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The Classical World

A Novel of Ideas

by Thomas Fuller

 6.5 x 9.5 in; 234 pages

Softcover with Flaps

Illustrated with Photographs and Four Color Artwork

ISBN 978-0-985977399

 

$25.00

 

 

 

 

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Even though I ended up really liking it, I took time to warm up to this book. I would have liked a more enticing hook sooner. But once he begins on the journey I thought it got more interesting. This isn’t like most novels that have a clearly defined plot and characters with conversations to carry the story forward to an obvious goal – a lot of it is told to us through thoughts or inner narrative. But I was impressed with Thomas’s voice – highly descriptive and emotionally evocative without being ‘flowery’ It’s a travel book but it is also historical and philosophical and learning of the places and the people helps to understand the questions he is seeking…. looks beneath the surface and read between the lines. This level of complexity with the various interweaving subplots and cast of unique characters could have ended up quite badly, but instead I darn near gobbled the whole thing down in just a few nights! While presented in a more unusual fashion (a more ‘informal narrative’ if you will - it feels genuine and authentic, and done in a in a way that truly brings this entertaining story to life. Has a few places where I did think it could have used some trimming or tightening (scenes that I didn’t feel added much) but overall an originally entertaining, poignant adventure that I enjoyed more than I anticipated I would. (4 ****) Brenda Mazwell

 

 

This is one of the most interesting and introspective novels I’ve ever read! Honestly the book blurb does NOT do it justice at all. In a field loaded with generic copycats, Thomas Fuller brought a fresh attitude and literary style and makes this unique story all his own and doesn’t just rehash the same old plotlines we’ve seen a million times before which makes this book pretty amazing. I’ve read so much that I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore and its not like there were ‘crazy plot twists’ here because its not that type of novel, the whole time as I was reading I had no clue where I t was headed next, and I liked that. . I appreciated the descriptive details that brought the story to life – authentic world building (and character development) is absolutely crucial in selling a story like this – when you have elements of the real world and history infused with the storyline - and it is done quite nicely here. I Recommend for anyone who wants a unique, character-driven self-adventure story with quirky characters and heartwarming poignancy. (5 *****) Karen Matthews


 

This is one of the most interesting and introspective novels I’ve ever read! Honestly the book blurb does NOT do it justice at all. In a field loaded with generic copycats, Thomas Fuller brought a fresh attitude and literary style and makes this unique story all his own and doesn’t just rehash the same old plotlines we’ve seen a million times before which makes this book pretty amazing. I’ve read so much that I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore and its not like there were ‘crazy plot twists’ here because its not that type of novel, the whole time as I was reading I had no clue where I t was headed next, and I liked that. . I appreciated the descriptive details that brought the story to life – authentic world building (and character development) is absolutely crucial in selling a story like this – when you have elements of the real world and history infused with the storyline - and it is done quite nicely here. I Recommend for anyone who wants a unique, character-driven self-adventure story with quirky characters and heartwarming poignancy. (5 *****) Karen Matthews



“The Classical World” was excellent, as was Thomas Fuller’s writing. The concept is familiar in a way, but still feels creative and intelligently conceived how the narrator—after the death of a dear friend—is questioning many things on life. He accepts an invitation to go to Iceland with a friend, and afterwards finds himself on an existential… and literal… journey to find some answers. Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing, as it seemed to go by fast and was endlessly intriguing. I loved the pictures and drawings throughout, and visiting the different places while participating in some real soul-searching. I chuckled many times, and liked the characters (only a few, but they serve their purpose as sounding boards well). It in an interesting and complex… but still lighthearted… look at life and its biggest mysteries as we follow along in an almost ‘stream of consciousness’ type narrative. I enjoyed Thomas Fuller’s literary style of writing – so descriptive, lyrical, and flowed so well. This is more of a philosophical/character study type novel that reflects of questions and complexities of life and gets inside your head and heart. It has an ‘open’ feel where the reader is allowed his/her own experiences, as well as sharing with the narrator. I would recommend this to readers of literary history/philosophy/ spirituality. (*****5 stars)    Essie Harmon

 

This is a compelling read, and one that will certainly appeal to fans of intelligent literary novels that think outside the box. Thomas Fuller infuses a powerful blend of insight, dry humor, philosophy, drama, and interesting international settings rich with historical significance and inspired conversations. Fuller puts a clever spin on the traditional “travel/adventure” story which makes it more like a ‘travel of the self’ adventure, told in his first-person present tense narration, and includes different characters who come into his journey to enhance it in their own ways. The story itself was fairly even-paced, but it is on the slower side, heavy with internal musings and dialogue (not exactly a lot of action). It is interesting as a sort of philosophical book is concerned, but it did seem to lack any tension that makes us just *have* to keep reading… things just sort of happen, and there isn’t really high stakes or pivotal climaxes. But it is well-written, and enlightening, characters with witty and lively banter and insight of the narrator as he asks the questions and faces his own dilemmas. An interesting read that I’d recommend to fans of lit fiction.

(**** 4 stars)   Cam Jones

 


Lately I’ve been in a rut of putting down books and not picking them up again because I lost interest at one point and just never continued. This was definitely not the case with this book, “Classical World” by Thomas Fuller. From the beginning we are drawn into this world that is almost like an alternate reality, connecting the past to the present and people in history to our realities now. --- I am hard pressed to think of another book that combines so many cool literary elements, from being provocative, snarky, historical, spiritual/religious, philosophical, profound and endearing… Funny and disturbing…. While the style employed by Fuller is fairly unorthodox (lots of narrative that almost feels like stream of consciousness a lot), it works here and was unpredictable and bizarre enough to make me just *have* to see what would happen next. Not formulaic or cliché at all, and I liked how there are doses of ‘insight’ throughout. And the pictures are insightful too. This strikes me as the type of book that either the reader will ‘get it’ and love it, or it will go over their head and they will be bored. Glad I’m in the former category.

(4 ****) Cale Owenes–

 

This was the first book I’ve read by this author Thomas Fuller, but I certainly hope it’s not the last. He has a gift for creating descriptive and life-like scenes that make us feel like we are there inside his story, as opposed to it all just being “told” to us, as so many authors make the mistake of doing. I like that this book didn’t feel stale or derivative of anything I’ve ever read, yet in a way it felt comfortingly familiar in how it pays homage to the classics in several ways – from ancient philosophers and influencers, and feels almost like a more modern version of the ‘Socratic method” of encouraging deeper thinking about life through asking and answering questions…. this is so much different than anything else I’ve read. Smart, irreverent, funny… great characters and the conversations, especially the narrative in the protagonist, although on occasion I thought it could have used more focus and tightening—almost seemed to stall out without a central goal. But that is what makes it more literary/character-driven, I suppose. But all in all it was well-crafted and entertaining. (***** 5 stars) Cody Brighton

 

 

I got lost in this book! This book was weird and intoxicating – in a good way! It had much more depth and imagery mixed in with the sometimes obscene and ruckus setting of their adventures. As with most books using this literary motif, the ‘journey’ is as much literal as it is figurative. The ‘characters’ are on their own courses as well and their roles change throughout this magical ride after each encounter or personal revelation - especially with regard to narrator (this is told in his first-person POV) If you're searching for a book that will whisk you away to a faraway place and with deeper meaning that initially meets the eye, you've found it. I don’t want to oversell this book or the author, but I think if you like style of Kerouac or Hemmingway you will like this. Adult content and situations. (***** 5 stars). Sherrie Warner

 

 

There were so many things I loved about this book “The Classical World” and I admire how Thomas Fuller added a new dimension of history and human philosophy to a travel-style novel. But I think what I liked the most was just the easy, natural tone in which he imparts his story in such an easy-to-understand and entirely relatable way, regardless of the where or when… It may draw on European people/places/events, but the messages resonate, regardless of geography. There is a lot narrative and it reads as a straight nonfiction most of the time, but there is also a way he writes where it is more like a ‘conversation’ asking/answering questions and explaining ideas in an allegorical manner and with real life examples. A profound, well-researched book that answered so many questions I didn’t even know I had! Seemed to be well edited and put together, and I could see this being discussed in Book Clubs. Recommend.

(***** 5 stars) Eliza Brown

 

 

Wow, what an incredible book! I’m not one for rehashing the plot (that’s what the summary is for on the book description page), but trust me when I say you’ve never read anything like this before! It’s quite dense and is not for the stupid or feeble minded… trust me. It starts off with some backstory to set up the scene and ground the reader in the world-building, which the author Thomas Fuller pens a wonderfully believable backdrop for our protagonist to narrate his almost ‘existential’ journey for us. I liked his narrative ‘voice’ like a friend is talking to you and you just want to keep listening… it will take you from your comfort zone and through new concepts and ideas that might challenge your thinking and help you look at things different. See the world and history and meet some great ‘characters’ along the way. Very cool! (***** 5 stars) Darla Ortiz

 

 

An enchanting read that I finished quickly. “The Classical World” is a compelling journey of the mind, heart, and soul and the places around the world where the past comes to life in profound and unexpected ways. I almost feel like I was actually there with Jane in Italy and seeing these wonderful attractions that have historical and cultural significance. Thomas Fuller has a talent for turning a what could be an ‘ordinary’ story about traveling or visiting foreign destinations with friends on its head with fascinating characterizations and beautiful prose and a broad range spectrum of the world – classical and modern combined.. This was a lovely story that has a bit of everything I like: and I feel like I even learned some thing as well. My heart needed this one. (***** 5 stars). April Dawn