Author: Boston Teran
Publishers: High Hop Publications LLC
What would possess someone to search for the grave of Genghis Khan, the founder and the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, who was buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Mongolia at an unknown location?
Harlan Gamble, the protagonist in Boston Teran’s latest novel, By Your Deeds is obsessed with finding the grave although the end result may not be as important to him as the journey itself as he believes in the adage “it is better to have traveled well, than to arrive.”
Gamble is a survivor of World War l and after the war traveled from the USA to Italy, to Paris, to Berlin, to the steppes of Russia, to the far reaches of Mongolia in his quest to find Almsgivers Castle where supposedly Genghis Khan was buried.
He is a decorated officer who had been one of the first to have faced mustard gas which nearly cost him his eyesight. In 1923 he is discovered in New York supposedly drunk or on drugs after he had spent some time in Mongolia. It is here where a Missus Jackobee, whom he had previously met, makes arrangements for him to go to the Fitch Sanitarium in the Bronx.
Jackobee has no legal connection to him and through a referral from someone engages an attorney, Violette Sier to represent Gamble who is detained in the Men’s Asylum for the criminally insane. She is also to represent him in a publishing deal with a publisher, a Mister Picard, in Paris concerning his manuscript about his journey into Mongolia to find the grave of the Genghis Khan. Sier is one of those rare females practising law in 1923 and is subjected to all kinds of harassment. Her specialty is representing women, indigents and those unlawfully detained in asylums on Wards Island.
Jackobee entrusts the manuscript to Sier and tells her that it is the only complete copy and she must take extreme precautions. Sier has no idea what she is getting herself into and what will be her ultimate relationship with Gamble as well as her own self-discovery.
. She reminds herself of her father’s saying, who was a judge, “when it comes to a client, always anchor yourself somewhere between healthy skepticism and absolute gullibility.” When Sier opens the package containing the manuscript she notices that it was typed in some kind of a code.
The story skips back to the summer of 1922 in Mestre, Italy where we learn about Elias Gartner who had introduced Gamble to Jackobee, who at the time intimated that she might see to arranging the finances for Gamble’s journey to Mongolia.
In Mestre, Gamble and Gartner are hired to deliver a Cadillac to Munich and from there they would be traveling to Berlin to meet up with Jackobee. We learn Gartner’s connection to Gamble was that after the war Gamble was confined to a ward in a church to recuperate and being nearly blind Gartner was hired to read to him. During their readings, Gamble learned about the audacious, bold epic tale about Genghis Khan and “about a place he had never seen, whose language, clothes, food, rituals, homes, weapons was as alien to him as the lost content of Atlantis.” Unfortunately, Gamble did not know the real immoral Gartner and his ulterior motives nor did he realize at the time that his venture would attract the attention of the American Justice Department as well as the Soviets, who both had an interest in discovering the burial site of the Genghis Khan and also in finding out what was in Gamble’s manuscript. Along the journey, Gamble also meets a most unusual character who plays a very vital role in the novel, Gabriel the Dragon who serves as his guide and ambassador.
The narrative is a superior work of fiction and as mysterious as the authors. No author’s bio is provided and if you Goggle Boston Teran you will find all kinds of theories and speculations as to their true identity.
Within this powerful moving saga, the author holds and captures readers with an intellectually stimulating thriller while weaving a great deal of fascinating history recalling social unrest, the rise of the Nazi party, the trade movement in the USA, antisemitism, Soviet involvement in Mongolia and the hunt for communists in the USA in the early part of the twentieth century. Above all to be commended is the author’s numerous gifts particularly the economy of style and a unique sensibility with which he or she observes and records the political madness and human condition in a world in which cultural violence, mystery and danger lurks everywhere be it in the USA, Europe or Mongolia.