Then this is also your novel, for a set of its characters live and breathe, perform and discuss music from this wide-ranging, too-often-scorned American tradition as the book's plot unfolds. Don't be surprised to find yourself making urgent trips to the record store in the course of your reading! It's no coincidence that "The Party's" music-making characters belong to an unusual devotional community striving to meld the best of Eastern and Western cultures. Their dream and goal is to do so in time to prevent out-of-control capitalism from devouring the earth. Here, the author is without fear in revealing the tenderness of his uncompassed love for the natural world, from a patch of northern Wisconsin woods and waters to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. This is the unmistakably sacred ground of the novel. Fortney brings the disparate elements of the book together in an apocalyptic show-down on the endless Dakota plains. People you care deeply about. Causes that engage you. Intimations of truth that will move you to tears. This is a profound, disturbing book, and ultimately, a remarkably humane and optimistic one. Read it first, then (if you missed them) go back for its two companion volumes.