Butterbugs is somebody now. He has arrived – at the top. In fact, he’s much higher than that. Ultrastardom, they call it! As the world’s first ultrastar – and trillionaire – he is still compelled to act for acting’s sake alone. Taking the lead in the most ambitious film ever, he will need all his gathered resources for the staggering job ahead.
Butterbugs is a phenomenon for billions. His own depth of character and the diversity of creatures around him constitute a power and influence far surpassing any strolling player’s entertainments. However, not everyone on Earth is so dazzled. Well below his stratospheric plane, undercurrents coil in unholy pools.
The screen upon which APOTHEOSIS shines is gigantic, as befitting the story that commands it. FORWARD TO GLORY is nothing less than an epic-noir-satire. The momentum built by TEMPERING and EXPOSITION does not let up for a second. By its very name, APOTHEOSIS propels the reader toward its merciless climax with determination and grandeur.
Butterbugs is truly blessed with friends and associates who share his triumphs: Saskia and Justy – closer than ever; Sonny Projector – agent and champion; Edna Tzu – favorite director and facilitator; Hyman Goth – studio mogul with a dreaded knowledge; Mayella – stabilizing lover; Egaz – transcendent director and artistic equal; Keenah – the mate Butterbugs has waited for… possibly; The Seven Muses – who inspire the ultrastar in his most challenging role; Marshall – the disabled vet who changes the course of the nation; and Heatherette – always a force for good, who reappears at the perfect time.
Links to the book:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42203589-apotheosis
Guest Post – Ten Reasons To Consider Exploring The Forward To Glory Quartet by Brian Paul Bach
1. Forward To Glory isn’t your typical multi-volume tale full of predictable clichés. I call it an Epic–Noir–Satire. Epic in its scope. Noir in its plot twists. Satire in its regularly-occurring humour. Still, it’s a pretty straightforward story of a guy who becomes the biggest movie star ever. Along the way are grand gestures, uncertain suspense, and comedy ranging from innocent to absurd. Plus, there’s romance. More than one.
2. Over its four fast-moving volumes, Forward To Glory can easily be read in episodic fashion. That is, a chapter at a time, like an expanded TV series. I don’t think it’s ‘binge-watching’ material, mainly because each scene tends to be pretty concentrated with events. The pace is leisurely, but action-packed!
3. It’s got a gigantic cast of characters, in all kinds of settings, all around the world. The movies are a global enterprise, and Butterbugs, the lead character, is right in the thick of things. And with each page, the intensity increases.
4. It’s not exactly a quick read, but maybe we could call it a thick read. True, the volumes are pretty bulky, but that’s not what I mean. And I don’t want to imply that it’s dense and hard to follow. The thickness comes from the fact that the reader gets a lot of content in the process. Sort of like a pancake with generously-spread peanut butter on top. Or finding a pack of wild puppies on your doorstep: adorable, but so worth the trouble!
5. Everybody loves movies, and so does Forward To Glory. And it goes further back behind the scenes, like never before. Take a look and see how far things go! Characters are explored in depth, and their actions are meaningful, and their emotions are real.
6. Sheer wordplay is another license of invention to employ. It appears throughout Forward To Glory, mostly for its own sake, without any subjective commentary or symbolism. For example, ‘Butterbugs’, the lead character’s name, just came to mind, without any ‘ulterior motive’ or comic intent. When I first read Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ at the age of 12, and saw the name ‘Bilbo Baggins’, I thought I was in for a Disneyesque romp. Not! As far as my own wordplay goes, some of it might be a little distracting at first, but I like to make the ingredients memorable. So, when it comes to conjuring names, I’m firmly in the camp of Dickens (e.g. Magwitch, Pumblechook, Smallweed, M’Choakumchild, and Gamp), rather than that of Hemingway (e.g. Robert Jordan, Catherine Barkley…).
7. Forward To Glory’s vol. III is titled ‘Apotheosis’. It means ‘the glorification of a person or thing’. It also means that big things are going to happen. Very big.
8. Today, when everything is so sped up and impatience rules our lives, it’s pretty important to take some time out. I don’t think Forward To Glory should really be called ‘escapist’ in its intent. But because any kind of reading should command at least 98% of our attention, it’s not an escape, but an avenue, a trail, even a back alley to somewhere else. Somewhere you’ve never been before.
9. I guess it’s a kind of joyfulness – the joys of pushing the possibilities, even as far as preposterousness – that urges me to install some of it amidst the gravitas, the sensuality, and the necessities of narration. This is a theatrical, cinematic extravaganza, not an academic documentary or thesis. It’s ornate with detail, but sincere in its emotions. So – get ready – anything goes.
10. There’s big drama, intimate romance, harrowing dangers, hilarious moments, and mysterious actions, waiting to be discovered. One thing about a big, multi-volume saga like this, you can really settle into the characters and their dramas. You get to know them, and how they feel, and what they think. This is a big production, and it runs on many levels. They are intriguing, compelling, powerful, fun, fast-moving, and some are even a bit goofy. Just like the movies, Forward To Glory – in each of its four volumes – has it ALL!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian Paul Bach is a writer, artist, filmmaker and photographer; he has worked across the entertainment business. He now lives in central Washington State with his wife, Sandra. His previous works include The Grand Trunk Road From the Front Seat, Calcutta’s Edifice: The Buildings of a Great City, and Busted Boom: The Bummer of Being a Boomer. He writes a regular column for Kolkata On Wheels magazine.