Book Jacket

 

rank 762
word count 44193
date submitted 15.06.2010
date updated 13.01.2011
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Historical Ficti...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Absentee Bidder

Miguel Lamiel

Goddesses are in his pocket. Women are in his heart. Doubt lives in his soul. The world weighs on his shoulders. He is not alone.

 

Paul is a grounded antiques dealer whose only trouble, until now, has been balancing an estranged wife, and the odd mistress. After buying three crudely carved figurines at an auction, he is plunged into a mission relayed from Neolithic times. This purchase could unleash events so potent as to change our collective consciousness.


No longer will he be rooted in a material configuration, but rather in those tense vibrations of things to come. With the help of Fox, an improbable acolyte, Paul's quest draws him to Canada, France and India. Bloody corpses stain his shadow as he attempts to unravel the Grand Awakening. "Mother, will you come back?"


'Absentee Bidder' weaves through millennia of blood, intrigue and revelation.










 
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tags

action, ancient, antiques, apocalyptic, artifacts, auctions, awakening, bizarre, buddies, canada, civilization, corpses, crime, detective, dialogue, e...

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169 comments

 

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Marsi wrote 1376 days ago

I was coming to this read last in my afternoon stint, but hey - I had a quick look and was hooked. You know - I could make a poem out of you opening paragraph.Shelley is a really scary babe. I like the style of your writing, pacey and crisp. Paul is quite surprisng as a character - he develops as the story proceeds. In fact, I love the 'shocks' The killing of Liliane is a case in point. Then Paul and his load of furniture, full of guilt. The move from a real life murder into the mystic area is smoothly done and some of the details, like the cave painting aspects are very interesting. This is a clever concept and well executed. I'm backing it. All the best Marilyn

Christina McClean wrote 1461 days ago

A magnetic read. I feel pulled in many directions, Shelleys need for Paul and her self destruct impulses, Paul need for reassurance and escape. So many threads and conflicts set up in the first chapter. How can I not want to read on. And with the seamless dialogue, not a jarring or out of place word, carefully kept going at speed by economic use of narrative. I look forward to seeing how it transforms into a thriller and historical novel, working on many layers. I agree with what has already been said. It's a super novel.
Very happy to back
Christina
From Under the Bed

Johanna Kern wrote 1471 days ago

The book draws one in, like a magical gate – at first only ajar - to lure the explorer deeper, further into the mystery, into the revelation, the ancient wisdom. Of love, and no fear.

It reads on many levels, for the “tense and unaware” it’s a thriller. For the "hungry for romance" – it’s a comforter, promising pleasures after rocky days.

And for the “innocent”, the one with no expectations, it’s a journey – leading back to the
Cosmic Womb. Where Truth can be found, where life is respected, where humans are liberated from their self-imposed limitations.

Most highly intelligent – both the story and the writing – a true sensitive study of the human shadowy nature – on one hand, and the beauty of human heart, and mind, on the other.

The so much entertaining story is truly a genius capsule, pregnant with hope for resurrecting what was once lost.

Ages and cycles of human self-distraction, alienation – now re-examined -- in the light of the story of the innocent one who follows his destiny for the good of his soul, as well as the good of all.


Brilliant and beautifully crafted.

Thank you for sharing this, Miguel.

Johanna Kern
Master and the Green-Eyed Hope

Azam Gill wrote 1478 days ago

Absentee Bidder.

An intriguing premise, compact sentences, a strong narrative voice and skillfully embedded, intriguing clues keep the ball rolling.

The ability to reveal characters, relationships and plot through dialogue underlines distinct craftsmanship.

Situational irony occurs without pretext.

Prepositions, that sometimes strike an odd note, are often harnessed to express the perception of neatly balanced time and timelessness.

Dense, yet unpretentious prose offers intersecting sensory images in a fusion of mystery and anxiety.

“… as resilient tumours … cinammon tongue … winter’s indifference “ are just examples of what makes the prose a standalone, enjoyable read.


Backed.

Azam Gill
“Blasphemy!”

Sly80 wrote 1487 days ago

An intriguing, and aptly obscure introduction to the 'inseperables', their mystery enhanced by the style of writing in the prologue. Powerful remark about resilient tumors, and no wonder; Shelly is a bit of a nightmare. Liliane sounds warmer, but who's this, 'He saw her well enough through the eyes of the shameless men'? Ah, her. Two thousand dollars, that is more than want. 'What he doesn't know, he makes up', Eric is a perfect foil for Paul. 'Sent a tropical breeze through her feverish body', nice line. The violence, when it comes, is totally unexpected, brutal and shocking.

No blood in the van? It's never a good idea to joke with the customs people, 'Like I have plutonium up my ass'. Back home, and Shelly seems to have lost it. 'If my hunch is right, they're priceless', 'Thought I'd buff 'em a bit', argh! I like Marge, and I like this, 'The wind was drunk with trouble'. In fact there is so much stunning language, 'the open wound Paul dizzily plastered with infidelities'.

I'm seriously impressed with this work, Miguel. The quality of the writing, the strength and uniqueness of the plot, the mystery and the shock, and the deep characterisation. I'm not sure the pitch does it justice as the story is more compelling and gripping than the slightly obscure pitch suggests. I certainly read a lot further than I intended to. Though I liked the prologue, I'm not sure that helps either, and if you're submitting to agents, you might try some without the prologue. This is a novel I would definitely buy, so I'm backing it.

Possible nits: 'Red-eye[d] Gisele smiled'. 'lay down and called', maybe make it clearer he's making a phone call, e.g. 'lay down, pulled out his phone/cell and called'. 'emotional chord [cord]'. 'because his wife ... because an armoire'. 'peeked [peaked] to a level'. A few more commas here and there would help. I can only suggest to read it out loud to check where they are missing.

Patientman wrote 1084 days ago

This drew me in effortlessly, reading through the first five chapters without realisation, and still intrigued. The flow and story supercede any criticisms, because after all this is a novel, and the only test is 'is it an enjoyable read?' And this certainly is.

I'm already guessing at the plot and found myself searching for answers, but happy to find more questions.

Not usually a fan of this kind of book, which is further testament to what you have created.

I apologise for the overly gushing nature of my review. I know such positivity is oft treated with scepticism, but I review on how it reads rather than concentrating on technicalities. If I find myself struggling to read, then I question and look for why, but that didn't arise in the parts I read.

Deserves a place in any bookstore.

Good luck

billysunday wrote 1119 days ago

Really liked this. Your dialogue is your strong point. Terrific job w/Shelly-I think I know her! Liked the antique business you use for both plot and setting. Great job and highly recommend.
Dina of Halo of the Damned and Last Degree

sisteroficarus wrote 1127 days ago

I'm so impressed with the first chapter, and can't wait to move forward. There is a special place in my heart for books that take place in Vermont, since I have grown and lived and rooted here. My mother's family has been here for more generations than can be counted. I look forward to reading more. I will do so soon.

-A

elmo2 wrote 1128 days ago

this is an engaging story, i read the first few chapters and wanted to read more, was a little put off at time by the concise style, and oddly enough wanted it to be a little ,more talky, for instance instead of 'it can snuff out one's soul' i think something like 'it can snuff out your soul', would give it a more personal tone and involve the reader more, though i understand this particular phrase is part of a descriptive summary in ways, i am going to back the book though becuase it does what writing should do, at least is intended to do by most, it draws the reader in

Helianthus wrote 1170 days ago

I read what you have posted here over the past couple of days. The writing is good, obviously, and the story is intriguing. It's not a genre I would usually read, mind you, but I think it has a lot going for it.

One point troubles me. You have a scene where the guy accidentally brushes his hand against a used tampon in the kitchen trash. I'm having difficulty imagining a scenario where an unwrapped tampon would appear in the kitchen trash; this may be cultural, but I have never seen this happen. (I realize it's an important plot point, because this is how he gets her blood on the pen.) You might give it some thought, it may not jar anyone else.

Very interesting story, an unusual mix of themes.

bexy-lou-c wrote 1176 days ago

Hi there Miguel,

You had me at your title...I work for Christie's so I was really excited to see this!

I think you story is rather entrancing!

I read straight to chapter 8 and lost myself completely before I realised I had to get back to work. Paul is a completely engaging MC, I cannot pretend to know much about marriages but I found his relationship with his somewhat zany wife completely captivating and realistic!

Your dialogue is much better than majority of books I read on here, it feels much more authentic than most.

Without sounding macabre, I really enjoyed the murder scene.

This is really excellent writing and would definitely be something I would pick up of the bookshelf and lend to friends. Best of luck.

Starred and added to WL.

Rebecca

Red2u wrote 1215 days ago

wonderful dialogue...pulls you right in have placed yours on my watchlist in hopes of reading more...love a good thriller ..keeps you on the edge...

carl horton wrote 1226 days ago

Hi Miguel, thanks for backing Change of Circumstance. I hope you enjoy reading it. I have read a couple of chapters of Absentee Bidder and i like what I see. I,m getting behind with my reading so, for now, it's gone on my watch list and i'll try and read some more soon. Best of luck with it. Carl

carl horton wrote 1250 days ago

Hi Miguel,
Thanks for backing Change of Circumstance. As a newcomer to the literary world, it's very satisfying to have your work recognised without any preceeding form. I've taken a quick look at Absentee Bidder. Looks like it's going to be a great read. I shall try and comment when I get further into the story.
Carl

Rhonda9080 wrote 1252 days ago

Wow! Your opening rocks!!! Love the Jung quote. It pulls some weight in keeping with the theme of the book, and is not just a dressing. I also liked the way you enticed us with the immediacy of present tense then made a (VERY!) smooth transition to the third person. This was well done! Bravo and hats off! Paul is an immediate and compelling character, whom we get into the VP of from first page, so we're in the story and rolling. This is watchlisted, to be put in rotation for the bookshelf. The writing is shiny and so worthy. My highest star rating! I believe this is publishable!

rb101182 wrote 1279 days ago

thanks so much for backing my book, I just backed yours as well, cant wait to read it!

B A Morton wrote 1281 days ago

End of ch3 (or was it ch2?) anyway, Liliane...wasn't expecting that!...what about all the blood in the snow? or maybe the continuing snow covered it up...you've got me thinking now..
ch4... she's got to be in the wardrobe!
Loving the pace of this and the realistic dialogue, likeable rogue of an MC and unique plot.
Got to find out what happens...high starred and on my W/L
Best of luck with this
Babs

femmylovecraft wrote 1285 days ago

Miguel, I can see you are a very experienced writer, both dialogue and narrative flow effortlessly from your pen. The story is a bit 'gritty' for my romantic taste but it certainly suits your style and it reads quite easily. I have no doubt, therefore, that you will also be able to publish this book and find a wide and devoted readership for it. I've starred it and wish you the best of luck. Femmy

Renaud wrote 1286 days ago

The author has real talent. This is a good story but I am not sure that it is a book. As I started to read it I could see it play out as a film or a TV series. The dialogue reads very like a script and what prose there is exists only to set the scene for the next bout of explosive conversation.

Rather like characters in a TV series we know just enough about the characters to move forwards but not enough to care much about them or even to like them. I am not sure who the author hopes will will be the readership.

jey wrote 1287 days ago

Hi Miguel. Just read your pitch and that's the kind of book i'd pick out without a second. Let me get into the pages. I doubt i will get disappointed. Please check out mine as well.

beegirl wrote 1303 days ago

I backed this under the old system and I want to back it under the new. Great story and great writing.
Barbara

mscynthia wrote 1303 days ago

Hi Miguel,

The flow of your prose is easy and pleasant to follow. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Paul in your first chapter. Shelley's insecurities really get the best of her at times.

She seems to exhibit some erratic behavior. Paul's passion for his antiques business seems to keep him grounded. There is also some symbolism to your novel. I wondered if the day May 3, 1743 was a typo or the actual date they married (as in, they are from the past)?

I guess I will have to read further on to catch the full meaning of that particular date. Backed.

Cynthia
Sharing Short Stories

ChristinaN55 wrote 1312 days ago

I read the first couple of chapters and I'm amazed that Paul didn’t pack up Shelly and auction her off to the lowest bidder!
When a woman cuts off her hair like that and has to be told that she’s loved all day long means she needs therapy. Maybe Doctor Proctor could help her!
I’ll get back to the rest of the story soon, but so far its an enjoyable read.
Muy bueno señor Miguel

Surabhi wrote 1319 days ago


Beautiful writing and crisp conversations.

I'm sure this will make a fine book. Shelved with pleasure.

Many stars to you!

Voices in the Valley.

Rossa Forbes wrote 1328 days ago


Chapter 1's opening paragraph is great. I'm having problems with the tension between Shelley and Paul, though. I don't feel it. It sounded pretty mild to me and I'm thinking that you could introduce more description so that we get the idea. "Okay, go," Shelley screamed, beginning to lose her balance . . . (or whatever.) Give us some hints of what Shelley and Paul physically look like.

Davej wrote 1328 days ago

I liked this, though the dialogue in the first chapter left me feeling a little cold for the MC and his wife. It just didn't flow for me. The second and third chapters flow a lot better, the third very well and you have your audience hooked with the ending of Liliane...genius.

I shall give it a spin on the shelf with pleasure.

DJ-The Lost Cactus

deekays wrote 1347 days ago

Your pitch reads like the canter of a horse. It is brilliant! The first chapter is dark and you paint it appropriately. Best Wishes!

Sharon.v.o. wrote 1356 days ago

Miguel,
I have read the first two chapters and am hooked. After reading the pitch I want to know more about the figurines and the mystery around them.
I did not see any issues that would throw me out of the story or trip me up.
This promises to be a grand story of intrigue, mystery and revelations.
Nicely done,
Sharon Van Orman

chvolkoff wrote 1371 days ago

Well, I cannot stop reading, though I have to...this is great, definitely holds my attention, on Chapter 8 I still haven't found out what is really in the armoire...possibly Liliane herself, but I don't know.
Fabulous book, with many different layers, yet a suspenseful plot, with all kinds of real life details about antique auctions, and driving in the snow...wonderful, and backed!

Marsi wrote 1376 days ago

I was coming to this read last in my afternoon stint, but hey - I had a quick look and was hooked. You know - I could make a poem out of you opening paragraph.Shelley is a really scary babe. I like the style of your writing, pacey and crisp. Paul is quite surprisng as a character - he develops as the story proceeds. In fact, I love the 'shocks' The killing of Liliane is a case in point. Then Paul and his load of furniture, full of guilt. The move from a real life murder into the mystic area is smoothly done and some of the details, like the cave painting aspects are very interesting. This is a clever concept and well executed. I'm backing it. All the best Marilyn

Eunice Attwood wrote 1377 days ago

This is inspiring. Written with a strong voice, while the tension builds to such a pitch, it is hard to stop reading.The whole concept is superb, and the story well constructed. A dynamic read. Backed. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

maesecouogne wrote 1388 days ago

Thanks for the backing, returned. Pacy and interesting story. Have started to pick my way thought it but its getting too late at night now!! My only gripe is the spacing between the dialogue makes it hard to follow, too broken up.

Cheers

maesecouogne

Orlando Furioso wrote 1394 days ago

Ach, I want to read a story where a man does not have any mistresses, does not kill anyone, and has a single life in his soul. And finds the world to be light. Am I alone in that?

richard thurston wrote 1403 days ago

Excellent dialogue and very subtle re the stormy relationship- you extract just enough tension and vitriol to leave us intrigued about where he is going next and what will happen to Shelley. Backed with pleasure.

Richard

Fellpony wrote 1410 days ago

I wouldn't have picked this up in a bookshop from reading the pitches, but the writing is assured and clean and tidy, setting the scene without drowning me in detail. Backed.

Cat091971 wrote 1410 days ago

The dialogue is real, though I found myself having to backtrack to keep my finger on who was who during the auction. An easy read. Backed.

Paul T. wrote 1410 days ago

An absorbing read, with a well developed plot and characters. I don't know much about antiques or auctions, but those parts felt very authentic, and added to the depth. On my shelf.

naveennayar wrote 1411 days ago

Dear Miguel Sir,
Greetings:)
Very interesting, very impressive synopsis, very engaging writing style, it was scary when Shelly came inside the bathing room with scissors, the way you portray Paul's character while he was leaving and he tells Marge "You know Shelley thinks highly of you, and it would do her a world of good to bitch about me." shows your emontional genius.I can imagine how interesting the other chapters would be.
God Bless You:)
Naveen.

Lara wrote 1413 days ago

I think what I liked most about this book was its contrasts. The modern dialogue set against the antiques, the dusty books; the dreams and hallucinations against the usual had thrusting stuff of everyday life I though Lufti's game a nice touch and enjoyed where it took us.
Backed
Lara
Good for Him

gloria piper wrote 1416 days ago

Hi, Miquel,
This is a smooth read.
Backed.
Gloria
Finnegan's Quest

AJB wrote 1417 days ago

An interesting start and I already care about Paul and Shelley. Your dialogue is convincing and your first paragraph is plain poetic. Happy to back,

Amanda

healthpolicymaven wrote 1417 days ago

Hi Miguel,
This is very much a male perspective on a relationship, which is fine, but is that your target audience? I do like the intricacies of the antique trade woven into the story. I read the first chapter and the 36th one and was confused about the different read, felt like two books. Maybe the bridging comes in the 2nd or 3rd chapters, but with the volume of reading requests I get, I can rarely read more than two chapters.
I like it but I don't have anymore backing room on my bookshelf. I know the site is being redone so maybe we can revisit that after the changes.
Roberta

Lynne Ellison wrote 1417 days ago

A interesting piece of fiction

Lynne Ellison

The Green Bronze Mirror

Kristen Stone wrote 1419 days ago

Absentee Bidder
I really liked the beginning of this. I think all that needs to be said has already been said so I'll wish you luck and back it.
Kristen Stone
Shattered Dreams
Kianda Mala - The Monkey Man

Duncan Watt wrote 1419 days ago

Hi Miguel ...

A very unusual subject for a novel. Strong characters and good plot. The explosion into violence draws the reader deeper. I think you could have a hit on your hands. 'Backed'. Regards ... Duncan.

Jodi Louise Nicholls wrote 1419 days ago

You have a unique ways with words and an effortless flow to your writing. I fell pushed along like an autums breeze and I enjoyed every second of it.

The very best with this.

Bravo! (And backed.)

Jodi.
x-Evalesco-x

SubtleKnife wrote 1419 days ago

There is a frisson about this. You have an effective, direct way of explaining the situation through dialogue, which works well. I wonder, though, whether you are rushing the story slightly. By the end of the first chapter, yes we know the situation, but I felt a bit cheated. Maybe flesh it out just a little bit more. On my shelf. Cheers! -Liz (Meggie Blackthorn)

Ancient Reader wrote 1422 days ago

Dear Miguel,

I have read through chapter 11/12 and was pulled into the story immediately. I like the premise, but wonder if you give too much of the idea away in the pitch.

Paul is a great anti-hero and his professional life and personal life are intriguingly tangled. Shelley comes across as almost two dimensional in places, really pushing the limit of belief with her mental instability. Fox is as uniquely sly as his name suggests. You have a talent for characterization through dialogue.

The dreams were a bit confusing as you switched POV to omniscient with no warning and it was a little disorienting . But it is a minor thing compared to the info dump from the papers Fox get to show Paul. This is all important information for the storyline, but can it be spread out over some dialogue or some ruminating on Paul's part as he reads them? I don't believe that would adversely affect the impact, maybe in fact strengthen it. Paul can help the reader understand the papers' importance as he learns it himself.

The hook of when Paul will discover where Liliane is works to make the reader more aware that even worse is coming for Paul than what has gone before. As a reader, I had mixed emotions about him, which is what having an antihero is all about.

I believe that so far you have a good grasp of who these people are and where you are going with this. Your moving the pace quickly through much dialogue is working extremely well.

I believe this book has a successful future and I am backing it!

Ancient Reader

jbrogden wrote 1423 days ago

Anybody who prefaces their work with a quote from Jung is alright by me. Backed!

Dorothea wrote 1424 days ago

I like the depth to your characters, especially the evident flaws in Paul's character - it makes you want to read on and see how he develops. I think your prose is written really nicely, particularly the first paragraph.

Tracy Buchanan
The Candyfloss Room

Summer D'Vine wrote 1427 days ago

Absentee Bidder - After reading the first two chapters, I have to say that you have a knack for snappy dialogue. It gives it a fast pace feel and you really get to know the characters through their conversations. Gladly already backed.

All the best,
:-) Summer D'Vine

lamiel wrote 1430 days ago


Hi, Bud...thanks for your honest comment... I sincerely appreciate it.

Yeah. I know that I'm taking a risk by giving this novel its peculiar style. I have opted to minimize exposition through sparse narration, and boost it with quick-paced dialogue (in the beginning chapters). My assumption is that dialogue is the best way to bring intense characterization. More 'show' less 'tell'.

I wanted Paul, Shelley, etc. to pop out of the page, while trusting the reader's ability to personalize the details of the surroundings. "Her hair stuck to the tiles." Some will imagine the tiles mottled navy blue, and others terra cotta. To me it doesn't matter, to the story either. Hopefully the reader is compensating with peripheral imagination. The setting is tributary to this dialogue as it develops. If it's well-handled (my challenge..not easy) even the plot may be more real.

As the thread becomes more intense/complex the narration is gradually more present, because by then the reader must become aware of certain facts that even the characters don't know.

In general, if a reader accepts this, his visualization/imagination can be more engaged. It works for some and not for others. That's why there are so many writing styles and book genres.

Thanks again...this is the beauty of Authonomy...feedback is very important.

Miguel


....What I read of your book reminded me of listening to an old radio drama where you get little or no description of where the story takes place, but at least you get some feel for the emotion of the characters and a few sound affects. Practically all of what I read was dialect coming out of a fog. I think there is a pottery wheel and a bathroom, but I have little idea of what the people look like or what their characters might be or what the surrounding scenery looks like, or the house or where the auction is taking place. It's like listening to an endless conversation from people I cannot see. I think there is a thread of an interesting story to the book, but it is practically naked. There's no meat on the bones, so to speak. I hope what I have pointed out to you is helpful. Bud

Bud Carroll wrote 1430 days ago

Hi Miguel, Thank you for backing my book. I've backed your book in return. What I read of your book reminded me of listening to an old radio drama where you get little or no description of where the story takes place, but at least you get some feel for the emotion of the characters and a few sound affects. Practically all of what I read was dialect coming out of a fog. I think there is a pottery wheel and a bathroom, but I have little idea of what the people look like or what their characters might be or what the surrounding scenery looks like, or the house or where the auction is taking place. It's like listening to an endless conversation from people I cannot see. I think there is a thread of an interesting story to the book, but it is practically naked. There's no meat on the bones, so to speak. I hope what I have pointed out to you is helpful. Bud

paperbat wrote 1431 days ago

Thank you for puttng this book on the site. I have been enjoying it immensely. One little thought. Because it spans such a wide arena of events [places/times], always make sure it is very clear the changes that occur and the differences. Otherwise great. BACKED
I would appreciate any comments on my childrens book ; Paperbats Adventures. Feedback is always useful. Back it or trash it !
Jerry - paperbat

michaeltc wrote 1432 days ago

Thank you for backing my book! The favor has been returned.
Wishing you the best,
Michael
Iniquity Shall Abound