For these reasons, my new book, The Gentle Traditionalist Returns, has not properly featured here at it might, despite being published at the end of last year (!) by Angelico Press.
Today, though, I offer the first chapter. After that, some of the book’s reviews follow.
There are also numerous global Amazon links to take you to your nearest Amazon to buy the book, should you wish to, whether you be in America, Europe or Timbuktu.
Chapter One: Do Not Despair
WHEN I came to my senses, everything was dim. Outside, wind howled. Heavy rain pelted down on a roof far, far above me. I was lying on a hard, wood floor and my head throbbed. Had someone hit me when my back was turned? I was too groggy to say.
And where was I? It seemed to be the cellar of a once-grand palatial residence. Whatever it was, the wind and rain battered the edifice harder now. I had the sense of shutters and tiles being ripped off, as though everything were being swept away.
Far in the distance, thunder pealed. But closer by came whimpering. I could just about discern a small dog cowering beneath a night-stand.
Poor, terrified creature, I thought.
Then, above me, further sounds—but more like human whimpering. In the faint light, I scried a spiral staircase. Pushing my aching body up, I staggered towards it and started my ascent.
Then, halfway up the stairs, a door. Behind it, quiet weeping.
Should I knock?
But sudden anxiety gripped my heart and I trembled. Instead, I stooped, peering through the large keyhole into a room, dimly lit.
The elegant figure of a woman in a nightgown was visible, her head bent in sorrow. Between her hands, she fingered a Rosary. Its silver crucifix glinted in the pale light.
Words, faltering, came to her lips:
Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Then, overcome by grief, she broke down. But clutching the Rosary tighter, she continued:
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
Did I dare disturb her grief or interrupt her sacred intercourse? Hesitating, I heard still more human sounds, further up the stairway.
Once more, I spiralled upwards. The thunder was distinctly closer now.
At the top of the stairs, heavy folds of velvet blocked my way. Inching the curtains open, I saw three men in shadows. Someone struck a match and lit a candle.
A small halo of light fell across a low table in their midst. On it stood an antique telephone with a separate handset and receiver. Piles of papers surrounded it.
I could even make out the words on one document. Large capital letters said: DANGER—PLAN B REQUIRED.
One man said, “I told you, Gilbert, the situation is worse than you realise.”
The second said, “Another intervention below?”
The third said, “Yes, the danger to the women and all the little ones demands it.”
My eyes grew ever more accustomed to the dim light. I could almost make out the first two figures now.
I stared in disbelief. For they very much resembled Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton.
Both men appeared in their mid-sixties, as they were in the 1930s, when they spearheaded a Catholic revival in England.
And both appeared serious, grim even, which jarred with the mirthful image we have of Chesterton today.
But how could they be here in the twenty-first century?!
Or was I peering through a portal to the past?
Certainly, the antiquated telephone suggested that possibility.
Then, that antique rang! For a brief instant, the third man’s hand flashed through the small circle of light, seizing the receiver.
In that moment, I saw it clearly. It was large and fleshy, and the middle finger bore a golden ring with an enormous red stone. I had seen that hand before…
“Do not despair,” the third man said. “I am coming.” Then, he put the receiver down hard.
Suddenly, a deafening clap of thunder and lighting!
For a split-second, the entire room lit up.
In that instant, I saw the tall, rotund form of the third man, his hair and beard white as snow. I saw the faded tweed jacket. It was the Gentle Traditionalist.
With a start, I woke up.
Reviews for The Gentle Traditionalist Returns
“Roger Buck’s character, the ‘Gentle Traditionalist,’ returns with a vengeance in this stand-alone sequel. Set against the backdrop of modern Ireland’s headlong flight from sanity, this book skewers the modern malaise with the kind of sanity we have come to expect from this author.” — CHARLES A. COULOMBE, author of A Catholic Quest for the Holy Grail
”Buck’s latest foray is a grand success … The story features the same singular combination of whimsy and surprise, keen social commentary, and deft argumentation as the first [book]. The Gentle Traditionalist Returns appeals to what is best and deepest in us, so that we will reengage with that which ultimately matters while there is yet time.” — PETER KWASNIEWSKI, author of Tradition and Sanity
“Those who were charmed by Roger Buck’s previous books–well, prepare to be charmed again, but also warned and given plenty of food for thought. This book strikes a more somber note, but one tuned to the timbre of our times. Read it and tune in.” —THOMAS STORCK, author of An Economics of Justice and Charity
“The Gentle Traditionalist Returns is a welcome visit from an old friend. Roger Buck’s delightful narrative–as the title assures us–gently leads the reader into a new perspective on the Catholic Mystery. An absolutely refreshing read!” — MICHAEL MARTIN, author of Transfiguration: Notes Toward a Radical Catholic Reimagination of Everything
“Once again, Roger Buck has shown himself to be a prophet in the tradition of Ezekiel; he is the watchman on the wall. Buck’s experience as a convert from New Age activism has uniquely fitted him for this vocation.” — GERARD O’SHEA, author of Educating in Christ
”A brilliant diagnosis of the spiritual malaise of modern society, written with gentleness, generosity, humour, pathos … and, above all else, love”— MAOLSHEACHLANN Ó CEALLAIGH, author of Inspiration from the Saints
Foreword for Monarchy by Roger Buck
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