The Hierophant Of 100th Street
'2009 BRONZE BOOK AWARD' & '2009-2010 WINTER BEST BOOK AWARD'
Review by Kim F. Dim of LibraryThing:
"I must say that this book really surprised me. I found it hard getting around to picking it up, but when I did, boy I was in for a surprise! Probably the most striking thing about "The Hierophant Of 100th Street" was the author's impeccable writing style. The book was narrated so eloquently, with such a vibrant use of language like nothing I have had the pleasure of experiencing in a book before. You will delightfully envision in your minds-eye the very scene that Dorn is painting. I was satisfied with how engrossing the writer's style is, which in itself is what kept your eyes rolling on the paper. Oh, and the story is fantastic!
Definitely a great read and I highly recommend others getting a copy of this book. It certainly reminds me of the sort of books of required reading in college literature courses. Perhaps this one will become a novel of that caliber, and I certainly hope the author plans more books in the future." **** 4 stars
Review by Blackdogbooks:
"At his best, Cullen Dorn is a poet, turning phrases as few writers can. In the early descriptions of the neighborhood, his prose is so vivid that the sounds, the smells, and the tastes crash off the page, soaking your senses; reading becomes experiencing. He is able to wed unusual words in such unlikely but appropriate pairings that they linger long after the first reading. At his best, Dorn is also a great story teller. He creates such real stories and such recognizable characters that you never realize he is choreographing their movements to make a deeper or more subtle point. The worth of this first novel is in its writing.
Highly recommended." **** 4 Stars
Review by Mark Ireland - author of 'Soul Shift'
"'The Hierophant of 100th Street' is a remarkable and highly unusual book. Veiled in the guise of fiction, most of what appears in Hierophant is actually a true account of the author's real-life experiences. Dorn takes the reader on an intense journey--from the desperation, violence, and passion of urban street life, to the attainment of mystical knowledge. This story is both an adventure tale and an esoteric jewel." ***** 5 Stars
Rating: ***** "A powerful book! I recommend it to everyone. Never been so moved. It should be made into a film." ... Joseph M. Andruszkewicz -- Bookreporter.com/wom/wom.asp
“ I come from a time that doesn't exist anymore except in the memories of its survivors,” Cullen Dorn mentioned in an interview. “ I grew up in a fifth floor tenement apartment in Spanish Harlem -one of eight children- with no air-conditioning, no refrigerator, perhaps a transistor radio and a television set with snowy lines across its screen. And outside in the street where four thousand people roamed, one can still hear the old Italian pushing his apple cart down the street, and the Puerto Rican man pouring piragua on an ice cone for a nickel. It was there on the streets that one saw life and death entwined in an awkward Tango, which delineated a culture that defined us." This book release by North Atlantic Books is ripe for the era in which we live. Since time immemorial everyone has asked the question: 'Did we live before?' 'Is there life after death?' 'What is the purpose of this life?' Determined to find the answer the author employs a most descriptive power taking his readers to a time that once existed. What he found shall enlighten the world and change it's perception forever. "We are more than names, properties, country and flags," he stated. "We are an integral part of the greater whole that has no beginning or end. We are an inversion of infinitude."
'2009 IPPY BRONZE BOOK AWARD' - Best Regional Fiction
'2009-2010 WINTER BEST BOOK AWARD' - BookBundlz
'2010 FEBRUARY BOOK OF THE MONTH PICK' - BookBundzl
"This book is special. An unusual and passionate novel, moving and fun to read. The Hierophant Of 100th Street somehow manages to include both heaven and hell. Cullen Dorn really is an untutored genius." --- Gerald Rosen, author of 'Growing Up Bronx.' ----- "This is a novel in which characters are truly born again and again and again .... it moved me to tears." -- Richard Grossinger, author of 'Planet Medicine' ... 'The Bardo of Waking Life' ... and '2013'
INTERVIEW WITH CULLEN DORN :
1. If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?
What an incredible morning that would be to have the likes of W. Somerset Maugham, James Baldwin, and Joseph Mitchell at my table.
2. If you could only take one book, food item and drink with you to a deserted island what would they be?
'The Price of the Ticket' by James Baldwin, chocolate, and perhaps a whiff of Jack Daniels.
3. What are your secret indulgences?
Feeding wild birds, squirrels, ducks, cats, dogs, and egrets. They have a way of finding you. Once done you can't ever finish with them. They become your friends.
4. What about you would surprise your readers?
I once went without food for eight days and meditated on top of the high hills of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where Richard Gere years later did a movie entitled: 'The Mothman Prophesy' detailing strange and mysterious events occurring there nightly. I did not know about this when I went to the high hills for eight days and nights to be alone. I found out however rather quickly something was not normal in those hills.
5. What is your perfect day as an author?
The early mornings when writing you find you cannot stop. It is an exhilaration, an epiphany of sorts, --this change of consciousness that shifts one into a higher gear of cognition
6. If you could be any fictional character who would it be?
I suppose the English captain John Blackthorne featured in 'Shogun' by James Clavell.
7. What are the book(s) you are reading now?
8. What was your favorite book as a teenager, and why?
Recuperating from multiple knife wounds in the hospital as a teenager a friend brought me my first book entitled: 'My Wicked, Wicked Ways' by Errol Flynn. It opened my eyes to another world. I was hooked on books since.
9. (Aside from your own) What book(s) have you read that you think are perfect for book clubs?
About Your Book:
10. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
From real life experiences. I was born in New York City and came from a time that doesn't exist anymore except in the memories of its survivors. I grew up in a fifth floor tenement apartment in Spanish Harlem -one of eight children- with no air-conditioning, no refrigerator, perhaps a transistor radio and a television set with snowy lines across its screen. And outside in the street where four thousand people roamed, one can still hear the old Italian pushing his apple cart down the street, and the Puerto Rican man pouring colored syrup on an ice cone for a nickel. It was there on the streets that one saw life and death entwined in an awkward Tango, which delineated a culture that defined us.
11. They say every book written is the author telling a personal philosophy. What personal philosophy are you trying to get across?
Life cannot be extinguished. Nothing in existence truly dies. The earth breathes in and breathes out; the tides ebb and flow; we are here and we are not. This event or segment of time does not depict the whole story. It is simply a piece of a greater whole, which continues ad infinitum.
12. Writers are often surprised by something that happens in their book. Perhaps a character says or does something you did not think they would, or something you thought would only be a couple of paragraphs turns into ten pages. What surprised you about your book?
I wanted to mention the unfair practices of clitorectomy on female children in Egypt only to find to my surprise an array of characters who sprung into existence, each as real as the surprised author whose head snapped back from its pages.
About Your Writing Process:
13. What is your writing process like?
Find a quiet space that is yours alone. Enter it and write till the writing takes over you. Six or more hours later you would have thought you were 'in there' only for a moment or two.
14. What gets you in the mood to write?
The need to rectify a wrong I suppose. No matter how large or small the injustice around you. Your voice needs to be heard. Whether it's instructive, inspirational, or therapeutic, the 'individuality of ideas' begs to be to be born with lantern in hand and legs running.
15. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never let any rejection stop you. Never let another define or validate you. Keep writing as writing is the voice of your soul. In the end Life will then have validated YOU.