book cover of The Book of Days

The Book of Days

(2003)
A novel by

 
 
The traditional book of days, filled with readings commemorating each day's historical significance, provides a structure for this reflective fantasia on a father's love of family and despair at the challenges of parenthood. In a brief introduction, Tem (City Fishing) introduces Cal, a man so distraught at life's risks and the natural vulnerability of his children that he abandons them for his childhood home where, alone with his thoughts and $300 worth of calendars, he endures dark days and nights of the soul extending nearly seven months. Cal's attempts to come to terms with his fears yield a daily succession of diary-type entries in which one or more historical events specific to the day shape his meditations. For some days the connections are obvious: September 17, the birthday of William Carlos Williams, inspires a perfect pastiche of the poet's spare verse in which children fill the sandbox of the world with their play. Other days forge more oblique connections: on December 5, the date of Mozart's death and Walt Disney's birth, Cal poignantly compares children to prodigies and cartoon characters, "brilliant and dazzling and colorful and full of pain." Though some entries stray from the book's theme, all showcase Tem's poetic skill at grounding abstract ideas and volatile emotions in perfectly polished metaphors and images judiciously distilled from literature, history, dark fantasy and popular culture. Not quite a novel or a story collection, this contemplative odyssey is easily one of the more risk-taking and rewarding books of fantasy published this year.



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Used availability for Steve Rasnic Tem's The Book of Days

Hardback Editions

January 2003 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Book of Days
Author(s): Steve Rasnic Tem
ISBN: 1-931081-39-5 / 978-1-931081-39-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Subterranean
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

April 2016 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Book of Days
Author(s): Steve Rasnic Tem
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Availability: Amazon   


April 2016 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Book of Days
Author(s): Steve Rasnic Tem
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Availability: Amazon CA   


April 2016 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Book of Days
Author(s): Steve Rasnic Tem
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Availability: Amazon UK   


August 2011 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Book of Days
Author(s): Steve Rasnic Tem
Publisher: CrossRoad Press
Availability: Amazon   


August 2011 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Book of Days
Author(s): Steve Rasnic Tem
Publisher: CrossRoad Press
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

September 2010 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Book of Days
Author(s): Steve Rasnic Tem
Publisher: Crossroad Press & Macabre Ink Digital
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA