The First Man by Gavin Frankle

The First Man

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Frankle (Chorus, 2014) reworks the story of Adam and Eve in this novel.

According to this book, everything you’ve been led to believe about Adam and Eve is a lie. The source of this information is Adam himself, who’s alive and kicking in the modern world. It turns out that he’s been around the whole time: “I traveled through those yawning years and witnessed the restless aches of a waking world....I named its beasts, its birds and all living things. I cared for its sick and counseled its kings. I lived a thousand lifetimes,” he says. Adam’s cells regenerate at an amazing speed, giving him qualified immortality. He also has the power to know things about a person’s past and possible future merely by looking at them for a few seconds. Eve is still around, too, but she’s significantly more murderous than the Bible would have one believe. Even the serpent is present, apparently disguised as a human lawyer (of course), yet he’s also been misrepresented by history: it turns out that he never told a lie while he was living in Eden. The truth of the ancient past has drastic ramifications for Adam, even in the present time. Whether Eden was truly Edenic or merely an elaborate prison, it turns out that Adam must return to the Garden—not merely for his own sake, but for the sake of all his descendants as well. This novel is a noirish genre piece, full of intimation and withheld information. Frankle is a smooth, fluid writer, with a wonderful sense for illustrative language: “His office is large and unnecessary. Clean, straight lines designed to intimidate and impress. A desk of rare Makassar Ebony wood dominates the center of it, an exotic island bordered by a reef of expensive leather chairs.” Adam seems a bit angsty for someone who’s walked the earth for millennia—he seems more like 25 years old than 25,000—and the plot revelations are somewhat less than divinely inspired. But if readers are able to suspend their disbelief, this short novel promises stylish, lyrical fun.

A gritty, modern twist on the story of the first human being.

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 2015
Page count: 155pp
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Program: Kirkus Indie
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