The Mysterious Bookshop

Lock, Norman, The Port-Wine Stain

"Brilliant. . . . Shimmers with glorious language, fluid rhythms, and complex insights. . . . A glorious meditation on justice, truth, loyalty, story, and the alchemical effects of love."Jane Ciabattari, NPR, onThe Boy in His Winter

"[A] pithy, compact beautifully conducted version of the American Dream."Alan Cheuse, NPR, onAmerican Meteor

"[Walt Whitman] hovers over [American Meteor], just as Mark Twain's spirit pervadedThe Boy in His Winter. . . . Like all Mr. Lock's books, this is an ambitious work, where ideas crowd together on the page like desperate men on a battlefield." Gerard Helferich,Wall Street Journal, on American Meteor

In his third book of The American Novels series, Norman Lock recounts the story of a young Philadelphian, Edward Fenzil, who, in the winter of 1844, falls under the sway of two luminaries of the nineteenth-century grotesque imagination: Thomas Dent Mütter, a surgeon and collector of medical "curiosities," and Edgar Allan Poe. As Fenzil struggles against the powerful wills that would usurp his identity, including that of his own malevolent doppelgänger, he loses his mind and his story to another's.

The Port-Wine Stain is a gothic psychological thriller whose themes are possession, identity, and storytelling that the master, Edgar Allan Poe, might have been proud to call his own.


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