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  • By Gary Mark Boyer
    Feb 27, 2019
    “I look for ambiguity when I’m writing because life is ambiguous.” Keith Richards In Greek, Utopia means either "no-place" or "good-place". And his easy comfort with opposites is one of John Locke’s real strengths as a novelist. When you read Utopia Revisited—Book One, Mr. Locke’s new illustrated novel, you will find yourself surrounded by ambiguity, and that will only add to the pleasure of the read. You’ll begin by meeting St. Thomas More, the author of Utopia as he awaits execution in the Tower of London and secures the commitment of his fictional comrade, Hythloday, that he will travel to Utopia to bring its blessings to the world at large. Joined in his quest by Peter Giles, equal parts hero and everyman, Hythloday takes the story from there after More’s dramatic execution. The story moves to Latin America—the supposed location of Utopia—where you will meet Leonor/Xualla, the novel’s main protagonist. She is classically educated and street smart; immersed in... More > European culture and thoroughly indigenous Taino. She is young, mature, callow, and wise. She is touchingly vulnerable and remarkably tough. She is heart and head. She and Locke’s other characters certainly are complex, but more than that, it’s clear that he has a real affection for them. That is most apparent, perhaps, in his treatment of Leonor/Xualla and her Taino mentor, Nohoch (you’ll love him!). But it’s also true of Hythloday, Giles, More, his daughter Margaret Roper, and even the somewhat compromised Bartolome. Nobody’s perfect, after all. You might also argue that Latin America, as a nearly ideal laboratory for Colonialism’s effects, both oppressive and salutary, is itself a key character in the novel. And as is the case for the other characters, Locke’s affection here is obvious. Finally, again, this is an illustrated novel--harkening back to the classics like Treasure Island, Robin Hood, and Arabian Nights, which were peppered throughout with illustrations. Locke’s background as a graphic designer has served him well here, as his illustrations—each of which is a work of art in its own right—work in tandem with his prose to create a fictional/real world populated by fictional/real people.< Less
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Product Details

John Locke Publishing
February 3, 2019
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Full color
1.95 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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