Exploring the Magic of "A Festive Juxtaposition" by Paul R Stanton.
Explore the Magic of "A Festive Juxtaposition" by Paul R Stanton.
It was Christmas Eve in the good old city of London. Everything was alive with the joyous sounds of festive exchanges; carols floated on the breeze and gently wafted across the cold waters of the river Thames. Multi-coloured lights appeared to festoon the streets in every quarter, and the fragrant heady smell of pine needles could be detected everywhere. There was nothing quite like it. It could be said that there was, in fact, magic in the air.
At that point the Devil arrived at Charing Cross station. He was dressed immaculately in an Astrakhan coat, leather gloves and patent leather shoes that were so brightly polished you could see your face in them. He sported a small black goatee beard and had features that could easily have been chiselled from stone. Smiling, he stepped out into the night. But what was his purpose for being there? Was it purely philanthropic? Or did he have an ulterior motive up his sleeve? As the evening wore on, the good old city was about to find out.
I really enjoyed the chance to explore the magic of this Christmas tale. Irreverent, amusing and, on occasion, surprising. The Devil is not what, or who, we think he is.
An underlying theme is that life as we know it is “all an illusion”. We create the world we inhabit – we’re asleep and death is our awakening in Heaven.
The Devil’s activity this Christmas Eve (and we’re to presume every Christmas Eve) is summed up by, “When you are in Hell only the Devil can point the way out.” This indicates (to me anyway) that if our life is currently nightmarish that’s because we’re in Hell (remember, we’re dreaming). The magic and the festive theme of A Festive Juxtaposition are balanced to pleasing and equal amounts.
There are a lot of good quotes in this story too.
Life often appears as though there is no hope left and that things are closing in from all sides-but the tide will always inevitably turn for the good. You may trust me on this.
And we can trust the Devil because...
“May I extol the truth till the day I die, and be forever damned in hell if I tell a lie!”
Author, Paul R Stanton, has had some fun writing this one, even if it was rewritten 15 times! The people that the Devil is helping are treated with smooth dignity. Those that refuse his compassion (and warnings) are treated devilishly (Hell is no fun park). But throughout there is a determination to remain light while dealing with people and community in crisis. It is very well done and I recommend it to anyone looking for a Christmas story with a different slant on the season of giving.
If you enjoy the writing of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Kevin Hearne and Ben Aaronovitch, I’m certain you’ll like this one too.
About the author
The entertainment field has been no stranger to Paul Stanton over the years; having worked in both theatre and television. He has written numerous plays, novels and children’s books, before finally dedicating himself to what he considers to be his magnum opus: A Festive Juxtaposition. After much input it is a work Paul is finally happy with (having rewritten it a total of fifteen times) and regards it as a ‘little Christmas ditty’ that hopefully people will like and warm to.
Explore the magic of A Festive Juxtaposition by Paul R Stanton
Published by Austin Macauley Publishers
● Genre: Contemporary fiction, Christmas story
● Print length: 178 pages (45K words)
● Age range: This is an adult book, but would be suitable for young adults
● Trigger warnings: deaths of miscreants, suicidal ideation and imagery in one brief section, religious themes
● Amazon Rating: 5*
I received a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review. as part of the Coffee and Thorn Book tour. A shorter version of this review will also appear on Amazon (Australia) and Goodreads.