Official Review: The Freedom Building by Martin Kendall

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Official Review: The Freedom Building by Martin Kendall

Post by cristinaro »

[Following is an official review of "The Freedom Building" by Martin Kendall.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Not long after college, John Gowan of Blanworth sets up an architecture firm, Gowan Partnerships, together with his friend, Pete Williams. Business is going well, but not over the top. An opportunity arises when least expected.

Zenith Star is a wholesale clothing company. On a trip to Israel, the chairman’s son, Wilkinson Junior, makes some disparaging remarks about Muslims wanting to take back land from the Israelis. In a chain reaction, terrorists blow up the Zenith building, a faceless modern glass construction.

Shocked by the event, John visits the site of the explosion. Although he feels compassion for the victims of the attack, he cannot help himself dreaming to design the new Zenith building. He has an accident on his way home and wakes up in a hospital three and a half years later. The problem is he thinks the accident took place the previous day. What is more, everybody assumes he is the architect of the new Zenith building, a genuine masterpiece. What is real and what is imaginary?

The Freedom Building by Martin Kendall is a psychological novel featuring a protagonist whose battle with his inner demons becomes more fascinating than any action-driven narration. Even if it is written in the third person, the novel focuses exclusively on John Gowan’s complex psychological life. For any psychologist or psychoanalyst, his amnesia would be an excellent case study. My favorite parts of the novel are those in which the narrator minutely describes John’s confusion and sense of loss.

Considering that this is a psychological novel, you might expect it to have a slow pace. On the contrary, I felt the plot development was quite exciting. Because of his amnesia, John is unable to look at the building plans or to see the actual building. Whenever he tries to do that, time dilates, he loses focus, and even faints. Fearing for his position as chief architect of the building, he hides the truth about his amnesia from everybody else. Like an undercover cop, he needs to do everything in his power not to blow up his cover. His more and more elaborate manoeuvres to stay under the radar add much tension and suspense to the overall plot.

The guessing game is perhaps the greatest strength of the novel. We never know what will happen next. In fact, we do not even know whether to like John or not. We only have access to his version of the story. As the events unfold, we start putting together various bits and pieces about his personality. He might think justice is on his side, yet we start having doubts. Why does Hillary, his wife, file for divorce? Did he actually design the masterpiece plans of the Zenith building or was it Pete, his partner?

Another thing I particularly enjoyed about this novel was the wide range of its topics. Through John’s eyes, the author tackles topics such as friendship, love, professional success, terrorism, or freedom. For example, John’s remarks during a television interview spark a nation-wide debate on the meaning and limitations of personal and collective freedom.

I have nothing to complain about this novel. It is excellently edited with only a handful of minor punctuation mistakes and two instances of offensive words triggered by a character’s justifiable anger. Taking all things into account, I am giving Martin Kendall’s The Freedom Building 4 out of 4 stars. Last but not least, I am recommending it to those who are fond of character-driven novels with a psychological vein and a surprising ending. I can assure you it will make you reflect on many challenging issues like the reliability of memory, individual happiness, the thin line between truth and deception, and the reasons behind terrorist acts.

The Freedom Building
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"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

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Post by NetMassimo »

This seems an intriguing psychological thriller with the protagonist having to face innner and outer issues. Thank you for your great review!
Ciao :)

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Post by khaulah »

I definitely want to read this one, story is unique. Thank you for your wonderful review!

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno »

This is an interesting psychological thriller on truth, reality, terrorism, freedom, and a protagonist whose battle against his inner demons drives the plot. The book has a free sample on Amazon Kindle and a well-worded OnlineBookClub review. Congrats @mkendall80 on the BOTD.

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Post by bb587 »

It sounds like there's a lot going on in this novel. There's a startup business, a terrorist plot, architecture, divorce, amnesia, mental illness, and a questionable identity. Seems like a lot to pack into a novel, but I guess it all works together.

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Post by Amy+++ »

I'm more into romance novels than this genre of book so I'm going to pass on it.

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Post by cetacea_2705 »

It sends a thrill to every single cell in my blood. The plot fascinates my mind and it hooks me to keep reading. Afterall, for those who seek thrill in reading, this book is for you.

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

This sounds right up my alley; I like the psychological aspect of it. A man wakes up three years later, thinking it's the next day; how intriguing. I also like that the book highlights the racial issues still experienced throughout the world. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by Twylla »

Excellent Review! It would be terrifying to wake up in the hospital and not know who or where you are! Amnesia is always an
interesting twist to a story. Sounds like an excellent book!

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Post by Sirajuddin »

In Freedom Building, the characterization of a psychological patient is in its excellent form.

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Post by Valerieanne55 »

A phychological thriller that from the excellent review certainly sounds like it will deliver a thrilling read.

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Post by Caffrey_19 »

An action-packed story that involves terrorism and a traumatized personality sounds interesting. The fact that it's a psychological novel, makes it my type of book. Wonderful review.

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Post by Nadiatrotwood »

From your review, it sounds like this novel is both character- and plot-driven. I like all of the elements, but it might be too busy for my taste. I think I'll pass on this one.

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Post by Leen282 »

I came to read your review after liking the free sample, and now I am even more intrigued to find out who John really is and how we get to know him through the book.

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Post by Mmg8464 »

Wow! I am already excited about this. This kind of book will make you exercise your mind. Thanks for your review.

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