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The Hierophant of 100th Street

by Cullen Dorn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
199881,320 (2.41)3
***WINNER - IPPY Bronze Book Award - Best Regional Fiction (2009) ***WINNER - BookBundlz Best Book (2009-2010 Winter Award) The Hierophant of 100th Street is a remarkable, unusual book: a metaphysical novel set in a violent world of slums, gangs, and prisons. Drawing on the author's experience of growing up in the infamous East Harlem neighborhood of 100th Street in the 1960s, the story follows 17-year-old Adam Kadman and his 9-year-old brother John through their respective initiations into the realities of street life while simultaneously introducing real-life characters who dwell in the life of the spirit. Veiled in the guise of fiction, most of what appears in the book is actually a truthful account of the author's real-life experience. Like the author, the young Adam also ventures out from the slums of New York to discover the meaning of life amid the horrors of existence, and finds romance, mysticism, and purpose. Seeking to extricate himself from 100th Street, Adam is drafted into the army and later travels to Egypt, where in a harsh world of theocrats and misogynists he falls in love with a young Arab woman. Out of his element, he attacks the social structure--and ends up running for his life. He returns back to the old neighborhood only to find it changed ... destroyed by an invasion of drugs, betrayal, and murder. By chance he encounters a mysterious man, Clifford Bias (a renowned twentieth-century clairvoyant), and is taken under the wing of the "magus." Discovering his own psychic abilities, Adam enters his mentor's secret society and a world of mysticism and love. Tapping the same rich spiritual vein as The Da Vinci Code and The Celestine Prophecy and written in the stark language of the streets, this daring, cinematic novel explores the ancient truths and metaphysical mysteries hidden in the fabric of everyday life.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I could not stand to finish the book. In the beginning, I thought this book would be interesting and keep my attention - it did not. I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to fall asleep faster. ( )
1 vote willowwaw | Dec 12, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Because there are quite a few characters and a lot going on in The Hierophant of 100th Street, making it difficult to put my thoughts into words, let me just tell you upfront that I enjoyed the book That being said, I'll admit that a lot of it was over my head. To me, it seems as though the book could be divided into two parts: the people and events of 100th Street -- a rough East Harlem neighborhood -- in the 1960s, and the spiritual journey of the main character, Adam Kadman.

While Dorn does connect the spiritual aspect of the story to the larger picture of 100th Street, it is these characters that brought the book to life for me. I don’t know what it’s like to live in a crime-ridden, drug-infested neighborhood, to worry about being murdered in a stairwell of a public housing complex, to see an entire neighborhood fall to the drug dealers, its inhabitants walking around like zombies. How these characters come to terms with their situations and how their past lives and choices on the other side affect their actions in this world and the next gets you thinking about the workings of the universe, neighborhood dynamics, friendship and family, and how our decisions affect others.

Full review on Diary of an Eccentric. ( )
1 vote annaeccentric | Nov 17, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Great way of writing to let you know about how things were during this time frame in a way that you would not otherwise be able to know ( )
1 vote | polarmath | Jul 12, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Cullen Dorn certainly has a way with words. Metaphysical novels are not my normal fare, but the story sounded very interesting when it came up as an Early Reviewers title, so I requested it and was happy to receive it. However, I have struggled to get into the book. I have started and stopped about 3 times, but I just cannot get into it. I think the story could be compelling, but is poorly portrayed. The characters are fascinating, but I struggle to care too much about their challenges and I have a hard time telling them apart. The spiritual aspects are fascinating, but tend to be muddled and detract from the rest of the story.

The storyline is choppy, the characters are too numerous and indistinct. It could be really good, and the descriptions of places are specific and beautiful, but it was a little too hard to read and understand. ( )
1 vote synchroswimr | Jul 8, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
First of all…

An Heirophant is an interpreter of sacred mysteries.

Yes, I had to use a dictionary to understand the title, even before I had cracked open the book.

The Hierophant of 100th Street by Cullen Dorn is a metaphysical themed story of life on the streets of East Harlem; somewhat resonant of Dito Montiel’s autobiographical film A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints sans the vulgarity.

Read the rest of this review at:

http://youarewhatyouread2.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html ( )
1 vote watertiger | Mar 10, 2009 |
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***WINNER - IPPY Bronze Book Award - Best Regional Fiction (2009) ***WINNER - BookBundlz Best Book (2009-2010 Winter Award) The Hierophant of 100th Street is a remarkable, unusual book: a metaphysical novel set in a violent world of slums, gangs, and prisons. Drawing on the author's experience of growing up in the infamous East Harlem neighborhood of 100th Street in the 1960s, the story follows 17-year-old Adam Kadman and his 9-year-old brother John through their respective initiations into the realities of street life while simultaneously introducing real-life characters who dwell in the life of the spirit. Veiled in the guise of fiction, most of what appears in the book is actually a truthful account of the author's real-life experience. Like the author, the young Adam also ventures out from the slums of New York to discover the meaning of life amid the horrors of existence, and finds romance, mysticism, and purpose. Seeking to extricate himself from 100th Street, Adam is drafted into the army and later travels to Egypt, where in a harsh world of theocrats and misogynists he falls in love with a young Arab woman. Out of his element, he attacks the social structure--and ends up running for his life. He returns back to the old neighborhood only to find it changed ... destroyed by an invasion of drugs, betrayal, and murder. By chance he encounters a mysterious man, Clifford Bias (a renowned twentieth-century clairvoyant), and is taken under the wing of the "magus." Discovering his own psychic abilities, Adam enters his mentor's secret society and a world of mysticism and love. Tapping the same rich spiritual vein as The Da Vinci Code and The Celestine Prophecy and written in the stark language of the streets, this daring, cinematic novel explores the ancient truths and metaphysical mysteries hidden in the fabric of everyday life.

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