Fiction - Humor/Comedy
162 Pages
Reviewed on 03/13/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Marc Cavella has been a professional writer for nearly twenty years. Tabernacle is his first novel. He has plans for two additional sequels and a number of other books.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Tabernacle is a work of fiction in the dark comedy, surreal thriller, and cynical realism genres, and was penned by author Marc Cavella. The novel tells the tale of protagonist Edward Jones, who works for a unique company whose morals are less than outstanding. The plot centers on his epic journey to complete a ‘sales’ job for Dr. Jared Young, the company’s latest target. Edward will stop at nothing to close this deal and get his commission, including an impromptu adoption and a whole host of other extreme measures. What follows is a surreal and darkly comedic adventure that examines human nature, fatherhood, greed, and the price of success.

Author Marc Cavella does a wonderful job of creating a dark work of speculative fiction so closely rooted in reality that it’s kind of scary. Fans of the likes of Black Mirror will enjoy the conceptual basis of the tale as well as Edward’s cheerful presentation as a central anti-hero to the tale. The humor is totally appropriate and nail-biting to fit this juxtaposition of the surreal and the macabre, with plenty of witticisms in the dialogue and moments of narrative joy. I particularly enjoyed the story arc with the fatherhood theme, which was surprisingly poignant and serious amid the dark goings-on of the tale as a whole. Overall, Tabernacle is an accomplished work of fiction that will highly impress those with a dark sense of whimsy and a thirst for a truly unique tale.

Vincent Dublado

Marc Cavella’s Tabernacle has all the trappings of a future cult masterpiece; a thoughtful and entertaining mystery tale peppered with dark humor and Western undertones with a plot twist that will keep you engaged from start to finish. Welcome to the world of Edward Jones, a salesman whose southern accent makes for an indispensable tool in his winning personality. He works for a company that assigns him only the most important contracts to yield him big commissions. But Jones will find himself facing the biggest challenge in his sales career as he alters the life of a certain Dr. Jared Young and his beautiful family. Jones will go to new heights to earn the biggest commission in his career, including adopting a Mexican child and buying loads of John Cena t-shirts.

Marc Cavella’s ear for southern speech and laconic style, along with a sharp but dark sense of humor, combine to make this little mystery-suspense entertaining from start to finish. He makes everything look and read so easily that Tabernacle becomes impossible to put down. He works in clear shades of inclusivity with characters and discussion of popular culture. One can notice Cavella’s absorbing affection for his characters and the way his surprising twist unravels near the end. Jones is a thoroughly-engraved protagonist—so unique in being himself that he couldn’t be anyone else. Cavella’s narrative style, written in the first-person point of view, combines a balance between introspection and 'show don’t tell.' In this spirit, it would be better for you to experience reading it. Tabernacle is all good—a well-written, energetic story for the genre.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Tabernacle by Marc Cavella is about an insurance agent who is known for getting the job done. Edward Jones is given a difficult case when he comes across a sincerely loved Mormon educator, Jared Young, who has a beautiful wife and three handsome boys; his record is clean. Edward Jones isn’t above sneaky tactics like “adopting” a little boy from Mexico, Pablo, or spying on his work computer. He still can’t find anything he can use. Is Jared Young the only good man around, or just good at hiding his evil vices?
Marc Cavella writes an intriguing novel that may make you question your own insurance agent and his motives. Tabernacle is funny, cynical, and thought-provoking all in one book. I found the plot compelling when I thought about what this insurance company would do to cancel a policy. Edward Jones moves fast since he is just given weeks to complete this case. The time Jones spends with Pablo is sweet as he gives this boy living in poverty a taste of what we take for granted. Though I was not fond of Jones, and I didn’t trust Young, I found Pablo’s innocence and honesty refreshing. This novel will satisfy any reader looking for a unique read that isn’t covered in other books. The author brings his characters alive with different charms, and the ending is just priceless. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Rabia Tanveer

Tabernacle by Marc Cavella is a satirical dark comedy where you will experience human nature at its best and its worst. Edward Jones works for an insurance company that has some seriously unethical ways to save, but Edward makes good money so it’s okay. He is one of their top salesmen and he is damn good at his job. His new target is Dr. Jared Young and Edward is ready to earn the biggest commission of his life. But Jared is not an easy person to sway, he is a well-balanced man and Edward is getting a run for his money. Does that mean he will give up? Not a chance! He is ready to do whatever it takes to score this commission, even if it means he has to adopt some unconventional ways to get the job done.

I was hooked from the moment I read the blurb. Edward is an antihero and he is so good at that. I am amazed at the author’s writing style and how he builds the story up right from the beginning. The moment you start reading the novel, you will jump right into the action and live in the moment with Edward. The imagery is so crisp and vivid that you will have no issue with picturing everything that is going on. Edward is an exceptional character, his dry sense of humor is funny and the way he says things is cynical yet very thought-provoking. The twists and turns of the story were incredibly well-paced. Edward will surprise you every step of the way and you will enjoy it all. This is an entertaining and enjoyable story and you will be begging for more once you finish.

Romuald Dzemo

Tabernacle by Marc Cavella is a great achievement and what will immediately arrest the attention of the reader is the absorbing narrative voice. It is in the first person and reflects the accent and manner of the deep South. The story follows Edward Jones, a salesman who is out to grab his biggest commission yet. Although he follows the most sophisticated leads for the insurance company, his current lead is like no other and he will do everything to win Dr. Jared Young, and not in the conventional way of winning a client. He goes as far as adopting a Mexican child just to get his plan accomplished. But can he succeed and how?

This is a novel that got me enmeshed in the story from the very beginning and I loved the natural voice in which it told. Marc Cavella is a master storyteller who knows how to play with words and make readers fall in love with them. The protagonist is multidimensional. From the outside, he is an easy-going and friendly character, but the inside is filled with darkness. He doesn’t do anything for nothing and he preys on his clients in ways that will surprise readers. The pacing is fast, the story filled with beautiful descriptions, compelling social commentaries and numerous insights on life. Tabernacle is original; a unique novel with a powerful premise, featuring a protagonist dealing with a conflict that is more internal than physical. A page-turner that stands alone!

Hannah R.

First of all, any book that mentions Mitch Hedberg is already going to get a minimum of three stars from me.

I heard about this book on a podcast I listen to (cheap plug for The Bookshop at the End of the Internet!) a podcast that focuses on newer authors. I thought this sounded really good even if it didn't fit neatly into any one category. It has elements of Western genres, suspense and thriller genres, and dark comedy genres. You wouldn't necessarily think all of those things would work together but the author somehow not only makes it work, but he makes something really lovely out of all those ingredients.

Like the other people here, I'll say that the star of the show is Edward Jones. I don't want to give away too much but he has a really unusual job and he goes to great lengths--some funny, some horrifying, and some poignant--in his attempt to get the job done. I've been trying to think of something to compare it to, but I can't think of anything too similar . . . maybe like Cormac McCarthy wrote an episode of Frasier. Something like that!

Jim Celini

Great stuff! Will really appeal to fans of noir, Western/Southern lit, and suspense categories, along with anyone who likes sharp humor (the humor is very dry/witty, and there are some good witticisms that become even funnier the second time around.) Edward Jones is a VERY memorable character, and the supporting characters (especially the little boy, Pablo) are drawn well and treated with respect. Glad I found this one!

Will Moynihan

Loved this one. I grew up in the area where the story takes place (Texas) and the author nails the way people talk down there. The plot is very timely as well, touching on a lot of issues that we're currently facing as a society (fatherhood etc). It usually takes me a few weeks to finish a novel but this one is fast paced so I finished it pretty quickly. I could see them making a movie out of this, maybe with like Sam Rockwell as Edward Jones.

Mark W.

Loved it! The ending was particularly clever.

Laurel D.

I'm a big fan of mystery and crime novels. And while this one definitely falls into that category, it approaches it in a really unique way.

So this book has two really memorable characters in Edward Jones and his "buddy"--I guess?--Pablo. The pairing really drives the book's narrative, which is complex yet fast-paced. (I was surprised at how quickly I got through it.) It's hard to go into too much detail because I don't want to give away any of the novel's surprises, but suffice it to say that you won't see the ending coming . I also found myself laughing at the book's dry, sandpaper-like sense of humor.

Overall I'm glad I gave this one a chance. You will be too if you're a fan of mysteries and crime books, along with caustic humor. This one turns those categories on their heads.