Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Like a Good Sermon, Succinct but with Impact.


Mark Mallon is a complicated guy, a former seminarian turned unemployed blogger, who revels in sex and wrestles with diabetes. Mallon’s devotion to the precepts of Roman Catholicism make him judgmental. To be fair, he is self-aware, and thus recognizes his own foibles which are blogged in a viscerally exposed writing style he calls ‘unzipped.’ When combined with his genuine honesty, Mallon’s analysis of others is brutally blunt. Thus, his friends sense that they can never live up to his expectations.

Post Marked by Mark Trost lacks a recognizable plot arc and at times feels repetitive until the reader realizes it is a mantra, like a rosary that must be completed to fully realize its benefit. Additionally, Trost weaves Mallon’s life through first and third person narratives, and the aforementioned blog entries. The format stands as a metaphor for the book as if Trost is saying, “I am not like other writer’s... deal with it, but don’t bitch to me about it.”

The writing is Post Marked’s strongest, most enjoyable feature. Each chapter is like a well crafted sermon, succinct but with impact. They develop Mallon’s character through intimate interactions in the bedroom, on the bar stool, and on web entries where he plays the role of both penitent and confessor. Another facet central to Mallon’s life is his diabetes, but like his friends the reader may come away nonplussed by this fact.

Though Post Marked is not traditional, and is delivered through a non-traditional platform and publisher, Mallon’s journey does reach an eventual conclusion that leads the reader to hope for more books by Mark Trost.

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