… wise and astonishingly beautiful … Despite its unflinching look at humanity’s greatest horrors, this masterful novel eventually passes beyond terror, and the reader is left contemplating the healing powers of kind daughters, ministering angels and the sad beauty of Danish summer.
—Kansas City Star
Book III of The Copenhagen Quartet
Micro Press Winner:
Eric Hoffer Book Awards 2007
Greene’s Summer: Critical Acclaim
… Why this was not one of the most widely read novels of 2004 is a mystery. Regardless it should be picked up immediately.
—Eric Hoffer Book Awards 2007
… powerful sprinkles of flashback and review which evoke the unreal nightmare of torture … A Consummate exploration of the themes of violence, religion in modern Europe, the rise of antisocial tendencies in the great social democracies, and love… (Greene’s Summer) lacks nothing … Kennedy is a master craftsman …
… an elegy to the human heart … a glorious novel by a modern master.
It has been said that no language exists to describe the experience of that greatest of all traumas — torture — the attempt to erase a human being’s personality by the willful infliction of intense physical and psychological pain. But Thomas E. Kennedy, in his novel, Greene’s Summer, with the great talent of an artist, has created a language which brilliantly describes not only the intense loneliness and distress of those who have survived torture, but also the struggle, hope, and possibility of their healing. This novel is highly recommended for anyone seeking insight into this horror and this hope.
—Dr. Inge Genefke, Ambassador and Founder, International Research Council for Torture Victims
Tragic, wise, comic, profound, Greene’s Summer is an epic of the human heart struggling for meaning and redemption.
—The Literary Review
(Kennedy) has populated his fictional Copenhagen with American daydreamers, Russian prostitutes, and Arabian Muslims … Greene’s Summer unfolds as a love triangle between Bernardo Greene, a Chilean torture victim being treated in Copenhagen, Michela Ibsen who has come out of a violent marriage, and her new lover Voss Andersen who is caught in his own sexual obsession. On Copenhagen’s streets … Bernardo and Michela bump into one another and attempt to find out if they dare fall in love.
An exiled Chilean saved by angels is the main character of successful bestseller … a chain of dramatic incidents through the course of one summer …
—Las Ultimas Noticias (Santiago, Chile)
A terrible, wonderful, horrible, truthful, heartbreaking, and heartmending book. The word masterpiece should never be used lightly, but Greene’s Summer is exactly that, a masterpiece written by a master. How can anyone know so much about the human heart?
—Duff Brenna, author of The Book of Mamie, The Willow Man, Too Cool, The Altar of the Body, and The Holy Book of the Beard
In a masterfully constructed narrative, Kennedy leads the reader through the lives of (the characters) and intertwines them into an utterly compelling tale … he reveals the unspoken words and desires, the fierce determination of the human heart, and the possibility of healing.
Destinies meet at one another’s crossroads in the third part of this American, Danish-resident author’s moody noir quartet about Copenhagen … Kennedy is well on his way to placing the Danish capital city on the international literary map …
—Five star review in Euroman
What a gorgeous novel this is! With generous and elegant prose, Kennedy takes us from the darkest, most violent regions of our collective behavior to our most exalted: our enduring hope for something higher, our need to forgive and be forgiven, our human hunger to love and be loved. Greene’s Summer is a deeply stirring novel suffused with intelligence, grace, and that rarest of qualities — written or otherwise — wisdom.
—Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog
Greene’s Summer: Excerpts
Chapter 1: A car door slams
The first time Nardo saw the woman with eyes of blue light he woke from a dream in which the angels had forsaken him. He bolted from beneath the covers and huddled in the corner of his bedroom. It was dark. He did not know he was in a new land.
Through the window he could see stars trembling in the clear black night. It might have been the sky over Valparaiso. He listened for the sound of a car door slamming shut, footsteps on the wooden staircase... But there was nothing. Just tires sizzling past on the roadway and two or three young men talking loudly on the lake bank, staggering home from a Saturday night serving house. No angels. No woman with eyes of light. But he had seen her. Her gaze was cut into his mind.
Slowly he became aware of the sweat that soaked into the underwear he’d slept in, that wet his scalp, his temples. And the pain, of course. In all the usual places. Teeth, joints, head. Within.
But no one was coming up the stair. For here he was now. Far away. Delivered. And that, anyhow, was something. The angels had kept their word.
He remained crouching there for a long while.
Even if you live to go out and tell this, Nardo, no one will believe you. Do you think they will? No one will. No one outside of this room will ever believe the things that happen here, and the more you try to tell of what happened, the less they will believe. To make them believe, you will have to edit, to distill, to tell only the tiniest little portion of it, and when you tell only the tiniest little portion, why then they will be inclined to think, after all, perhaps there was a reason for this, perhaps the police sometimes need to employ certain means and measures.
This was the frog-eyed one speaking, the worst of them perhaps, one of the worst. He spoke quietly, meditatively, pausing to puff on a cigar while Nardo hung by one foot and one hand, and Frog-eyes pushed him, like a swing, holding an imaginary conversation in which he pretended first to be Nardo — “Let me tell you,” he said to the imaginary person Nardo was supposed to be informing about this, “Let me tell you what these animales did to me, listen!” — and then he would reply, playing the role of the person Nardo was to have been telling, “Oh come now, you can’t mean this, surely you exaggerate. What do you take me for? This is too bizarre really … ”
Then he interrupted himself. No, my swinging friend, he said and gave another push. Nardo could hear the cartilage that held arm to shoulder creak and pop. No, it will be worse than that. They will not even say nothing. They will seem to listen to you with the face of great sympathy and say nothing, but in their little heads … He circled his forefinger at the side of his own skull. In their little heads they will be thinking, This man is full of the shit. He is nuts. That is what they will think of your tales, my swinging friend. No one likes the little boy who tells tales out of class. And he removed the cigar from his lips and smiled, and Nardo began to scream even before the glowing tip pressed against his nipple.