The Blasphemer

The Blasphemer

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.

On its way to the Galápagos Islands, a light aircraft ditches into the sea. As water floods the cabin, zoologist Daniel Kennedy faces an im­possible choice—should he save himself, or Nancy, the woman he loves and the mother of his child?

Back in London, Daniel can’t stop thinking about the man he saw while swimming fourteen miles—on the verge of exhaustion and hypothermia—to reach the islands: a smiling figure treading water, urging him to swim just a few strokes farther until his foot touched sand. An adamant atheist, Daniel is certain it was merely a hallucination brought on by his physical state. Or was it?
 
Meanwhile, in a parallel narrative, Daniel’s great-grandfather, Andrew Kennedy, faces mortal danger during the horrific battle of Passchendaele. But what does the unraveling truth about the life and death of Andrew have to do with Daniel? As secrets are disclosed—from the diary of a military chaplain who knew Andrew and from the enigmatic scribbles on a musical score signed by Gustav Mahler—Daniel must confront the miraculous, despite his atheism. In doing so, he is given another fateful chance to prove his unconditional love to his family.

A literary thriller of rare depth that sweeps from the morbid trenches of World War I to the terrorist-besieged streets of present-day London, The Blasphemer is about one man coming to grips with his darkest instincts, his moments of betrayal, his shocking family legacy, and ultimately his desperate hope for redemption and faith.



Baker & Taylor
In the aftermath of a small plane crash that forced him to make a wrenching life-and-death choice, zoologist Daniel Kennedy confronts the fate of his great-grandfather during World War I and struggles to both prove himself and earn forgiveness.

Baker
& Taylor

In the aftermath of a small plane crash that forced him to make a wrenching life-and-death choice, zoologist Daniel Kennedy confronts the fate of his great-grandfather during World War I and struggles to both prove himself and earn forgiveness. By the short-listed Whitbread Prize nominee of Hee-Haw.

Publisher: New York : Shaye Areheart Books, 2010
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307717030
0307717038
Branch Call Number: FICTION FARND...N
Notes: "On its way to the Galápagos Islands, a light aircraft crashes into the sea. Zoologist Daniel Kennedy is confronted with a stark Darwinian choice. Should he save himself, or Nancy, the woman he loves? But how can one moment of betrayal ever be forgiven? And after he escapes the plane and swims for help, who is the elusive figure who guides him away from certain death? Back in London, Daniel thinks he finds the answer; it is connected with his great grandfather and the first horrific day of Passchendaele. But as the past collapses into the present, the fissures in his relationship with Nancy show through. Until he is given a second chance to prove his courage and earn her forgiveness. The Blasphemer is a novel that speaks to the head as well as the heart of the reader."

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jazpur
Jan 18, 2014

I found this book fascinating, dealing as it does with the significance of beliefs and faith in life and response to circumstance as seen through the lives of 2 young men related over the generations, one in World War I and the other in the present day.Nigel Farndale handles his characters well.

debwalker Mar 05, 2011

Richard and Judy Book Club Recommendation:
"How would any of us react in a moment of mortal danger? In a plane crash? In the heat and smoke of the battlefield? Would we be heroes, or cowards?

Nigel Farndale’s haunting novel goes to the heart of such questions and makes for an utterly compelling read. It tells the parallel stories of Andrew Kennedy, an unblooded young soldier about to go over the top in one of the deadliest battles of the First World War, and his great grandson, Daniel, about to face his own moment of truth in the present day."

s
Sisbot
Jan 31, 2011

I enjoyed this most unusual book. It flips from modern day to the first world war and ties all the stories together at the end. It was recommended by Richard & Judy's Book Club from the UK. If you read it, I'd love to discuss the last three chapters.

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