The Sun Temple is Bizarre and Wonderful
Did you ever want to get inside the mind of a man who despises his life and follow him as he leaves his home to pursue a world completely different from ours? Well, you get to do so with B.F. Spath’s brilliant novel, The Sun Temple.
What Is B.F. Spath's The Sun Temple About?
As the title states, this book is primarily about a man going out to Battery Park in NY to worship the Sun. However, it’s more than that. This book is actually a memoir of the author’s time in New York penned in his trusty “No. 37 journal.”
Since it is a memoir, it is written in the first-person, past-tense perspective, which works for the narrative. However, the way the book is written, you would’ve thought it was more like a long poem or song lyric. Spath’s style is very poetic. I got a chance to ask him why he published this as a novel and not a book of poems, as it seems he's more of a poet. You can read the interview I had with him and the answer to this question and many more here.
Master of Personification
From the first page of B.F. Spath's The Sun Temple, not only do you immediately dive into the main character’s world, but you see how Spath works. In my opinion, he is the master of personification. You get to see that within the first paragraph of the book as he humanizes the Sun. He gives it different names like “the Great Orb” and “Solar Deity.” It moves and it feels. This is how he opens his novel…
“The Noonday Sun, directly overhead, and suspended so low that it almost touched the roof of my tenement building, found itself in a quandary as it tried to make its way down to me in Apartment No. 1 on the first floor. The Great Orb peered and squinted down the dark and narrow alley between the old buildings, generating sparks and flashes, as it tried to navigate the fire escapes and ledges, and losing a good deal of its flame in the process. It caromed off the moldering bricks, which absorbed more of its strength, and finally arrived apologetically at my dusty and decrepit window in the form of a feeble ghost.”
That is literally the first paragraph. Imagine over two-hundred pages like this; vivid detail, great personification, poetic…just making you feel like you are with him as you go on this journey of escaping his decrepit abode to follow the Sun. And he does acknowledge the reader throughout his book, so you are going on this expedition with him.
It Doesn't End There!
The personification doesn’t stop with the Sun, though. He gives life to everything, whether alive or material. This is why I feel the main character isn’t just the man in the story, but everything around him: the Sun, Battery Park, the Hudson, etc. He makes everything come alive.
However, if it’s something that is alive, he gives them new life. For example, seagulls; an animal that everyone knows about. Whether you love them or hate them, they were made popular in Finding Nemo with their annoying “Mine!” chant. However, Spath gives them a new meaning…
“They hover about, restless, agitated, and peeved, always making certain that their displeasure is clearly communicated to the assembly at the Promenade. These irritable seaside malcontents squawk and complain endlessly, as they swoop about in erratic movements, or perch sourly upon a lamppost. These jaded characters give the impression of being unemployed themselves, hanging around all day like juvenile delinquents, waiting for something to happen.”
Let's Escape Reality Together
One of my favorite things about this book is his description of New York as he wonders through, making his way to Battery Park. I truly feel like I am standing right next to him, walking through, seeing everything he describes. Personally, I have never been to Battery Park, but because of this book I want to go and see it. I mean it helps that he has photos throughout, so you can “see” what he sees, but I would love to see it for myself.
Again, this book is a memoir, but it is also a book about escaping reality. The main character hates his apartment, hates himself, and hates being around people. But running away to Battery Park, the Promenade, and the Concession as he follows the Sun, helps him breakaway from it all – and being one with “the Divine Plant” helps as well.
In conclusion, I feel like this is a great book that a lot of people can relate to. Everyone wants to escape reality. Whether it's for a little while or a long period of time, there are a multitude of reasons why. They don’t like their living situation, so they disappear to a world they enjoy. They don’t like their job, so they go for a walk to clear their mind. They’re having problems with the people around them, so they avoid them by “running away”.
Whatever the case may be, The Sun Temple is a great book to see how a man can break away from the world for a bit. It is also a great way for the reader to do so by reading it.
If you would like to learn more about B.F. Spath or how you can purchase The Sun Temple, please check out his website, https://bfspath.com/
Policies and Disclosure
Please remember I am not getting paid to write this review. I am just a fan and fellow author helping out another great author. To learn more, please check out my Policy page. Also, I would love to hear what you think of this review and of the book, if you’ve read it. You can either comment below (please read my “Comments Policy” on the Policy page before doing so) or contact me.
The photos featured in this post are my photos. The first is my copy of The Sun Temple by B.F. Spath. The second is my “signature photo”, me with my copy of this incredible book.
**This post was originally published on July 20, 2019**