Thursday, October 22, 2020

Tabernacle by Marc Cavella

This is reportedly the first novel by author Marc Cavella and it’s engaging, witty and fun. Using a first-person narrative that perfectly captures the southern colloquial speech pattern, Cavella’s tale take some wild turns, and some subtle turns, too. The plot starts out simple – a salesman is assigned a task that will take all of his skill, charm, and dubious talent to get his commission. That’s where the fun begins. The speech patterns took me some time to adjust to, but once I did I was engrossed by the vivid cast of characters. Cavella has fun with these characters, and they come across realistically, albeit sometimes as an infuriating presence. There’s more than a bit of satire here as well, and as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, satire works best when the author recognizes that satire is a form of social commentary. Cavella gets it, and his perceptions are spot on. The plot twists, which I won’t describe, were exhausting, but that’s because the author was really indulging himself. I enjoyed Tabernacle, and I’d like to see a follow-up where the author uses an altogether different stylistic approach. The writing is sharp, the dialogue “real life,” and overall, a solid read. Recommended!

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