Benjamin Dancer’s novel Patriarch Run deserves double praise. First, Dancer has given his reader a well-crafted novel with strong descriptions, good balance of points of view, carefully thought-out symbolism, and nice movement from the present to back-stories. Particularly impressive is his ability to show events from the point of view of a young man, Billy, and from that of adults, most importantly Billy’s father, whom the boy has not seen for nine years; the subtle use of similarities and differences between these two characters is outstanding.
While presenting us with a fast paced story, the author doesn’t neglect description, particularly communicating his love for the Colorado high country. Even those who have never had the pleasure of traveling that beautiful landscape will be able to appreciate Mr. Dancer’s descriptions.
Beyond good writing, Patriarch Run provides some important thinking about the environment, patriotism, the effect of technology on the future, and even the rivalry between great powers. In the end, Billy has grown beyond simple black and white moral certitude to appreciate the dappled gray which is the true complexion of the real world.
While an excellent coming of age novel that young adults will enjoy and from which they will learn, Benjamin’s book also deserves an adult audience. Click on Book Cover to view book on Amazon.