Holy Among Fools

In his latest novel, Derek Turner, author of Sea Changes and Displacement, takes his readers on a seriocomic journey with a latter-day Holy Fool.  Along the way, Turner takes aim at the insanity of political correctness, celebrity culture in the Age of Twitter, and the spiritual wasteland that results from a denial of truth.  A Modern Journey’s characters and themes bring to mind Flannery O’Connor’s half-mad prophets seeking redemption, as well as the lost soul of Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer, pining for validation through proximity to media celebrity, a kind of dubious reality accessible to modern nihilism.  Turner’s protagonist is reminiscent of Chance the gardener of Jerzy Kosinski’s Being There, an idiot mistaken for a genius.  Nevertheless, A Modern Journey’s readers may be left wondering whether the leading character, by all appearances an eccentric ne’er-do-well at best, a madman and faux visionary at worst, has been able, precisely because of his eccentricity and naiveté, to perceive something beyond the shallow society he lives in.

Ambrose Sheehy-O’Connor, a Dubliner, is mocked, hated, and rejected by some,...

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