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Slow Boat to Purgatory (Slow Boat to Purgatory #1)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  364 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Gaspar De Rouse, an immortal Knight Templar, a man murdered by his brothers for the secret he possessed, resurrected and given a second chance at redemption. Dominicus Bureau, a renegade priest, torn between his vows and the secret he pursues, a secret protected by an immortal. Alex Donovan, a modern day warrior thrust into an ages old war, a war between good and evil, hea ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published July 30th 2011 by Createspace (first published July 15th 2011)
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Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 4.5 stars. Any spoilers will be clearly marked.

I've waited quite some time since finishing reading this one to write this review, and yet…my words are still failing me. I hate how this happens to me when I really enjoy a book!! My worst reviews are of books I loved…

Quick recap: This story focuses on a few main characters. We have the mysterious and immortal Gaspar de Rouse. Randolph Donovan, who we meet in France in 1944, when he is a Lieutenant fighting in the war. His grandson A
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
At the reading of his grandfather's will, Alex Donovan learns that he has not only inherited his home and fortune, but also an ages old book hidden deep in the wine cellar that holds the extraordinary tale of Gaspar De Rouse, an immortal Templar with a great secret. Armed with a unique key and a bank account number, Alex sets off across the world to find out more about the enchanting story that his grandfather passed on to him. He soon finds that there is so much more to the tale, including a gr ...more
Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
Angels and demons! Run-amuck Catholic priests! Navy SEALs! Inheriting secret billions. Immortals and Templars! Immortal Templars? He only forgot the lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

The premise couldn’t get much sillier—not to mention having been done several times. But the storytelling is good. Considering this is Baker’s first novel, he shows real talent.

Parallel story lines helps keeps the reader from giving up too early. You keep hoping for better.
Now he needs to find a story worthy of it.

David Beem
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vernon Baker lands a K.O. on his first try. Slow Boat will answer questions you didn't know you had about Angels and Demons, Heaven and Hell and the realm of the Boatman in between.
Slow Boat to Purgatory by Vernon Baker


Gaspar De Rouse, an immortal Knight Templar, a man murdered by his brothers for the secret he possessed, resurrected and given a second chance at redemption.

Dominicus Bureau, a renegade priest, torn between his vows and the secret he pursues, a secret protected by an immortal.

Alex Donovan, a modern day warrior thrust into an ages old war, a war between good and evil, heaven and hell.

All three, passengers on a Slow Boat To Purgatory.

"Alex Donovan
Jonathan Brazee
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am giving this five stars, although if it was a stand alone book, not the first part of a larger literary effort, I would give it four. My hesitancy for an unreserved five stars has to do with the amount of epistolary voice that, while interesting, tends to bog the book down a bit, and the fact that the volume in and of itself doesn't have a clear ending. However, as volume one, the background information given works to build a good foundation for further volumes.

What i like most about the boo
Stanley McShane
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A major first, both for the author and the series as well. Ever wondered about angels and demons? Not after you read this book, written by such authority you can take it as gospel. Mr. Baker describes heaven, hell, and purgatory in such intricate detail you'd swear he visited and took pictures. Alex Donovan inherits more from his recently departed grandfather, Randolph, than what he perceived from the reading of the will. Millions yes, but not all inherited was dollars. We are soon introduced to ...more
Ok ... so I am a sucker for the highlander trope in my fiction (sue me). I really enjoyed this book. It had enough historical minutiae to appease my fascination for obscure facts and progressive revelations that had me diving ever deeper into the mysteries that surround the protagonist ... an immortal Templar protecting a secret from a hidden cabal of Vatican infiltrators while hunting souls who refuse to move on. It probably would have gone much better if the author focused more on actually com ...more
Pete Morin
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
It takes a very brave - some might say reckless - novelist to attempt a story of such magnitude as this - giving life to Good and Evil in an eternal battle for our souls. Vernon Baker has done quite an impressive job at it in this riveting epic tale spanning almost a thousand years.

Imagine the task of describing a scene at the gates of Hell, where a soul lost is delivered. Or of purgatory. Or the gates of Heaven. And doing it in the voice of a man from the 13th century, or the 16th century. Bake
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I can't decide whose truth is correct here, and I don't care. Gaspar de Rouse is an immortal Templar knight who has found friendship with various people during his 700 years on earth. Dominick's Bureau is a priest, but he's kind of obsessed with finding The Arimethean as Gaspar is called. Alex Donovan is simply trying to find his way in the civilian world after his beloved grandfather's death.
The way these three men interact is incredible, the story is told in the modern world with frequent "fla
Lorraine Versini
Just finished the book about 10 minutes ago. Wow. For a first novel, this is an absolutely fantastic read !

Vernon obviously has a way with words, from the beautiful prologue to the amazing storytelling, words which do not fail to completely and easily immerse you into the mesmerising world of Gaspar de Rouse.

The whole book is cleverly written, moving between the contemporary plot and the story of the diary without ever confusing the reader, and moving the spotlight from one character to another
R.J. Murphy
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Thank you for the autographed book I won through the Goodreads giveaways. This book is about an immortal. It is also about a guy who gets rich when his grandfather dies. It is an interesting imagining of what heaven, hell and purgatory are like. Unfortunately, it takes the author 182 pages to get to the point - in the mean time we bounce around from time period to time period. We start in 1944, then go to 2010 then three weeks earlier in 2010, then 1954, 1575, 1565, 2010, and 1292. This book see ...more
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a story! I loved it. I am looking for book 2 immediately because I must see what happens next. Alex Donovan inherits a great deal from his grandfather and it turns out to be much more than simple riches. He gets a couple of books and a charm. The books tell a fantastic story and send Alex off to Switzerland in search of more clues. Angels, demons, Heaven & Hell, hitmen - you name it, it's all here.
Jessica Dean
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was captured into this world completely

This book has me wondering,how much do we really know about things? Who is really in charge of our society? How deep does this go? Now me being a Christian, I don't personally believe in purgatory. I was intrigued and entertained by the story though.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book!!!

Great Book!!!

Loved the way the author described everything especially what Heaven would look like, if that is what it looks like---we will have a glorious life with our Lord & savior!!!!
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
very good
Deidra Hogan
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Completely unexpected good read! I honestly didn't think I would like this book because it is a bit far fetched but it takes you into a world of imagination and doesn't let go. Amazing.
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Angels, demons, all the things I love. Well worth the read.
Karunakaran N.
Slow Boat to Purgatory by Vernon Baker... A walk through hell and heaven, the good and the evil... Three men of them one immortal tries to save the secret (the templar) one of the present era trying to take forward the secrets... A ride through the fantasy...
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good vs Evil?

An intriguing tale of the battle between good and evil. Well written with descriptions you can almost see in your minds eye. And characters you won't soon forget.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wildly Inventive Story Telling

Like no other book I have read, the intrique and characters' stories drew me in. Looking forward to seeing where they will lead.
John Cionfolo
Interesting premise

A little slow moving with a number of in answered questions. Would have liked to have had some of those answers before the end of book one
Glenda Carter
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved It

Very suspenseful and entertaining. Will continue series, as I need to see where Alex ends up and what happens to Gaspar.
Daniel J. Weber
Originally posted at Daniel J. Weber Creates

Purgatory: it's only one slow boat away.

Mature-content Rating: PG (Coarse language and mature themes)

Purgatory: that mythical place between Heaven and Hell, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place where people pay for their sins in hopes of gaining entry to Heaven. At least, that's how most people think of it. To Vernon Baker is is a great place to tell a story.

The Good:

Slow Boat to Purgatory is the story of a man reading a story. Doesn't tha
Susan Ashcraft
Slow Boat to Purgatory Review

Alexander Donovan graduated Annapolis at 22 years of age. Boredom set in fairly quickly so he applied to and became a Navy Seal. It was as if he had come home! After 8 years as a seal, this fearless, methodical man had his career ended by bullet which shattered his knee. For many years now he has just drifted through life with no direction or aim.

In WWII, Alex's grandfather Randolph was a soldier in the American army. Randolph is the only one left alive, scattered a
Dale Ibitz
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jan-yc-blue
Wow, this is an incredibly well-written fantasy. There is a story within a story within a story, which was quite well crafted. I read the back page, about the author, and it's his first book. The fact that this is his first book is just plain wow-some.

The characters are so real, and well-developed, you spend every moment along for the ride, feeling what they feel, experiencing what they experience, total immersion into the 3 or 4 separate worlds (lives) of the characters that we follow. I have t
Jessica Bronder
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alex has learned that his grandfather has died and left almost everything to him. After reading a letter that his grandfather left for him, Alex finds an unusual book in a strange language that has beautiful pictures illustrating each section. There is also an older journal, which seems to be a translation. The letter explains that Alex’s grandfather was drawn to different places at different times relating to the books and the story of a Templar knight Gaspar. Alex starts to read the journal ab ...more
Kath Middleton
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished this Slow Boat to Purgatory (Book 1) and rushed to check that Book 2 is available. I will certainly be reading this before too long. The story, telling as it does of an immortal Knight Templar, a secret Order of the Broken Cross who search for him and Alex, the ex-serviceman who has been left details of a 'secret' by his grandfather, invites comparison with Dan Brown's books. I think it's a pity to try to classify Slow Boat in that manner as it's complex and has its own stru ...more
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, you must RUN to the bookstore to get this book! I read it in just a couple of days; I could hardly put it down. This novel almost defies description and's about angels and demons, it's about family and friends, it's about destiny and endings...To give any information about this book is to give something away. It's so well written, there is not an unnecessary word. The descriptions are vivid without being wordy. It ended with the definite possibility of more books, I su ...more
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is the fighting really about

My initial thoughts were wrong. This was actually a good read. However, it took me a long time to get to the end. I really thought that this was just a boring story. I stopped and started this repeatedly. This is not for everyone that is for sure. The story of Gaspar definitely is not a quick weekend light read. Think of it as more along the lines of a hearty red wine. Initially you don't really like it, but the more you savor it the better it gets.
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Husband and father, voracious reader, and entrepreneur, Vernon finally found the courage to put soul to paper. Slow Boat to Purgatory is his first novel.

He lives with his wife and children on the coast of Maine and in the panhandle of Florida. Occasionally, when the need arises, he travels to Venice to visit an old friend...a very old friend.
More about Vernon Baker

Other books in the series

Slow Boat to Purgatory (2 books)
  • The Arimathean (Book two in the Slow Boat to Purgatory Series)

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“Greed and avarice have clouded their judgment,” 0 likes
“He hated Paris. He hated all of France if truth be known. The fact he was French did not temper the intensity of his hate.” 0 likes
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