The Resurrection Stone
Frank Hertle
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The Resurrection Stone

Frank Hertle
Writers Club Press
292 pages
December 2001
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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The Resurrection Stone follows fourteen-year-old Jason Stern on a voyage of self-discovery. This is not a typical coming-of-age novel but is intense and often brutally realistic while at the same time entwined with mysticism. It is impossible to categorize. It is part coming-of-age, part mystery, part erotica, part poetry, and part philosophy, with plenty of emotion, laughs, and surprises.

Curled Up With a Good BookThe novel is set on a small island where Jason’s Aunt Lee has a beach house where Jason and his mother are spending summer vacation. Jason spends most of his time cycling around the island and talking to his best friend Phil over the Internet, playing computer games and exploring his sexuality through fantasies, experiences with pornography and Internet chatrooms. Jason is portrayed as a sensitive and creative boy, and the main story’s chapters are interspersed with poetry and a futuristic detective novel written by Jason himself. Not only does he have to contend with his own, often tortuous questions and uncertainties, he must also deal with an extremely neurotic mother and, worst of all, his insatiable curiosity over his sensuous aunt, who unwittingly becomes the focus of his sexual fantasies.

“Jason sat in the living room while outside the August sun filled the afternoon with incessant, broiling heat. He wiped sweat from his forehead and double-clicked on the execute statement in his root directory.


The screen flickered as a man and woman began copulating in full color computer-controlled video, thrusting in and out, in and out, over and over, a collection of ones and zeros in an endless loop of pornographic recursion, moving against each other without pleasure, digital bodies shimmering, pulsing at 75Mz, soundlessly, endlessly fucking on the laptop's screen.

Jason ogled the naked couple, who resembled himself and Aunt Lee, as they tirelessly pushed at each other. Then their images began to break up, lose their cohesiveness, dissolve into random pixels, and fade into the gray nothingness of a blank screen.”
Jason confronts life, death, sex, violence, friendship, God, and the Internet on his way to a profound revelatory experience that gives him the secret of life and a sense of identity in the world around him.

Despite the fact that this is Frank Hertle’s first novel, he holds the reader’s attention with mastery, using a mixture of styles and viewpoints -- Internet chat rooms, freestyle poetry and stream of consciousness. His characters are vibrant and real, and the reader takes an intriguing and often moving journey along with Jason. The plot is fast-paced and develops an unexpected twist at the end, which is bound to leave the reader questioning.

An excellent read, hopefully we can look forward to more full-length fiction from Frank Hertle.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Corinna Underwood, 2004

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