The Nightsongs of Arthur Goodbody

| February 2, 2016

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The Nightsongs of Arthur Goodbody

Arthur Goodbody, a widower not yet thirty years old, has still not recovered from the loss of his wife to leukemia five years before. He is a poet and a guard in the ancient Roman galleries of a large art museum. His ambition is to write epic poetry.

Two new factors come into his life. His late wife’s grandmother invites him to help her write a biography of a controversial 17th century American theologian Simultaneously, a minor devil who calls himself Mr. Octavius pesters Arthur as he is riding on a bus. Wishing to win Arthur for his realm, he promises to reunite him with his deceased wife and sends him on various errands. He takes him to the center of the earth and into outer space. He and an accomplice show Arthur a panorama of world history, which they say has no meaning.

Arthur’s association with Octavius culminates in a battle on a tropical island that doesn’t go well for Octavius. The story also explores the life of the theologian whose biography Arthur is editing, excerpts from Arthur’a dreams, examples of his recent poetry, and friends he makes at a bar he frequents.

Does Arthur write his poem? Does he find a new girl friend? Does he get rid of Octavius? Along with suggesting answers to these questions, “Nightsongs” addresses the challenges connected with the search for a good life and also the power of faith.

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