A Retrospect In Death, a mainstream novel with elements of the supernatural, the afterlife, life, living, and romance, is a story about discovery. You think you know yourself? Perhaps you only think you do. Maybe those with whom you’ve shared a room, whether briefly or long term, know you better.
On the other side of the Great Divide, the narrator, who remains nameless throughout the narrative, encounters his higher self—the part of him that is immortal and connected to the creator—and learns (much to his chagrin) that he must return to the lifecycle. But first he must be “debriefed” by his higher self, and so they set about discussing the man’s previous life—in reverse chronological order: knowing the end but retracing the journey, searching for the breadcrumbs left along the way.
Do those closest to us know us better than we know ourselves; or do they, as we often insist, know jack? Consider that only in death can you really know, and understand, who and why you are—or were. And then ask yourself: At that point, is it too late? Does it even matter?
Review: “Introspective, like a personal remembrance of life, this book is more than diary or autobiography, but less than truth perhaps because it’s viewed entirely through the eyes of the (dead) protagonist. Slowly working towards the unseen facts of his character’s past, J. Conrad Guest’s A Retrospective In Death is a languid, oddly compelling tale, evoking an era with a wealth of intricate detail, creating a memorable yet achingly ordinary man, and searching for meaning and purpose in it all.
“Song titles, movies, well-known names and places, events in sports, evocative phrases from the past and much, much more build up into a powerful retrospect of an era, all told in a voice that changes convincingly with changing enthusiasm, self-deprecating humor, and psychoanalytical hints from the higher self. It’s a pleasing, though very long tale, and the ending is beautifully worth the languorous journey.” Reviewer: Sheila Deeth-Author of Divide by Zero
Print Length: 327 Pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Message from Author J. Conrad Guest:
“Welcome. If you’re reading these words, you have my thanks for finding me. A critic calls my work, “Gritty, entertaining… real. Romance for the non-romantic.”
Genre? What’s that? My characters face everyday obstacles: love (finding it), loss of love (ouch!), regret (who doesn’t have a few of those?), infidelity (from love to hate to compromise), death (the Grim Reaper recently visited me in a dream to tell me he was coming for me. “Great,” my dream self said. “You bring the whiskey and I’ll provide the cigars”), redemption (that transformation from the anti-hero the reader wants to like into the hero for whom they want to root), and more. I write about relationships between men and woman, and fathers and sons. Yet each character, although flawed and in some cases broken, is in their own way extraordinary. I write mainstream, non-traditional romance (Fabio will never grace the cover of one of my novels), and soft science fiction. I hope you’ll find here something that appeals to your literary appetite.
I was named Joseph Conrad for my dad’s favorite novelist.
As a boy my dream was to become a Major League Baseball player, but my parents had other ideas. They urged me to play it safe, to learn a trade, get a job with an automotive company, and retire in forty years with a gold watch. To me that was a prison sentence. I didn’t want to reach my current age wondering, What if?
I was creative and wanted to leave my mark on the world. How to go about achieving that dream perplexed me for many years, until I sat down to write my first novel. January’s Paradigm was born from a bloodied and bruised heart. What started as therapy for me turned into a passion. My dad often criticized me for not finishing what I started, and I was determined to finish a novel. When Dad read my second draft, after two years of labor, he was pleased.
While I geared up for submitting my child to agents and publishers I struggled for a name. A nom de plume was out of the question. I wanted to use “Conrad” but didn’t wish to be compared to the man who today is considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. I finally settled on J. Conrad Guest and have never regretted it.
My novels are available in brick and mortar bookstores and at Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.”
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