Time Is The Fire recounts a day in the existence of Leopold Bloom O Boyle, chronophobe, travel writer, would-be novelist, and husband of the Reverend Annabel Chance. The day is September 8, 1992, and the place is Harvard Square and environs. Like his namesake, Leo dips into and out of a stream of consciousness as he considers and reconsiders the most important decision of his life.
Alfred Alcorn is the author of ten novels, including Sugar Mountain (PBS), The Pull of the Earth, Natural Selection, and Murder in the Museum of Man. Alfred Alcorn, born Alfred John Denny, grew up in the bombed-out docklands of Merseyside, in the green fields of Ireland, and on a hardscrabble dairy farm in New England. He attended Harvard, got married, stayed married, worked as a journalist, travel coordinator, and wildlife guide. The former director of travel at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, he continues to guide groups in East Africa, India, and elsewhere. He lives in Colrain, Massachusetts, with his wife Sally Remick Alcorn.
Books by Alfred Alcorn and Complete Book Reviews: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/authorpage/alfred-alcorn.html
Bob Scanlan –
Time is the Fire is a delightful book. It is also swathed in layers of wisdom and deepest insight that reward attentive reading far beyond the clever and charming send-up of James Joyce’s Ulysses which it may superficially appear to be. Time is the Fire captures the literary life of a whole era, in a particular place (Harvard Square) during an era of unusual concentration and achievement… This book will always be central for it captures the way it felt — it feels — to be smack dab in the full rush of ongoing literary life. – Bob Scanlan
Jan Stuart, NYT Book Review 5/1/16 –
When you are named for one of the most influential characters in 20th-century literature, expectations are your daily bread. Such is the lot of Leopold Bloom O Boyle, clerical husband, Harvard-hugger, hot-dog eater and travel writer cum novelist encore manqué famous for a magazine piece called Trekking With Jesús, in honor of the lovesick Peruvian guide who abandoned him in the middle of nowhere. On the theory that his Joyce-venerating late father wanted him to write a novel worthy of his name, Leopold vacillates between a navel-gazing update of Ulysses set in 1992 Cambridge, Mass. (as is this novel), and a high-minded exercise in genre sci-fi with one eye on philosophical maunderings and the other on Hollywood. When not toiling over his novel’s plot (which hinges, inevitably, on the destruction of Earth), Leopold muses on the creation of life with his newly pregnant wife. En route Alcorn entertains with riffs on fiction and a pleasurable cascade of word plays (He had gotten seminal with a seminarian), prankish names (Graham Crocker III), brush stroke perceptions and sexual puns that would heat the cockles of Joyce s multitasking heart. – Jan Stuart, NYT Book Review 5/1/16
Morty Schiff –
I think the book is a blooming (intended) masterpiece, a pro vita summa, it’s wiping out everything I’ve read in the last couple of months, Joycean not only in theme but also in its infinite inexhaustible imagination and inventiveness, the combination of the transient quotidian and the timeless tragic verities. – Morty Schiff