The Gnostic Warriors
Outskirts Press (2014)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (08/15)
In “The Gnostic Warriors” by Marvin Etheridge, we meet Kan and his brother Del, two boys raised by middle class parents in a period where so much was happening in the world. Living in a small town in North Carolina, they grew up during a time of rationing for the war, segregation between whites and “colored people,” and diseases. Life was not easy, but to the boys, they really didn’t know any different. They knew not to go to the houses of their friends of other races. They knew that diseases like polio, bacterial infections, and rabies were all realities. Some of these things, they had to learn the hard way. They also got into fairly innocent misadventures with their friends that usually involved the local police. Kan considered the good cops to be “peace officers.”
“The Gnostic Warriors” is written from Kan’s perspective as an adult looking back into his childhood. He questions ideas that occur to him about things that he hadn’t even been aware of as a child. He also remembers when he sees evil in the eyes of other children. Childhood events that started out innocent would change as the look in the eyes of some of his friends changed. Kan and Del also geared much of their play around the idea that they would have to go to war to fight. In reviewing these memories, so much of what was happening at the time is brought to light. I found it really interesting to be able to “see” these times as they must have really been.
"The Gnostic Warriors” by Marvin Etheridge is an interesting book to read. Tighter editing would help clear up some areas that are harder to follow, especially within the first two chapters, but overall, I really enjoyed it. I feel that it will appeal to readers of all ages, from teens to seniors. It is appropriate for these ages, and if read by family members of different generations, it will stimulate some interesting discussions.