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The Prophet by Michael Koryta
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The Prophet (edition 2012)

by Michael Koryta

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2191653,142 (3.78)10
Member:ReshiBec
Title:The Prophet
Authors:Michael Koryta
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:read, library, 2012

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The Prophet by Michael Koryta (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I couldn't put the book down as the plot led me to its inevitable end. The football descriptions were excellent and I left feeling satisfied with the book, even if I would have wished for a different ending. ( )
  jean-duteau | May 14, 2014 |
Slow to develop.
Predictable and boring.
Why would anyone give this book 3-4 stars? ( )
  sogamonk | Mar 29, 2014 |
This murder mystery audiobook was great company as I drove north on a road trip. A casual read, it will not tax the brain. When a young girl is murdered, its investigation touches the lives of two brothers who had lived through the tragedy of their own sister’s murder, two decades earlier. Their painful memories, previously submerged by Kent Austin, were always present in the mind of the other brother, Adam Austin. He had set up a shrine to his sister in his childhood home, where he still lived, and often sat in her room speaking to her spirit, riddled as he was with personal guilt about her death.
Both brothers had been football stars in their youth. Embedded in this story, occurring concurrently with the murder investigation, is the effort of the town football team, the Cardinals, to win the championship, inspired by their coach, Kent Austin. It is a great diversion and distraction, perhaps sometimes, too much of one. However, the encouragement and competition of the sport helps to rebuild the townspeople and the mourners, raising them back up after tragedy strikes again. It is a contrast to the loss of life. On the one hand there are tears and on the other, cheers.
Adam is a bail bondsman and private investigator with a quick temper. Kent, the coach, is the milder of the two, who also ministers to and mentors prisoners, even to the point of speaking with and forgiving his sister's violent murderer. The current murder mystery ensnares both brothers in a web of intrigue and danger.
It is a fast read with twists and turns, perfect to keep the driver’s mind alert on a long trip. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Feb 22, 2014 |
I was introduced to Michael Koryta by a patron at my library, who recommended I read So Cold the River. I loved that book, so I decided to give this one a try. It took a bit of getting used to for me, since I was expecting something along the horror lines of SCtR, but as a crime novel, this one is still pretty darned good.

Adam and Kent Austin are brothers living in the same town they grew up in, but neither of them has spoken to the other one in years. Both are still trying to recover from their sister's horrific murder during their teenage years, and both have learned to cope in their own unique way: Adam works as a bail bondsman and Kent Austin is the beloved football coach for the high school. Both men have tried to put their sister's murder behind them, until another local girl is murdered and the two men are forced to work together and come to terms with what's happening in the present day.

This is a mystery/crime novel at its heart, with Adam investigating the murder, since he believes he may have inadvertently sent the girl to her death, and Kent being dragged along for the ride. The actual plot is pretty standard, but what makes this novel really stand out is the attention that Koryta gives to each of his characters. There are no cardboard caricatures in this novel, and I found myself fascinated by both Adam and Kent, and how their personalities, traumas, and history defined their relationship with one another. The story itself is told from both of the men's viewpoints, so the reader really gets a close look at their respective personalities.

And, surprisingly, this is also a book about sports. One of the reasons why I didn't give this book a higher rating was because there was a significant amount of space dedicated to the high school football games. (One of the major subplots involves Kent's team moving ever-so-slowly towards the state championship, and several of the games are recorded in detail.) That's not to say that these passages weren't exciting - sports fan or not, it's hard not to pick up on the sense of competition, adrenaline, hope, and despair that the team experiences. I just wasn't knowledgeable enough to understand and relate to the strategies & plays described in the book.

A Goodreads user described this book as "Friday Night Lights meets Dennis Lehane," which I think is a pretty apt description, even though I focused more on the Dennis Lehane aspect myself.

Recommended for: fans of character-based crime novels, genre novels with an emphasis on sports

Readalikes: Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. Both of these books feature a small number of main characters living in a small town/neighborhood, and all of these characters' relationships are defined by a trauma from their past. The writing is sharp, and the characters are all extremely well developed.

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben. If you like the idea of mixing mystery with sports, try the Myron Bolitar series from Harlan Coben. Bolitar is a sports agent who gets mixed up in a murder mystery, right as he's about to sign his first big-time client.

So Cold the River by Michael Koryta. Everyone talks about The Ridge or Cypress Hill when it comes to Michael Koryta, but if you're looking for more of a horror-based novel, give So Cold the River a try. It's a modern-day ghost story set in Indiana with a compelling mystery alongside. ( )
1 vote coloradogirl14 | Jul 30, 2013 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Koryta, MichaelAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Witte, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The town feels like home immediately, and he credits the leaves.
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Book description
Two brothers in a small Midwestern town--one the high school's beloved football coach on the verge of a state championship and the other one scraping by as a bail bondsman--have been at odds since their sister was abducted and murdered when they were teenagers. Now a new killing with ties to each of them forces a painful and adversarial reunion.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316122610, Hardcover)

Dean Koontz interviews Michael Koryta

DEAN: Your new novel, THE PROPHET, is a crime novel, a suspense novel, but also a good novel about brothers and family relationships. I know you a little, and I'm 99% sure that you weren't cloned, that you have a family, but I don't know about siblings. You write so well about brotherly relationships that I wonder--do you have any? And football--playing it, coaching it--serves both as a background and as a solid metaphor for the value of traditions. Did you play football in school? Have you coached any?

MICHAEL: I was a natural athlete. Played every sport, and the responses from my coaches were unanimous and emphatic. Whether it was a basketball or football or baseball bat or golf club in my hands, they’d say, “Son, I think you should be a writer.” It’s good to have consensus. So, no, never played football beyond pick-up games, I bruise too easily and lack fundamental coordination, but I was hopefully able to bring some authenticity to the book due to the tremendous level of help and access I received from Scott Bless, Tyler Abel, and the rest of the Bloomington High School North coaching staff. I spent a full year with them in coaching meetings, practice fields, and on the sidelines, and it was tremendous and fascinating. The bad news for them is I’m hooked now and currently drawing up plays. If they’ll just give me a chance… As for brothers, I have none. Just friends who feel like brothers to me, in the good ways and the infuriating. And I have a sister who brings only the positive side.

DEAN: You quickly built a reputation for crime/suspense, and then went for a touch of the supernatural in SO COLD THE RIVER, THE CYPRESS HOUSE, and THE RIDGE. Did your agent freak out? Many years ago, when I first began ricocheting from genre to genre, I received more than a few heartfelt lectures about how I was destroying my career. Now THE PROPHET has no supernatural edge. What is it with you, pal? Easily bored? Creatively restless? Enjoy walking a cliff's edge? Multiple personality?

MICHAEL: Dean, please stop answering the questions before I can. Yes, yes, yes, and, certainly, yes to those last four. As for the genre ricocheting, I had a supportive agent. I lost a publisher, but that’ll happen, and somehow I fell into the hands of Michael Pietsch at Little, Brown, who I think is one of the all-time-great editors. Can’t say enough about the team over there. They’ve indulged my flights of fancy and I know it isn’t easy and I’ve heard plenty of lectures from other parties about the career suicide I’m cheerfully carrying out, but I’ll always say the same thing here: you’ve got to tell the story that wants to be told. That’s the joy of it, the privilege of it, and, I’d argue, the responsibility of it. To write the best story you can. That won’t always fit the same tidy box. And to try and do so seems far too close to actual work. I’m not cut out for actual work.

DEAN: When researching THE RIDGE, you became interested in big-cat rescue--lions, tigers, nothing as safe as your common tabby. Now you participate in rescues. In a way, your fiction entered your life and became part of it. The same has happened to me with Canine Companions for Independence and other things that I wrote about and subsequently became involved with. Tell us why big-cat rescue so appeals to you. And are there other examples of research/writing changing your life?

MICHAEL: The experience of working with the Exotic Feline Rescue Center is one of the truly special things in my life. I couldn’t imagine not having those cats and those people in my life at this point. It’s an amazing mission and deserving of support and, as you did with Canine Companions, I simply fell in love.

I’d drop anything to go on a big-cat rescue, and will continue to do so as long as they’ll have me. Research is forever changing my life and bringing new interests and new people into it, and that’s one of the great privileges of this craft, the chance to visit so many different worlds.

DEAN: You're young. From my perspective, you're a puppy! Yet you've already published nine substantial novels and are at work on number ten. In your book-jacket photos, you often look intense, driven. In person, you're not like that; you're relaxed and easy-going. Which is the real Michael Koryta? Or are they both real – professionally driven but personally at ease? Given the commitment that's required to write well, do you find it difficult to strike a right balance between writing and downtime?

MICHAEL: I simply cannot take a good picture. If I smile for a photograph, I look evil. Possessed. Since I don’t want to reveal this truth, I try to look brooding, haunted by remarkable stories and gorgeous prose. Now, they’re not my stories and prose, of course, but no one need know that truth, either. Professionally driven? Absolutely. It’s a privilege to have the chance and I want to do it well. Better than well. I’m not anywhere as close as I’d like to be. Personally at ease? Depends on the day. Striking the right balance isn’t terribly hard, or hasn’t been so far. The only real cost to all this is sleep. I’ve been a chronic insomniac since I began writing seriously and I’ve given up on that ever changing.

DEAN: You're writing a novel about wilderness-survival training, so you went to a survival school. Presumably you survived. I went to Las Vegas so I could write about it, and I have drunk numerous California Cabernet Sauvignons so I could write about them. But I have my limits. Do you? Is there anything you wouldn't do yourself – aside from commit a crime – so you could better write about it? At survival school, did you have to eat grubs or rodents?

MICHAEL: I shouldn’t have committed the crimes? Oops! I do love field research, though. That traces back to my PI days and reporter days, but I’d much rather step into the world I’m writing about than Google it. You simply can’t achieve the same level of understanding if you go from the outside in. You’ll find no gold if you don’t pan for it, right? That sounds like a fortune cookie found at a bad steakhouse. Such is my gift with words.

(continued)

>Read the full interview

>Read Michael's interview with Dean

>See all of Dean Koontz's books

>Read a "How I Wrote It" Q&A with Michael on the Amazon books blog

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Two brothers, estranged since their sister's abduction and murder when they were teens, are forced into a reunion through a new killing in their small Midwestern town.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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