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Overview and Reviews: Flying a Kite
One step beyond fiction... a novel to make you THINK!
Deftly written, original, genuinely entertaining... a rewarding and entertaining read from beginning to end and highly recommended for personal and community library Contemporary Fiction collections. (Midwest Book Review) [More]
Money always solved everything for multi-millionaire Aldo Galliano. So when faced with imminent death and the need to decide between cryonic preservation or faith in God and an afterlife, he offers a £1m prize for the most convincing argument ‘for’ or ‘against’ God. Enter Bruce Kramer, a dropout theology graduate, who strives to consolidate religion and science by revealing links between creation and evolution, and explaining mysteries as diverse as the Garden of Eden and the wise men's guiding star. But dangerous rivals aim to prevent his success. With locations including Bath, Rome, Lake Garda, Tenerife, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, this fascinating novel draws the reader deeply into the excitement of Bruce's squabbling research team, his untimely romantic entanglements, and the compelling theories pursued by a cast of engaging but eccentric characters. Subtly combining the spiritual discernment of C. S. Lewis, the humour and rich characterisation of Peter Carey, and all the twists and turns of a mystery thriller, the author brings us an entertaining and unforgettable tale. But beware. Like one of Galliano’s favourite lattes, while it might appear frothy on the surface, a high caffeine brew lurks deep below that may keep you awake at night... thinking.
Transcript of the author's speech on the video - for those without sound!
Hi there. And thank you for taking the time to find out about my novel Flying a Kite. It's about man's ultimate quest. To prove there really is a God and an afterlife. Who wouldn't like to truly believe that's true?
The novel is mainly set in Bath, England, but it also visits other well known locations across the world, from Rome to California. After some 30 years of research, pondering and inspiration, the amazing discoveries I've made are at the heart of this novel and I want to share them with you. But why a novel? It's because even complex ideas can be put over easily through dialogue and banter, between characters of very different persuasions. And it's because a story is entertaining, memorable and less challenging than non-fiction.
As a quest novel, Flying a Kite has all the twists and turns of a mystery thriller, plus plenty of eccentric and interesting characters to keep you amused. Here's the crux. Over half the world's population believe in God, and all technological societies believe in science. Surely neither can be substantially wrong? So in answer to a challenging assignment, my protagonist, Bruce Kramer, seeks to prove this. The results push boundaries, they demolish traditional barriers between science and religion, and they provide you with delicious food for thought!
This is a novel to both entertain and to make you think. Uniquely, the book even includes End Notes taking you to the underlying evidence my characters use. So you get to read a novel and to then set out on your own adventure of discovery afterwards. That's why this is much more than just a novel.
Please don't miss this chance of seeing the wonderful opportunities ahead of you. Visit my website, iankingsley.com, for much more information. I do hope you enjoy reading the book.
'Fluid, smooth and flows at a lovely pace. Really engaging from the start. Like The Shack, there is a niche for this kind of book.'
—Gillian McDade (journalist and author of Standing Man)
'Addresses a universal question in a much better way than Dan Brown in Angels & Demons where the God versus science debate is just another subplot in another ciphering book; in Flying a Kite it's the main plot thread, convincingly dealt with, and riveting.'
—Richard Pierce (author of Dead Men)
'Characters are direct and effective. I enjoyed how the pace allowed the reader to think about important concepts by himself.'
—Heikki Hietala (author of Tulagi Hotel)
'Fluent, graphic writing and excellent use of description. Characters come alive through captivating dialogue.'
—Elijah Iwuji (author of Praying in the Will of God)
'I love the characters. Ada is superbly done.'
—Anne Lyken-Garner (author of Sunday’s Child)
'Up there with some of the best published work around.'
—Walter Robson (author of Access to History: Medieval Britain)
Bursting with optimism, Flying A Kite by author Ian Kingsley marries the imagination of an accomplished writer and the passion of a theologian to deliver a truly remarkable read. Written in tight eloquent prose that are altogether enthralling, Kingsley has certainly delivered a staggeringly entertaining novel, one imbued with a sense of urgency which conveys an emotional resonance that is far too rare in contemporary literature. On this level it can simply be read and enjoyed, but there’s a compelling sense of authenticity which begs deeper consideration. On this level Kingsley has penned a book which is all about the content; weaving fact, fiction and theology in an overarching theme that encourages the reader to reflect on polarised beliefs. Not with the aim of proffering answers, but providing insight and the opportunity to draw one’s own conclusions as Bruce pursues his quest. In the main it works so well because Kingsley maintains the theme of reciprocity between his characters whilst maintaining a believable story that gives equal weight to opposing views. It certainly makes for a difficult novel to put down!
A genuine joy to read, without the contrivance of undue complexity, readers who have enjoyed 'The Celestine Prophecy' by James Redfield and 'The Shack' by Wm Paul Young will certainly find a novel of equal standing in Flying A Kite.
Recommended without reservation it’s highly deserving of your attention. BookViral has no hesitation in naming Ian Kingsley as our sixth ever author of choice.
'Ian Kingsley's Flying A Kite clearly documents the literary talent of its author. Deftly written, original, genuinely entertaining, iconoclastic, Flying A Kite is a rewarding and entertaining read from beginning to end and highly recommended for personal and community library Contemporary Fiction collections. Of special note is the author's own web site at iankingsley.com that is packed with helpful information for aspiring writers seeking to create their own memorable literary works.
—Jack Mason (Midwest Book Review - September 2013)
'Tight writing that uses dialogue to give just enough detail to hook us into the story while leaving the snippets of back story until the reader is well and truly engrossed. Great stuff!'
—Jo Carroll (author of Over The Hill And Far Away)
'Sick with septicemia, Aldo Galliano, a rich Italian businessman, is faced with his own mortality and wants to find out if there is really life after death. This is the premise of Flying a Kite by Ian Kingsley. One of the main protagonists, Bruce Kramer, a disillusioned theology graduate, is hired to organize and head a team of researchers. The group only has six months to prove if God really exists or not. Other groups of experts are also working on this and at stake is a one million pound prize for the most convincing argument of God’s existence or non-existence. Will Bruce and his eccentric crew find the meaning of life in a world that is swamped by the latest in scientific technology?
Flying a Kite is a novel that attempts to answer philosophical questions that have baffled philosophers and scientists all over the world since time immemorial. Indeed, these are questions that confront all of us. Does God really exist? What is the meaning of life? Dialogue driven and fast paced, the reader will be entertained by Bruce Kramer and his team as they try to solve life’s mystery itself. Ian Kingsley’s novel reminds me of Jostein Gaarder’s work in Sophie’s World. Whereas Kramer relied heavily on philosophy to prove his point, Kingsley consolidates science and religion in putting forth his novel’s intention [Ed. through the End Notes]. I think one of the greatest achievements of this book is that the author is very successful in creating an entertaining book that deals with a subject as complicated as finding God and the meaning of life.'
—Maria Beltran (for Readers' Favorite)
'Spirituality vs. Science. I hear the words and my ears prick up. It's probably the most argued, most personal and most divisive debate of all time. With it comes the one question most everyone will ask, the one question that seldom gets answered because both sides usually end up killing each other: Is there a God?
Millionaire Aldo Galliano has six months to live and he'll pay one million pounds to know the answer. The invitation is offered to Bruce Kramer, former student of theology turned bartender, and Sophia Mancini, a leggy blonde rival with "a rippling waterfall of a laugh, a gently tinkling exuberance that indicated such a prospect held no fears for her; this was confirmed by the firm smile she gave him: in its way, he supposed, quite deadly." Only one will be paid for gathering enough evidence, only one will win the reward for convincing Aldo that there is or isn't a God.
Kingsley knits together a tale of romance, humor and mystery, while a
parade of eccentrics and academics, and sometimes The Almighty Itself,
argue, wrangle and complicate the plot. Of course, other questions enter
in such as: Where did we come from? What is life? Is there life after
death? Whilst digging up research to support their arguments, Bruce and
Sophia dodge a cast of thugs who seem to have it out for them. The story,
which tosses up arguments and bandies them about, uses characters to present
a platform for religious, philosophical, scientific and spiritual debate
that blurs age-old divisions and offers a unified theory. While I found
the context pretty academic, the characters were playful, and the end
—Robin Gregory (on Amazon.com)
'Is there a God and what role does he play in our life and in our death? Author Ian Kingsley ponders the full range of metaphysical questions in Flying A Kite. Testing theories about life, death, and spirituality is like flying a kite. You look up into the sky to see if the ideas, like the kite itself, fly successfully.
Galliano, 71, is a multi-millionaire businessman and he is terminally ill from the effects of smoking cigars. He has risen from humble beginnings to run a global conglomerate. The much younger Bruce studied to be a cleric at Cambridge but he has doubts about his faith. Bruce takes Galliano's 6-month challenge to research and report on whether God exists. Bruce has other daunting projects too, from his relationship with his mother to his choice of a girlfriend. A passionate model named Sofia also works on this project, which includes a one-million-pound reward for a convincing argument.
Galliano lays down this scientific and religious gauntlet for Bruce and
Sofia. But he has other motives for the project which include his business
and family legacy. The older man considers what may loom in the afterlife
and the younger man considers the confusing number of options for this
life. The simple chapter headings and lively dialogue help to guide the
reader through the plot. Author Ian Kingsley takes us on an entertaining
journey to consider many viewpoints and philosophies. Faith seems to win
out but many questions are left unanswered. The story ends with an enjoyable
and deft twist in the plot.
—Jean Hall (for Readers' Favorite)
'Kingsley brings his experience and sense of humor together in this novel. He has worked in science and technology and has written technical books for the armed services and the industry. This gives him a uniquely authentic voice for exploration into these sometimes opposite ideals: Science and God. His non-fiction experience gives this work of fiction a familiar and original tone and feel. His down-to-earth sense of humor sets the stage for this often light-hearted look at God, science, family, and love.
The premise for this novel is a simple question. What happens when a wealthy man faces his own mortality? Money can’t buy confidence in the hereafter and Aldo Galliano has much of the former and not enough of the latter. So he hires Bruce, a theology dropout who tries to make sense of science and religion. The reader follows along on this search for any evidence that will convince Aldo that there is or isn’t something out there beyond life and death. Aldo is willing to put £1M on the answer.
Kingsley takes readers across the globe and into the landscape of our own minds as he explores these familiar ideas. There is a difference between religion and spirituality, between science and politics. Often we are faced with deciding what is driving the evidence: fact or fiction, what we believe or what we can prove.
—Scott Albert (for Readers' Favorite)
All the ideas proposed by the characters in this novel are based on real theories and facts. This is confirmed through the book's End Notes. That is why this is much more than just a novel. The End Notes are where facts meet the fiction. Not only do you get to read a novel, afterwards you can set out on your own exciting adventure via links on this website!
The characters in this novel include resolute yet romantically-challenged Bruce, canny but clown-like Bertie, geeky and gobsmacked Martin, flirty flame-from-the-past Carla, possessive and put- upon girlfriend Julia, stunningly sexy model Sofia and her pragmatic photographer boyfriend Luigi, prim and prickly mother Ada, smart and sassy PA Emma, psychotic psychologist Max, nutty ex-NASA engineer Victor... and maybe even God. (Or was that just in Bruce’s mind?)
Flying a Kite is cross-genre. It embraces contemporary fiction, romance, religious and inspirational, mystery, action and adventure. So there is something in it for everyone. Despite its depth it is an easy read - yet it may prove to be one of the most unusual novels you have ever read. Twist my arm to name one Amazon genre and it checks in as: 'Fiction > Metaphysical and Visionary'. But that's just a label. I hate labels! Flying a Kite is unique in what it does, but, the nearest novel I know of is The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield—which always features well in the Amazon 'Metaphysical and Visionary' sub-category. (If you like reading James Redfield, I think you will like this!) But whereas Redfield does not really talk much of "God" in his book, I certainly do! God is at the heart of everything we don't understand.
On the surface, Flying a Kite is a light-hearted, character-rich, amusing contemporary novel; but this is built upon the fascinating, time-limited quest set for its protagonist, Bruce Kramer: to determine whether there is a convincing case for belief in God in the modern technological world. Given half the world population does believe in God, Bruce eventually decides to prove this faith is not misplaced. He and his team work hard to find a viewpoint where science and the Bible may be seen to be complementary. His rival, Sofia Mancini, takes a more perilous course trying to prove God does not exist. The juxtaposition of eccentric and amusing characters, struggling with mind-boggling questions, keeps the mix light yet compelling... as reviews confirm.
Some readers/reviewers draw a comparison between this novel and The Shack by William Paul Young. This is fair because this is also a novel which contains a narrative between its protagonist and God. From the Christian viewpoint it is less controversial than The Shack in that it paints a conventional image of the Trinity (rather than the strange one depicted in The Shack, where God the Father appears to the protagonist as a black African-American female cook). The end result of Flying a Kite is a consolidation of the Bible with science: one in which there is no conflict between the two. The novel shows how it is possible to find a common viewpoint that makes sense in the modern world... and that an enlightened interpretation of the Bible shows it is far more revealing about creation, evolution and life-after-death than traditional blinkered reading has led us to believe. Hopefully it will give the agnostic something really promising to think about, and will also help believers to ratify apparently conflicts between science and the Bible, thereby easing their minds.
The twists and turns of the novel, and how it affects the life of the protagonist, give the novel suspense and mystery. So far as the quest is concerned, what greater challenge could there be than trying to understand how God operates? And the clues are there... many of them already discovered by scientists!
My technical publications background, involving explaining complex technological topics in simple words, hopefully comes to the fore in this novel which I believe will provoke deep thought about your true nature, the difference between body and soul, brain and mind, how our world came about, creation vs evolution, and whether it is logical to believe in life-after-death. One other thing I can guarantee: this is fascinating stuff. It has kept me thinking for three decades, and now I want to get you thinking!
End Notes supporting the underlying facts used in this novel are an unusual bonus for those whose imaginations are stirred. They provide a unique bridge between the fictional story and evidence supporting propositions which bring together science and religion in a simple form. My website includes a copy of these End Notes so you can easily follow-up on any topic simply by clicking a link. But don't let these scare you off. You can read the entire novel ignoring them for an entertaining story of a man torn between opinions... and loves!
I like to use real settings in order to add greater presence to my novels. This novel is set in Bath, Rome, Lake Garda, Tenerife, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. If they are familiar, you should be able to imagine yourself there; if they are not, you may like to find more information on these settings here.
By the way, if you want to learn more about the concept of linking science and religion, you might like to also take a look at my non-fiction work called Reality Check: Science Meets Religion. This contains detail which refutes traditional arguments against there being a God and includes evidence the source of our real self—our mind—must lie beyond space and time, and that the brain is merely a poor reflection of mind.
P.S. It certainly kept me thinking!
If you enjoy reading Flying a Kite I would be most grateful for your reader review on Amazon.
Another simple way you could help to promote it is to go to its Amazon page and just click to confirm the tags in the section way down the page. That ensures searches using the tag phrases include this book; the more confirmations the higher it is on the list.
Various other methods of helping to promote the novel and its aims of bringing greater empathy between religion and science are suggested here. The Reality Check Project is my request to Christian followers to help with this. My aim is to bring God to people in a world where science wrongly seems to obviate the need.
Either way, very many thanks for buying the book and any time you can give in this way!
Review copies available for the media
FOR REVIEWS OF 'FLYING A KITE' IN LEFT-HAND CLICK HERE
PRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR'S
above is presently
"The most abstract of concepts are communicated in a clearly digestible form… There is a tremendous need for the genre represented here: arguments which transcend the physical world. For many, if not most, the task of adequately preparing oneself to respond to such questions is simply too daunting. I appreciate the scholarly professionalism and the extensive referencing… [The author] rises to the challenge of what most would consider an extremely difficult calling." (James Revoir - Authonomy)
"This is a very intriguing piece. I believe there is a significant demand for such discussions... I especially appreciate the inviting style, which will definitely be a plus for more skeptical readers." (Faith Rose - Authonomy)
"The survey of arguments both for and against the existence of God provides the reader with a way to better compare and contrast different viewpoints… Presenting the strengths and weaknesses of all of these different viewpoints was one of the things I liked most. I was really interested to read these chapters because, as a mathematician and a Christian, while there may be perceived conflicts between science and religion, I believe there are no conflicts between the structures and systems of the universe and God. This book also explains things very well… [and is] accessible without sacrificing scientific integrity… I think the book will be enjoyed by many and will encourage lively discussion." (David Bortress - Authonomy)
"Extremely well written, researched and set out. Every point is very clear. The analogies are extremely imaginative and very effective. The passion in this work is powerful and every paragraph is thought provoking. The arguments are well thought through and persuasive... I would suggest that everyone reads it and think very carefully about what you say." (Gareth Naylor - Authonomy)
'Jennifer Lloyd' is a feisty and funny leading character whose strong ambitions in television outweigh her weakness and fears... despite attempting to outmanoeuvre a murderer
"Jennifer Lloyd is not the superwoman lead of some mystery novels, yet neither is she a simpering fool. Ian Kingsley has created a charming and real young woman whose ambition and logic usually prevail, but who has genuinely believable faults which could also be her undoing. The narrative style allows Jennifer to speak directly to her audience, creating a sometimes cosy atmosphere which is engaging to read, but also allowing access straight into the character's mind at the most tense moments of the plot." (K. C. Finn, Readers' Favorite)
"A fine melding of mystery thriller and contemporary fiction. An inspired touch allows for a timely infusion of humour. Kingsley's first-person narrative paves the way for a cracking denouement." (Stephan J. Myers - Book Viral)
"From its first paragraph, The Grave Concerns draws readers in with a flash and a bang. Can a TV reporter who has invented her career solve murders that baffled the police? What happens when she truly has to face down a murderer? It's a powerful, compelling read that's hard to put down." (D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review)
'Sandman' is a novel highly praised for its rich characterisation...
'A gripping psychological read with characters that
reach out and grab you. A real
"You've got a page turner on this one and it will not disappoint. Will the family rise about it or will it take its toll and tear everyone apart? ... This is one to give out to your friends and to keep on the shelf for that late rainy night." (M. Stanhope - Amazon.com)
"Readers can't help turning the pages compulsively as we are seduced with small details and quick punchy dialogue... nothing is as it seems... it made me think I was watching a movie focusing on several characters that are all subtly interwoven into the threads of each other's lives... a novel you may want to re-read, once for the sheer thrill of the story, and again to fully absorb its implications." (Norm Goldman - Amazon.com Top 500 Reviewer)
"I found this a gripping book that was hard to put down. The characterisations and dialogue are very realistic and good. All in all a very enjoyable read. I'll be keeping an eye out for any future Ian Kingsley fiction." (C. Thwaite - Amazon.co.uk)
"You are able to relate to the Vincent family and are able to sympathize with them as well. Although you may think you have this book all figured out, trust me you don't, wait until the end." (Michele Tater - The Couch Tater Review)
"A must read book. I didn't know how this book would end until the last few pages. There were lots of twists. Just couldn't put the book down and read it in 24 hours." (JJ - Amazon.co.uk)
"A very exciting gripping read. I loved this book. Couldn't put it down, very engrossing and kept you thinking right to the end. Would definitely recommend this book." (Mel H - Amazon.co.uk)
"This book kept me enthralled right to the end. In fact I couldn't put it down. It had lots of twists and turns and kept me guessing right to the end. I hope the author writes more psychological thrillers." (emmie - Amazon.co.uk)
"A real page-turner. Ian Kingsley provides very believable, well-developed characters, but nothing is as it seems. Every character has motive and each motive can be traced back to the murder; it's a perfect crime novel. It keeps readers guessing." (Book-lover - Amazon.com)
"This was an excellent read and very hard to put down. The book is extremely thought provoking with lots of twists and turns. Local interest is a good addition aiding imagination with the main characters being very real, making this book a pleasure to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it, especially to locals and visitors, who are familiar to the area." (Ray - Amazon.co.uk)
"Sandman touches our primary emotions: jealousy, love, fear, hatred, and grief. As a father, I related to Paul's unwavering commitment to keep his family safe... an intriguing mystery/psychological thriller with interesting, believable and well-developed characters, twists, turns, red herrings and a healthy dose of hair-raising fear and suspense to keep even the most fickle reader captivated. The dialogue is authentic, and, along with the scene-painting narrative, you'll feel like you're on the beach witnessing the unfolding action... you won't stop reading until the last page is savoured. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy a great mystery!" (William Potter - Reader's Choice Book Reviews)