“The Opposite of Art” by Athol Dickson

Athol Dickson writes The Opposite of Art, a novel about Ridley, a twenty-something talented artist and druggie. The tale opens with Ridley, accustomed to his fame, and a whole in his life that he’s unable to fill. 

His recent addiction is Suzanna, a black woman that he accomplished, and fell into a love that he would never admit to her. She departs from the downward spiral of nude painting and sex with him in hopes to restore her relationship with G-d, and he pursues her to her home in the Bronx, that is, until he is distracted by his obsession of artistic inspiration – which has a greater hold on him that any drug or girl.

His actions have not gone unnoticed, however, as Ridley made enemies along his path of self-indulgence. As a result, he was followed along his journey, and his life met the lights of a speeding vehicle, which he stepped in front of, causing his body to seem weightless and drifting into the air for a few seconds, until gravity returned and sent him into the abyssal river that lay underneath the bridge he traveled.

He awakes not to confusion, addiction, or anger, but to what is no less than Glory. So strong is the pull that he leaves his life and seeks the glory, leaving many to assume he is dead. It is several years later that his existence is discovered, and two people begin the search for him: his daughter he never knew existed, and his attempted murderer.

Dickson’s writing is detailed, capturing the essence of New York, his characters, and the rest of the world. It is obvious by his vivid imagery that Dickson did in-depth research for this fictional tale. His efforts pay off, permitting the reader to see events from the character’s point of view, which can change at any time, never revealing too much, resulting in a page-turner. From beginning to end, readers will enjoy Dickson’s style as he writes concerning the pursuit of art and G-d, even to the point where the reader experiences, in part, Dickson’s recollection of his own spiritual pursuit.

Gritty at parts, and definitely adult-themed, this novel contains enough imagery to acquire a second-guess by many religious readers. Exploring various religions in a pursuit of Jesus, yet giving validity to said religions, this book better fits the mindset of secular/spiritual fiction, not Christian literature. SG recommends this engaging adventure only to mature audiences. Buy it today…Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.