• Wendy Wanner

Book Review: The Sun Temple by B.F. Späth


Recommended

A spiritual and metaphysical tale of sun worship in New York City.


The Sun Temple is a quirky tale about one man’s spiritual relationship with the sun. The story follows his wanderings through New York City, the chapters rich with physical descriptions, profound emotions and abstract internal musings, bringing to life aspects of everyday city life many people would discount as mundane. The sentences were well crafted and the word pictures vivid and real, drawing me into each scene.


While I could picture the city as he walked his chosen path, often to the Battery, and found his thoughts along the way amusing and relatable, I struggled to follow a storyline, making this novel more accurately termed a collection of short abstract works recounting the protagonist’s (did we ever learn his name?) journeys through the city as he follows the sun’s path across the heaven.


I most strongly identified with the scene in which the heat wave built solidarity between the residents and tourists across the city, and the chapter about his damp and leaky apartment. I also enjoyed when the main character declines to take a picture for a tourist couple because he is busy (how can they not recognize he is studying and perfecting his deity?) and then felt remorse, wondering if his refusal changed their opinion of America.


Overall, The Sun Temple offered a weak storyline and too little action to be a novel to my taste, but if you like thought-provoking reads that pull you into alternate planes, this one is for you!

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