I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
A professor and environmental activist accused of cybercrime must make his way to a safe haven, encountering unusual characters and situations along the way in author Gretchen McCullough’s “Confessions of a Knight Errant: Drifters, Thieves, and Ali Baba’s Treasure”.
Confessions of a Knight Errant is a comedic, picaresque novel in the tradition of Don Quixote with a flamboyant cast of characters. Dr. Gary Watson is the picaro, a radical environmentalist and wannabe novelist who has been accused of masterminding a computer hack that wiped out the files of a major publishing company. His Sancho Panza is Kharalombos, a fat, gluttonous Greek dancing teacher, who is wanted by the secret police for cavorting with the daughter of the Big Man of Egypt. Self-preservation necessitates a hurried journey to the refuge of a girls’ camp in rural Texas. Then a body turns up nearby that is connected to Middle East antiquities, and they are on the run once more.
This was a compelling and humorous genre fiction tale. The author did an amazing job of crafting a narrative that felt both original and literary genius at the same time, capturing the tone and thought-provoking narrative style that made the infamous Don Quixote so infamous. The imagery in the writing itself really brought these settings to life, showcasing the vast settings that these characters walked through in their adventures.
Yet it was the balance of character development and an almost episodic format to the novel overall that made this story shine so brightly. Each chapter and section took on an almost individualistic approach as if the story was a television show playing out across 24 episodes. The way the author was able to create these unique and original characters in the narrative while still giving the protagonist and his companion enough time on the page to fully develop made this a fantastic narrative to get lost in.
Thought-provoking, memorable, and compelling, author Gretchen McCullough’s “Confessions of a Knight Errant: Drifters, Thieves, and Ali Baba’s Treasure” is a must-read genre fiction and humor novel. The twists and turns in the protagonist’s journey and the rich cast of characters will have readers eagerly devouring this book for years to come. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
Gretchen McCullough was raised in Harlingen Texas. After graduating from Brown University in 1984, she taught in Egypt, Turkey and Japan. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama and was awarded a teaching Fulbright to Syria from 1997-1999. Her stories, essays and reviews have appeared in The Barcelona Review, Archipelago, National Public Radio, Story South, Guernica, The Common, The Millions, and the LA Review of Books. Translations in English and Arabic have been published in: Nizwa, Banipal, Brooklyn Rail in Translation, World Literature Today and Washington Square Review with Mohamed Metwalli. Her bi-lingual book of short stories in English and Arabic, Three Stories From Cairo, translated with Mohamed Metwalli was published in July 2011 by AFAQ Publishing House, Cairo. A collection of short stories about expatriate life in Cairo, Shahrazad’s Tooth, was also published by AFAQ in 2013. Currently, she is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Rhetoric and Composition at the American University in Cairo.
Her website: www.gretchenmccullough.wix.com/gretchenmccullough