Ealy review for the novel “Brother Cobweb” by Jonathan Montaldo (co-editor of “Soul-Searching: The Thomas Merton Story”)

Alfred Eaker’s Brother Cobweb is a portrait of Pentecostal crazies that could populate a short story by Flannery O’Conner. The book’s main character, Calvin, survives religious hypocrisy and a mother’s physical abuse with the help of a tolerant, benevolent great-grandfather, the real hero of this tale of crooked lines whom “God” fails to make straight. The novel is a roller-coaster of highs that drop forward and lower quicker than they ascended. No easy, happy endings to this well-told, fast-paced story about the role of “God” in freakish human experience. Eaker’s novel draws a complex picture of religion in which the Weird is graphically made flesh.

Jonathan Montaldo, co-editor with Morgan Atkinson, Soul-Searching: The Thomas Merton Story

(note: this is an early, unused cover art of the novel by Todd M. Coe)