The Road to Grafenwöhr

Novel by Edward C. Patterson

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***** The Road to Grafenwöhr is trip worth taking, April 21, 2011
By Jeffry S Hepple (Waco, Texas)

Ostracized and ridiculed as a child, because of a birthmark on his face, Quincy Summerson has grown up to be a loner. During the Cold War, while PFC Summerson is on the way to his new duty station near Grafenwöhr, Germany, he learns that the birthmark yields power and responsibility as old as the Kingdom of Bavaria.

The Road to Grafenwöhr is a coming of age story with elements of magic and mysticism that will keep you entertained from the first to the last word. This is Mr. Patterson's best work yet.


**** Contemporary Fantasy with that rarity -- a male main character, March 14, 2011
By Dawnofday "Dawnofday" (Roanoke, VA USA)

This is an interesting novel but frankly, not as compelling as Mr. Patterson's other novels. Nor do I love the cover, by the way, and I probably wouldn't have purchased it (during the Smashwords promo) if I hadn't read some of his other novels and very much enjoyed them. I'm going to criticise some things about this novel, so let me start by saying I also enjoyed it, just not as much as I hoped to.

The magic in the novel was interesting but either wasn't fully enough developed or wasn't full enough explained. There didn't seem to be any reason why Quincy Summerson was the recipient of this magic power. I also found the use of it not fully satisfactory. It just was too vague for my taste. I also found Summerson less emotionally compelling than Patterson's other characters. He seemed rather distant and cold. I think this was because he was supposed to be "innocent" which in this world meant a virgin. This isn't an unusual concept but it left Summerson in what seemed to me to be an emotional no-man's-land. We weren't even to know if he was gay or straight. And his virginity wasn't a choice but simply that he didn't care about sex which doesn't really make it innocence in my view.

Also considering the vast evil that Patterson portrays in the novel, bringing the torture and murder by the Nazis of homosexual in the nearby prison camp, the evil that Summerson defeated seemed lacking in impact. While I wouldn't call any murder minor, which was the final evil he combated, in comparison, it just lacked an emotional punch.

All of that seems like I disliked the novel. I didn't. It was an enjoyable novel. The writing was more than competent and I noticed only a couple of typos, probably fewer than most novels. So if you are looking for a contemporary fantasy with a male protagonist and some philosophical issues discussed but not a lot of depth, this would suit you well.


***** Authentic and engrossing..., August 21, 2011
By Doug DePew (Missouri, USA)

This is the first novel I've read by Edward Patterson. I spent a couple years in Germany, and "The Road to Grafenwohr" captures that experience masterfully. A lot of the universal elements that make up the life of a soldier in Germany are described perfectly in this story. I love the way the German landscape is painted, and many, little bits of German culture are described precisely. The added specter of Vietnam during the era of this book gave it another layer. It is a very interesting story that I enjoyed immensely.

Edward Patterson is truly a master wordsmith. He weaves together a quite authentic, realistic plotline of a young soldier finding his way in Germany with elements of fantasy in such a way that the entire story is captivating. I couldn't wait to get to the next page. His characters are authentic and well developed. I truly cared about what was happening with each of them, and he has done a wonderful job of capturing the bond soldiers share. I really liked the way the characters matured with the plot. The ending is terrific. This is a very good book. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Patterson's work.


***** A Great Read, October 13, 2011
By Carl Purdon (Mississippi)

I don't typically read fantasy novels, but I'm not sure I can put The Road to Grafenwohr entirely in that genre. Edward C. Patterson pays great attention to character development and paints a scene on your brain in a way that makes you feel like you are seeing the story play out before your eyes.

I finished this book days ago, yet I still find myself thinking about PFC Summerson, Ratz, and the other characters, wondering what they will do next. That, to me, is the mark of a good story.

The only negative thing I can say is that there are several typos throughout the book, though they weren't serious enough to take away from the story.

It is a good read. A very good read, and I look forward to reading more by this author.


***** The Road to Great Writing, August 20, 2011
By Dana Taylor (California)

When I'm in the mood for fine writing, interesting characters, unexpected turns, I scan the long list of books by Edward C. Patterson. My third outing with Mr. Patterson was "The Road to Grafenwohr" and once again I was deeply impressed by the storytelling talent of this man. "Road" is a fascinating mix of reality and fantasy woven together with writing that can turn lyrical or gritty with the twist of a phrase. Quincy Summerson is a green recruit ordered to the German/Czech border during the height of the Cold War. An obvious facial birthmark always set him apart in his Brooklyn beginnings; in Germany it marks him as a mythic hero. Patterson paints his manuscript first with dabs of mystic moments, mixed with solid realities of military life. By the end of the piece, the mystical has overtaken the mundane to a classic conflict of good vs. evil. All the while the reader grows more involved with the cadre of characters surrounding Summerson. At the core of every Patterson book are characters to care about. He is one of the best authors to emerge from the Indie Author movement. Discover his gems and enjoy the work of a very gifted writer.


***** marvellous, August 13, 2011
By Erin Lale (Henderson (Green Valley))

This is a delightful tale of a man's personal journey to fulfill his destiny. The story grabbed me right away with the young soldier's realistic confusion trying to make his way in a foreign country, with moments of humor and glimpses of the magical real. As the story progressed, the elements of marvel grew more apparent, but always against the backdrop of a realistic portrayal of military life. The Grimmortz die Traumer was completely believable as a being out of folk customs and fairy tales.

All the varied ingredients of the final story mix dropped in one by one, each changing everything incrementally, until the stirring conclusion brought it all to perfection like one of the many local dishes the characters revel in throughout the book. The place and all its customs, its language, its forest, its beer, was almost a character in itself, a larger spirit generating ghosts that might or might not be real, conjured out of imagination. The Road to Grafenwohr is a compelling story and a fine read.


***** Engaging and unique, June 9, 2011
By annbell

One of the most interesting and original books I've read so far this year. The scenery and atmosphere of the time and place, vividly described - an American military base, German-Czechoslovak border, 1968 - opens to the reader like a flower, petal by petal, until we are truly there. The main protagonist is somewhat mysterious - we can't see him quite clearly perhaps because he doesn't quite see himself, but everything and everyone else is very real, despite the dreamlike quality of the book. The narrative moves forward in a good pace, and I found it unexpectedly captivating and unpredictable. I will not reveal the plot here but I just couldn't put this book down.

The author has a skillful way of organically implanting paranormal elements in the setting described with utmost realism. Most of all, I liked Quincy and his friends (Ratz in particular), their relationship, not always easy or simple but oddly comforting in the world of men that epitomizes both the best and worst of humans, loyalty and cruelty stripped to the bare bones. This book is a fine example of excellent writing skills and inventive plot that manages to convey something very personal without being explicitly confessional. Definitely worth reading and highly recommended.

***** One of my favorite Patterson Novels
By Todd A. Fonseca (Minneapolis, MN)

Rating: 5 of 5 stars, TMBOA Recommended!

Author: Edward C. Patterson
Format: Kindle, Paperback

Traveling to his unit in post war Germany, Quincy Summerson finds the locals, their heritage, language, architecture, and culture fascinating. They too, find him of great interest given the unique birthmark displayed prominently on his cheek which legend portends it to be a harbinger for both great evil and good. Quincy's journey takes him further and further into heart of Bavaria as visions begin to plague him. As they increase in frequency and violence Quincy learns he has been called not just to serve the United States but an even higher purpose.

Readers may be initially turned off by the title of Patterson's latest work. But I must say, this was one of my favorites from him. Patterson takes his expert prose and characterization skills and infuses them into an intriguing setting of a young man stationed in Germany during the height of the cold war with an eclectic group of roommates where everyone prays to avoid reassignment to Vietnam--except for one man. Sprinkle in some fantasy elements and Patterson has created a genre I've not previously experienced but very much enjoyed.

The plot is very tight and the storyline moves. If you already are a Patterson fan, I think you will definitely enjoy The Road to Grafenwohr. If you've never read him and you are looking for something different, give this one a try - you won't be disappointed.


*****An Enjoyable Fantasy on More Than One Level, December 13, 2011
By R. F. Moltzon (Colorado, USA)

This is a story that enjoyable on several levels. Anyone who has been in the Army in Germany will recognize the scenery and the attitude of the people in rural areas of the country. For those who did serve in the Vietnam era, levies, barracks-duty in Europe, drinking, carousing and the confusion of living in a foreign country for the first time, will bring back memories. As a story, it is a delightful fantasy tinged with with some of the dark prejudice that was all too prevalent in the military of the 60's. Patterson's character development is excellent and while this is not a genre that I normally pick up, his characters are memorable--the sign of an interesting, exciting at times, great read.