Nine Visits From Paradise by James Blandy (2023)
I met James Blandy over ten years ago. We struck up a conversation where we discovered a mutual interest in publishing our novels.
Nine Visits from Paradise is an unusual and intriguing novel. The aim seems to be to make readers more curious, questioning the status quo and not accepting the obvious in life. Success! I was born an atheist as were my parents and I led debates at school debunking biblical stories and more importantly, the assumptions people made from them. This was unusual in schools in the 1960s. Since then of course there have been the Dead Sea Scrolls illuminating alternative versions of the testaments as well as the fascinating and controversial The Blood and The Holy Grail (1982) by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln. Not that I accepted all their interpretations, more fascinated by the ructions it called and its plagiarism by Dan Brown—allegedly. Thing is to take nothing for granted. The thing is too, to seek love, truth and happiness above the false gods of money and fame.
Nine Visits From Paradise, tells the story of how Noah Blunt is struggling with his mental health, which is being compounded by pressures at work, an expensive wedding on the horizon and his grandfather, ‘Grampy’, being admitted into hospital. The first half of the book focuses on the nine visits Noah pays to Grampy in hospital, before he dies under suspicious circumstances.
At each of the visits, Grampy is eager to bestow various theories and esoteric information to transform Noah’s view of the world. Noah is constantly oscillating between the thoughts that Grampy is eccentric and senile, alongside the remote possibility that this might be genuine wisdom to help illuminate his outlook.
The second half of the book, in the wake of Grampy’s death and Noah’s toil with depression, he attempts to rebuild his mental health through the support of his wife Catherine, and with help from his counsellor, Janet.
Despite covering some difficult subjects, Nine Visits From Paradise is laced with humour and fascinating insights to question the readers own view on reality.
author James Blandy
Nine Visits is available in both paperback and Kindle – Amazon link:
Kindle ASIN : B0C7KNF397
Paperback ISBN-13 : 978-1739421908
Recent publications include:
- BETTER THAN a SF short in the Fiction4All collection Other Worlds Vol2 2022
- BLINK short story set at Horseshoe Pass also in Other Worlds Vol 2 here
- THE SYMONDS YAT JUMPER -horror short in Revenant antho from Gravestone Press 2022 here
- KEPLER’S SON bk 3 of Flying Crooked SF series Nov 2022 here
Coming soon: the fourth book in the Flying Crooked SF series: VANISHED EARTH
Twitter link @geoffnelder