Before Irreantum folded, I’d recruited a few people to write book reviews for what I thought would be the last issue. Among the reviewers was Emily Harris Adams, winner of the 2013 Mormon Lit Blitz. Emily was given the assignment to review D. J. Butler’s City of the Saints, a Mormon steampunk novel that was originally serialized and published through Amazon. After Irreantum‘s no-more-ness became manifest, Emily contacted me and asked what to do with her complimentary (i.e. FREE!) review copy. I told her to keep it and forget about the review. Not wanting the book to go to waste, though, she wrote the review anyway and sent it to me to post on A Motley Vision.
So, in memory of Irreantum, I post Emily’s review…with hope that the journal will find a new beginning sometime soon.
After reading City of the Saints, I couldn’t quite figure out a succinct way to describe the overarching, grand picture of what I had just mentally ingested. Not until I ran into Dave Butler himself. When he asked me what I thought of his book, I said,
“It’s history cake, isn’t it?”
And it is. There’s an unabashed reveling in the historical yumminess.
This book isn’t history candy. If you are looking for something enjoyable but without density, a fun read that happens to take place in a historical setting, turn your handcart around because this is not the right place. This story is rich and indulgent but still substantive. In other words: cake.
Continue reading “Guest Post: D. J. Butler’s City of the Saints: An Irreantum Review”
As it happened, I wound up sneaking one more category in under the deadline. Here’s my (somewhat belated) writeup.
Continue reading “Whitney Speculative Finalists 2012”
William interviews D.J. Butler on his self-published serialized novel The City of the Saints, an alt-history, Mormon steampunk story featuring Sam Clemens, Poe, etc.
Several weeks ago friend of AMV Nathan Shumate posted an ebook cover he had made. When I saw it, I knew that I needed to interview the author. The cover was for Liahona, the first volume in D.J. Butler’s The City of the Saints series. The second volume — Deseret — was just released last week.
D.J. Butler (Dave) is a novelist living in the Rocky Mountain northwest. His training is in law, and he worked as a securities lawyer at a major international firm and inhouse at two multinational semiconductor manufacturers before taking up writing fiction. He is a lover of language and languages, a guitarist and self-recorder, and a serious reader. He is married to a powerful and clever woman and together they have three devious children.
For more on the series like the City of the Saints Facebook page; read more about D.J. Butler’s writing at his author website: davidjohnbutler.com
What was the genesis of The City of the Saints series/long novel (both in terms of the idea and the writing process)?
The genesis lies in the real world. In the real world, in 1860, Captain Richard Burton, famous explorer, linguist, and soldier, arguably discoverer of the source of the Nile, and anthropologist who had successfully completed the pilgrimage to Mecca in disguise, came to Salt Lake City. He wrote a book about his experiences, called The City of the Saints, in which he gives us a thumbnail portrait of Brigham Young, talks about going shot for shot with Porter Rockwell while talking about the dangers of the road to Carson City, and otherwise reports a lot of wonderful detail with a clear and experienced eye. It’s a great book, and you should read it. I stole Burton’s title (dropped the article), and his experience: City of the Saints is a gonzo action over the top steampunk version of his real journey. Continue reading “Interview with D.J. Butler on The City of the Saints”