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The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Last Rites by Perry Michael Smith

Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.

This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, Last Rites by Perry Michael Smith.  I picked this up this past Saturday at the Scott Antique Market.  The vendor I purchased this from was quite interesting and he had a very wide selection from gigantic history books about the Marquis de Lafeyette to 1970s sci-fi (like Last Rites, published in 1971) to classic 1990s kids books, and more.  The vendor used to be a school teacher in the 90s and at the end of the school year if there were any books left that weren't text books or school library books the teachers could take home what they liked.  He said that his entire basement had enough books to more than fill the school library - and that's including his own collection and what he got from the school lockers.  The books that he was selling at his booth were those that he was culling from his library.  There were several intriguing books, but this one in particular caught my eye.  I mean, just look at that cover - it's so weird!  And, the summary on the back of the paperback is really interesting.  It just begs to be picked up and read!  Now, since there isn't really any information about it on Goodreads - I thought I would also share the summary from the back of the book for everyone:

"What does a retired ax murderess have in common with an alcoholic expert on St. Thomas Aquinas?  How can a man sealed inside a Patton tank be shot and killed when the only witness is able to swear that there was no murder?  Why are Quasars suddenly blinking out all over the universe?

Father John Doffenbaron, a soul at home only when emptying a bottle or programming a computer, is taken into the Fellowship, a super think-tank organization hidden beneath a mountain of granite somewhere in the American desert.  The organization exists to sell Power to anyone able - or willing - to pay their price.  Each member of the Fellowship team receives a special reward for his services.  For Father John, the reward is the exclusive right to operate the greatest computer ever conceived.  In return, he has only to surrender his loyalty - and his soul..."



My annoyance, you see, has reached a new peak.  Never before, not at Upsala, not in Berlin, not at Jodrell Bank, not in Houston, have I been forced to put my complaints in writing.  A word here, a word there, a gentle admonition; these have always proved sufficient in times past to remove annoyances, to still troubled waters, and to obtain the cooperation necessary for the pursuit of my work.


"If, on the other hand, the computers are at present operating without guidance, please be so advised to have the situation corrected at once.  The radio telescope, at any rate, is in motion."  The voice climbed an octave and spoke more rapidly.  "Without any direction me, Mr. Tamino."  The voice shrieked.  "Do you hear me?"


  1. This book sounds really interesting. I hope you are enjoying it.

    My Friday:Marie @ Pages to Explore

  2. I have not heard of this author before, but the book does look like it could be good. I do like the beginning and the 56, thanks for sharing. :-)

    1. I've never heard of the author either, but I'd definitely be interested in seeing more of his work based on what I've read of this one so far. :)

  3. A retired ax murderess! Now that's funny! Love that cover and I love old books. Collect them when I can.

    My Friday 56

  4. I saw ax murderess and couldn't help but smile. The cover is a stopper and I think you made a good choice picking this up. Happy reading.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  5. Well, that sounds interesting and the cover is really weird. Hope you enjoy it! :)

    Friday Memes

  6. Sounds interesting. I hope you are enjoying it. I am spotlighting Mind Magic by Eileen Wilks - the latest in an urban fantasy series I like. Happy reading!

  7. Sounds intriguing with a style all its own. I hope you are enjoying it. Happy Friday!

  8. I'm definitely intrigued by the blurb and the passages you shared. What an interesting man! I'd love to go through all his books. There' not telling what all he has!

  9. I'm not sure I'm into this one but hope you love it.
    Happy Easter weekend!

  10. I'mm so intrigued by this man who has a basement full of books. What a strange and wonderful thing! Happy weekend!

    1. He was an interesting guy to chat with for sure. Thanks for visiting!

  11. omg, my goals are to have a houseful of books. xD hehe but this one looks so interesting and weird! :O Go you for taking chances on these kind of books, btw. ;D I often find myself only reading what I see hanging around on the internet, and no doubt I'm missing out on stuff. XD hehe

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. You can really come across all sorts of things. :)

      Thanks for dropping by, Cait.

  12. This cover is cracking me up with the Woolworth's sticker and is the man naked? Ha!

    1. Really helps date it, doesn't it. :)

      And, no, not quite!

  13. Interesting find! I can't imagine buying this based on the cover, but it's an intriguing read based on the snippets! :)


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