Book Jacket

 

rank 1257
word count 13112
date submitted 01.03.2009
date updated 16.05.2010
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Thriller...
classification: moderate
incomplete

The Irate Savant

Lein Shory

If arrogance were means to power, the Irate Savant would rule the world. Instead he earns minimum wage in a Chicago antiquities gallery.

 

Desperate for a paycheck, he ignores his boss's black marketeering and constant scoldings for loafing and tardiness. But the Savant can't ignore the bizarre text messages that invade his cellphone. The antiquities that defy known archaeology. The frantic collector who storms into the gallery, babbling about strange inscriptions on artifacts, and the one-eyed excavator who threatens to reveal terrible secrets--both of whom disappear.

Home offers little comfort. The jerk in the apartment below torments him at every turn. His budding relationship with a woman in his building is disrupted by her redneck former boyfriend. And her innocent questions about his past summon memories of a forbidden affair, the tragic consequences of which he's been running from for years.

Now he's being followed. A stunning woman in a nearby greasy spoon hints through cryptic riddles at possible answers. But do the answers lie in the gallery, or in his past?

 
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tags

arch, blog, conspiracy, fiction, first-person, forbidden love, horror, literary, psychological, thriller

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45 comments

 

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Eunice Attwood wrote 1294 days ago

An intellectual piece with a well constructed story line. Very clever work indeed. Happy to back. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

Eveleen wrote 1368 days ago

Backed with pleasure
Eveleen
Hope you'll read mine

Lara wrote 1410 days ago

I genuinely enjoyed this. The self-absorbed uppitiness of your MC was well and rapidly portrayed. I liked the descriptions of the uglier ones he was destined to serve and I would read on ... What have you been doing wrong on this site that your ranking is so low? Backed. Are you still there....?
Rosalind
Good For Him

Barry Wenlock wrote 1410 days ago

Hi Lein,
This was an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. Arrogant is the word.
Backed with pleasure,
Barry
Little Krisna and the Bihar Boys

SusieGulick wrote 1411 days ago

Dear Lein, I love your fascinating story - this guy is lovable & in need of love. :) Before I began to read your book, I was prepared by your pitch, which was very well done. :) Your story is good because you create interest by having short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, which makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm "backing" your book. :) "When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"...authonomy quote. :) Please "back" my TWO memoir books, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" & my completed memoir unedited version? "Tell Me True Love Stories," which tells at the end, my illness now & 6th abusive marriage." Thanks, Susie :)
additional authonomy quote: "Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs." :)

Becca wrote 1430 days ago

What a hard voice this must have been to maintain. The character is fantastic, but for me hard to read. This is definitely an intellectual read. Good for lit-fic, probably not meant for the mainstream. I personally wouldn't buy this (though I do like some lit fic) but I can definitely recognize good writing when I see it, so I've backed this and wish you luck with it.

xBeccaX
The Forever Girl

Esrevinu wrote 1431 days ago

Lein, your images are intelligent and masterful. Your writing style is impressive and the descriptions—stylish
Good luck
Scott
The Esrevinu Chronicles/Secrets of the Elephant Rocks

Lara wrote 1439 days ago

I love the title and immediately the novel starts, we get the measure of the narrator. I read sections up to 8 and see that you manage to sustain the voice right through. It reminds me a little of Remains of the Day. What a compliment. It's an unusual and possibly fascinating theme. Well done. I would be grateful of your attention to Good For Him

Rosalind

JMCornwell wrote 1446 days ago

"...open door to his apartment open." I think one open is sufficient
"...much less afford such a purpose.' Do you mean expense? Helpful and efficient would be purpose, but the cost would be an expense or luxury.

As pompous and definitely arch as is this particular character, there's something intriguing about him. He's a snob and a jerk, but an entertaining snob and jerk. The writing is nearly flawless and moves well. The pacing is and flow are so clear I can hear the MC's voice. He's not a unique individual (I've known far too many) but he is uniquely portrayed.

soutexmex wrote 1466 days ago

Do not tell us in the short pitch: show us. The long pitch does work though. Being Authonomy's #1 commentator and amateur pitch doctor, trust me, spend some time on your pitches; I cannot overemphasize how you need to master this basic sales technique to grab the casual reader. That's how you climb in ranking to gather more exposure and comments to better your novel. SHELVED!

I can use your comments on my book when you get the chance. Cheers!

JC
The Obergemau Key
Authonomy's #1 rated commentator

Burgio wrote 1466 days ago

This is an interesting story. Your narrator is a good character; likable and certainly sympathetic because people all around him treat him so badly. You've obviously thought a lot about him to get inside his mind so well - and then allow your reader to do the same. Makes this a good read. I’m adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

ALPACAJUNCTION wrote 1466 days ago

Very interesting story line. Very easy to read. Good descriptions. You might wish to tighten up the pitch a bit. I think you try to explain too much there. Backed. Sincerely, Gordon Kuhn.....Alpaca Junction

plip wrote 1467 days ago

Enjoyable read, with an interesting, though repugnant, narrator. The hooks are skilfully placed, with hints leading in several directions. Some very minor typos/glitches, but overall written with confidence and skill.
phil

fenyks wrote 1526 days ago

Your narrative is highly addictive. The only downside is that I discovered it rather well into the wee hours when my attention span is faltering, but after reading the first two chapters, I will definitely return to pore over the remainder.

Kolro wrote 1645 days ago

Had this book recommended to me by Stampman who I must now shower with gifts. Your book is a fantastic piece of prose, reminiscent of an early 1900s story I'm bashing my head against the wall trying to remember. The eerie, twisting manner of the narrative is akin to Poe or Lovecraft; a professional sense of foreboding being spun before as I read. Since the last comment before this was made 136 days ago, it's clear this book is now neglected. How sad. This must be altered.

Abu El Banat wrote 1781 days ago

Lein, I am here on the recommendation of MM Bennetts, whose judgment is pretty reliable. Nor am I disappointed.

Thank God there are still people like your narrator around. Only a handful, mind, but that handful is better than none at all. People of sense, taste and intellect, who know the difference between a string quartet and a string vest. He has a good deal in common with an old friend of mine from school and Oxford; I have a strong suspicion he would get along with Hugo Hammersley, hero of 'Pistols for Two, Breakfast for One' (currently on the eds' desk, and if you had time to pay it a brief visit before closing time in 12 hours, I think you'd find it time well spent).

One could easily read the entire MS as tongue-in-cheek, and indeed the dry, acerbic humour is one of its finest and most engaging characteristics, but for the two 'Betwixt Eye and Lid' segments which imply that you have a serious point to convey. I am disposed to resent the fact that I cannot read further; your website implies that the book may be complete and I'd love to read more if that is the case.

It lifts my spirits to encounter someone who is neither embarrassed by nor afraid of their own intelligence. In these days of media-induced mediocracy, of pre-packaged celebrity, you and your narrator stand as a pair of beacons.

Bravissimo.

Pat Black wrote 1783 days ago

Goodness me, get me Roget's on the phone! I very much enjoyed this acid-tongued Type C narrator... the brutality of the descriptions and the verbose framing tickled me. Did I detect a hint of Montgomery Burns in the Old Wretch? I rather think I did. And a genuinely affecting description of beauty right a the bottom there. A first chapter to savour, I'll put up a thread on this entitled "Mere nonpareil Achaean" - hope to see you there!

P

ML Hamilton wrote 1814 days ago

Lein,

Wow! What an intelligent, delightful read. I can't believe how rapidly I went through chapter one, moving from one arrogant, self-absorbed rant of the narrator to the next. He's so easy to dislike that I find myself liking him a great deal. Brilliant characterization, that. The writing is spotless. I'm beyond impressed.

On my shelf,

ML

Michael Croucher wrote 1814 days ago

Hello Lein, I enjoyed this a lot. Your writing is crisp and uncluttered, and doesn't distract from the pace you've set. The characters are well developed and compelling, your descriptions vivid. It's an unusual but very effective style of writing. I'm happy to give it some time on my shelf.
Michael

Jeff Blackmer wrote 1817 days ago

Lein!
This is so good! Your main character is self absorbed, yet observant, arrogant, yet eloquent, cynical but possessed of an understated and droll sense of humor so dry as to be almost non-existant. But you have drawn him well and given us a wonderful insight into the mind of the Irate Savant. His narrative pulls us right along, into his ever complicating life. His vocabulary is positively sesquapedalian, but it works deliciously well. Glad to have you on my shelf!

sperber1 wrote 1819 days ago

You do a terrific job, through your first person narrative, of demonstrating your protagonist's high opinion of himself and the contempt in which he seems to hold most other human beings (if he would call them that -- the description he gives everyone with the exception of the woman in the eatery also show his contempt for most of humanity). That you can sustain this personality through choice of words and attitude in the Savant's thoughts must have taken a great deal of work -- and constant rewriting, I would think -- on your part. You certainly are true to your character.

At the same time, you set up what almost sounds like a Sherlock Holmes-type mystery, with the gallery owner keeping secrets in his office, sending our "hero" out for three hours with instructions not to come back during that time, and a strange-looking deformed man meeting with him. And who knows what is going on in the basement?

You clearly have a gift for writing and for language, and you also know your antiquities. And you draw your characters, especially the narrator, extremely well. I feel that I know the Savant, all too well. Finally, as you reveal toward the end of this chapter, the fact that he is writing to us on a blog while at work is, I think, a sroke of genius. One can just picture him there, behind the counter, at the computer, bored, writing us his observations.

Hard work and well done. Shelved.

Dania wrote 1825 days ago

I have nothing to add to what's been said below. Your writing is impeccable. Unique voice, good story and compelling protag. Shelved.

Dania wrote 1825 days ago

I have nothing to add to what's been said below. Your writing is impeccable, unique voice, good story and compelling protag. Shelved

Janet Marie wrote 1827 days ago

Hi Lein. I see some of the most critical critiquers adore your work. And for good reason. My favorite aspect of your writing is how you don't quickly describe the shop owner. You linger and develop his by allowing the reader to observe his actions throughout a conversation. You shape and form him, eventually giving us a, not only chiseled, but polished imagery, with incised details, which in turn shows the read all about your protagonist. Exquisite. On my shelf and warmest regards. Janet Marie

Heidi Mannan wrote 1827 days ago

A lovely bastard of a character. You write very well and I love the quirkiness of this. Onto my shelf it goes!

Keefieboy wrote 1828 days ago

Woo-hoo! You pull off the task of writing as this insufferable snob in the first person with great aplomb. Shelved.

Geveret wrote 1828 days ago

Deliciously arch and thought-through with wicked deliberation. An MC I love to not like. Shelved.

paul house wrote 1828 days ago

Lovely writing. Onto my shelf. I would like to say more but am too tired. Maybe later, when I have read more.

zenup wrote 1828 days ago

What a fascinating read. While not especially liking your protag, I can appreciate his outlook, and love his weird world. Would love to back this.

StampMan wrote 1830 days ago

"Were I a hapless medieval soul rather than a perspicacious champion of reason" - I would not shelve this.

I love stuff like this - like a modern day Perelman.
Absolutely brilliant. Shelved. (Thanks Bluestocking for the tip!)

You might like to have a look at my "The Bizarre and Violent World of Stamp Collecting".

plumboz wrote 1830 days ago

This is fun. A worthy descendant of Ignatius Reilly as our narrator and a decidedly up to date method of presenting the story. I'm just a chapter in but will be back for more fun with this MC.

Alan

scottkenny wrote 1831 days ago

Hello Lein,
what a great pitch. I've come across this story of ancient artifacts found in the grand canyon before and wondered. I hope you investigate further. I love the 'arch' style of your MC, and his irritants. What I really enjoy though, is the breadth of ideas covered and shown through his thoughts. His flitting about from one annoyance to another is very amusing. I'm only at page five, but will shelve and dip in again later,
Scott.

Margaret Anthony wrote 1831 days ago

Hello Lein,
I'm beginning to wonder whether you wrote this with a computer key or a barb!! It is amazing and written with such skill. Withering and scornful are two words that come to mind when I listen to the dialogue. I thought I had quite a good vocabulary but the Savant excells! A strange tale but one that is worthy of some shelf space if only for the pure fun of reading it. Best wishes, Margaret (Candles in the Garden)

Lein Shory wrote 1831 days ago

The secure manner with WHICH she carried herself...typo.

This is brilliantly written. I wish I had this book in my hand to enjoy it properly. (and a dictionary on occasion, but that's not a bad thing). I love this. Shelved. And bravo.



Fixed, and thanks for the read.

Lein Shory wrote 1831 days ago

Dang! But this is awesome. Nabokovianly cool. Or R.M. Kosteresque, do you know that book 'The Dissertation'?? If not I am telling you right now that you would *love* it. Recalls 'The Egyptologist' a bit, as well. I do love that book.

But this! What a wonderful surprise this is! The demon love child of Nabokov and like, Clive Barker--!?!?! I had SO MUCH fun reading it. I've zoomed through the lot, and was cracking up like crazy the whole time. I will back it with the utmost pleasure, and shout it from the rooftops on the forums, too. Beautifully done. (Not sure how you would feel about my book, which is a "pop-cultural bagatelle" through and through, but would love to know what you think of it. Even if you hate it though I DON'T CARE one whit because I LOVE yours. Sorry for shouting but italics are not permitted in these comments.) All the best--Maria. p.s. I made a few notes as I read, which will follow.

This blog--presumably it is posted publicly, like through a regular blog host? I can imagine some pretty hilarious comments being made on this blog. But maybe our man has disabled comments? Just a thought--because the additional perspectives can add a lot of depth on the cheap, without a lot of extra plotting, characterization etc. By the bye the story of the Gnat really achieves this. It comes at just the right time, when you might otherwise get a little claustrophobic going back and forth between the gallery and the apartment.

I could use a little more sense of Chicago, maybe. I'd blithely assumed we were in New York, and then afterward I read the pitch and thought, hmm. Not New York!

a few little text notes:

"him who was to be my benefactor" rather than "he" (needs accusative?)

"transference of plunder"--would just "transfer" be better (because psychoanalytical meaning is intrusive?)

I thought it was spelled "tintamarre"? I never saw this word anglicized before.



Thanks for the comments, and thanks for the text notes. Always looking for the opportunity to improve.

Arc wrote 1831 days ago

This is thoughtful and delicious writing, in an eccentric and amusing voice. Something about the unrelenting perspective of the narrator makes my brain hurt after a while, but what else would I expect from a blog, and it might only be my ADD kicking in. But it certainly would be cool to see some reader comments to these posts.

bluestocking wrote 1831 days ago

Dang! But this is awesome. Nabokovianly cool. Or R.M. Kosteresque, do you know that book 'The Dissertation'?? If not I am telling you right now that you would *love* it. Recalls 'The Egyptologist' a bit, as well. I do love that book.

But this! What a wonderful surprise this is! The demon love child of Nabokov and like, Clive Barker--!?!?! I had SO MUCH fun reading it. I've zoomed through the lot, and was cracking up like crazy the whole time. I will back it with the utmost pleasure, and shout it from the rooftops on the forums, too. Beautifully done. (Not sure how you would feel about my book, which is a "pop-cultural bagatelle" through and through, but would love to know what you think of it. Even if you hate it though I DON'T CARE one whit because I LOVE yours. Sorry for shouting but italics are not permitted in these comments.) All the best--Maria. p.s. I made a few notes as I read, which will follow.

This blog--presumably it is posted publicly, like through a regular blog host? I can imagine some pretty hilarious comments being made on this blog. But maybe our man has disabled comments? Just a thought--because the additional perspectives can add a lot of depth on the cheap, without a lot of extra plotting, characterization etc. By the bye the story of the Gnat really achieves this. It comes at just the right time, when you might otherwise get a little claustrophobic going back and forth between the gallery and the apartment.

I could use a little more sense of Chicago, maybe. I'd blithely assumed we were in New York, and then afterward I read the pitch and thought, hmm. Not New York!

a few little text notes:

"him who was to be my benefactor" rather than "he" (needs accusative?)

"transference of plunder"--would just "transfer" be better (because psychoanalytical meaning is intrusive?)

I thought it was spelled "tintamarre"? I never saw this word anglicized before.

Lord Dunno wrote 1832 days ago

Well my flabber's been well and truly ghasted. I'm speechless. I'm only one chapter in but I have no hesitation in backing this. No wonder VisionScript is recommending it. This really is head and shoulders above most works of fiction on here or in fact anywhere. Creepy, funny and accomplished. It's a joy and I'd be reading on if it weren't so late and almost bedtime. I'll be back though, that's for sure.

VisionScript wrote 1835 days ago

The secure manner with WHICH she carried herself...typo.

This is brilliantly written. I wish I had this book in my hand to enjoy it properly. (and a dictionary on occasion, but that's not a bad thing). I love this. Shelved. And bravo.

CarolinaAl wrote 1859 days ago

Hi Lein,

I read your first three chapters.

You've written an engrossing mystery.

Your characterization of the Savant shows him to be well-educated (judging from his vocabilary), unsettled, introverted and introspective. Of course, I was drawn in by the mysterious figures who visit the Old Wretch.

Your descriptions are vivid. For example, 'He wore nothing on his head other than his slicked-back, jet-black hair, a striking contrast to the skin that appeared it would dissolve to powder if touched.'

I laughed out loud at 'Why the Old Wretch would consort with rejects from Universal monster movies I still have not determined.'

Your pacing swept me up and held my interest.

No suggested edits.

Good luck with this book which I have backed.

Al

PS: Might I ask you to read and review SAVANNAH PASSION?


Steve Weddle wrote 1869 days ago

This seems like a really good read. The character's voice is hilarious and so far the story is working really well. The guy has an interesting take on the world, that's for sure. The longing after the lady and the whole mystery thing are great, as well. When is the whole book ready? Thanks

ADO wrote 1870 days ago

Dear Lein, I am really enjoying The Irate Savant. The writing is compelling, I like the narrative style, and the plot is very intriguing and engrossing. On my bookshelf and I am looking forward to reading more... With kind regards, Andrew.

Joanna Stephen-Ward wrote 1871 days ago

Shelved. Like the cover. Pleased you managed to upload it.

Joanna

JanJ wrote 1871 days ago

Hello Lein,
This is definitely an unusal style and I have to say..I tend to like it. But I believe Joanna is right, Some flare ups from a few blog readers would add a nice touch. I think the arrogant stuffy writings fit this character perfectly.
The plot is very intriguing and it kept me reading. You definitely have the right voice for the story.
On my book shelf. I think this story is worth backing.
Jan

Joanna Stephen-Ward wrote 1872 days ago

Hello Lein,

It's a good plot. The first thing I suggest you do is get an original cover to make your book stand out from the crowd. There are lots of covers the same as yours and it makes your book melt into the background.

Secondly, I know your narrator is arrogant and you've shown this by the way he writes, but undiluted, it is irritating. One way around this would be to have someone reply on the blog that he is a pretentious idiot. And then he could simplify his language for the raqbble. It would be a pity if no one read this becuse of the way it was written. His arrogance can still come though.

Your description of the customer was terrific.

I'm putting this on my watch List and wish you luck with it.

Joanna

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