by Larry Enright
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"At the bend in the stream on a bristlecone pine, where sage grows wild in fields of mustard and clover, blooms a rose. On a vine wound round the ancient trunk, it waits for the journey to begin in a place far from the stream where the scent of the rose is but a fragrance on the wind and a promise for tomorrow." With these words, Transcriber begins. It is the saga of Benton Doud, a talented young man of little aspiration. It is the tale of his encounter with Jonas White, a sightless, bitter old novelist who has hired Doud to transcribe his final work for him. It is the story of Doud's chance encounter with a mysterious and beautiful woman named Mary, whose parting gift to him of a rose becomes both his vision and his quest. Doud's journey takes him to the town of Wenborn, a place out of time where people cling to the old ways and harbor the old superstitions, and where the reclusive Jonas White lives in opulence and solitude. Doud meets many unusual people in the town and at the White Estate, and makes many good friends behind the walls that shelter them from the outside world. But as Doud struggles to please an unpleasable old man, he discovers behind the facade an ancient evil that must be faced if good is to survive. Transcriber is a story of timeless love and unnatural hate, of all-encompassing good and all-consuming evil, of the things we can see and those we cannot. It is a panoptic vision of a world both natural and supernatural, where life lays out the path and we choose to walk it or not.