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Rapture: What If You Woke Up One Day with Wings? A Novel by David Sosnowski

Rapture by David Sosnowski: A Novel Review

If you are looking for a novel that combines humor, romance, fantasy, and social commentary, you might want to check out Rapture by David Sosnowski. This novel tells the story of a world where ordinary people start growing wings due to a mysterious virus called Angelism. The novel explores how this phenomenon affects society, politics, religion, and culture, as well as how it changes the lives of two unlikely protagonists: Zander Wiles, a small-time drug dealer from Detroit, and Cassie O'Connor, a therapist for troubled angels. In this review, we will summarize the plot, analyze the characters, examine the style and tone, and evaluate the novel.




Rapture is a debut novel by David Sosnowski, an award-winning short-story writer. It was published in 1996 by Villard Books. The novel belongs to the genre of magical realism, which blends realistic elements with fantastical ones. The novel also has elements of satire, romance, and dystopia. The novel tackles various themes and messages, such as identity, prejudice, freedom, love, faith, and redemption.

Summary of the plot

The novel begins with Zander Wiles feeling an itch on his back. He soon discovers that he is growing wings as a result of Angelism. He decides to go public with his condition and becomes a celebrity on talk shows. However, he also faces discrimination and hostility from many people who see him as a freak or a threat. He becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol and attempts suicide.

Meanwhile, Cassie O'Connor is a therapist who specializes in helping angels cope with their new situation. She is also an angel herself but hides her wings under her clothes. She tries to understand why some people become angels and others don't. She also tries to find a cure for Angelism.

Zander and Cassie meet at a support group for angels. They are attracted to each other but have different views on Angelism. Zander sees it as a curse while Cassie sees it as a gift. They also have different backgrounds and personalities. Zander is cynical, rebellious, and impulsive while Cassie is optimistic, compassionate, and rational.

The novel follows their relationship as they face various challenges and dangers. They encounter anti-angel groups who want to exterminate them. They also encounter pro-angel groups who want to create a separate nation for them. They also have to deal with their own personal issues and conflicts.

The novel ends with a climactic scene where Zander and Cassie are trapped in a burning building by a mob of angry humans. They have to decide whether to fly away and escape or stay and die. They choose to fly away together and embrace their angelic nature. They also realize that they love each other and that Angelism is not a disease but a transformation.

Analysis of the characters

Zander Wiles is the main character and narrator of the novel. He is a young man who lives in a rundown apartment in Detroit. He makes a living by selling drugs and stealing cars. He has no family or friends and suffers from low self-esteem and depression. He is the first victim of Angelism to go public and becomes a media sensation. However, he also becomes a target of hatred and violence. He tries to cope with his condition by using drugs and alcohol. He also tries to kill himself several times. He is cynical, sarcastic, and rebellious. He does not believe in God or anything else. He hates his wings and wants to get rid of them.

Cassie O'Connor is the other main character and love interest of Zander. She is a woman who works as a therapist for angels. She is also an angel herself but hides her wings under her clothes. She has a degree in psychology and a passion for helping others. She is curious about the cause and meaning of Angelism. She believes that angels are special and have a purpose in life. She is optimistic, kind, and patient. She believes in God and has a strong faith. She loves her wings and wants to share them with others.

Zander and Cassie have a complex and dynamic relationship. They are opposites in many ways but also have some things in common. They are both lonely and misunderstood. They both have secrets and fears. They both have dreams and hopes. They are attracted to each other but also clash with each other. They challenge each other but also support each other. They change each other but also accept each other.

Analysis of the style and tone

The author uses humor, satire, and irony to create a witty and engaging style of writing. He makes fun of various aspects of modern culture, such as media, politics, religion, consumerism, and celebrity worship. He also uses humor to lighten the mood and contrast the dark themes of the novel.

The author also uses imagery, symbolism, and metaphors to create a vivid and meaningful tone of writing. He uses imagery to describe the appearance and actions of the angels, such as their wings, feathers, flight, and halo. He uses symbolism to represent the ideas and emotions of the characters, such as freedom, oppression, love, hate, faith, doubt, etc. He uses metaphors to compare the angels to different things, such as birds, insects, planes, etc.

The author also uses language, dialogue, and narration to create a realistic and authentic tone of writing. He uses language that reflects the characters' backgrounds, personalities, and moods. He uses dialogue that reveals the characters' thoughts, feelings, and motivations. He uses narration that shows the perspective, voice, and attitude of Zander.

Evaluation of the novel

The novel has many strengths and weaknesses that can be appreciated or criticized by different readers.

Some of the strengths are:

  • The novel is original and creative in its premise and plot.

  • The novel is humorous and entertaining in its style and tone.

  • The novel is insightful and thought-provoking in its themes and messages.

  • The novel is relatable and compelling in its characters and relationships.

Some of the weaknesses are:

  • The novel is unrealistic and implausible in some of its details and events.

  • The novel is offensive and controversial in some of its opinions and implications.

  • The novel is repetitive and predictable in some of its scenes and outcomes.

  • The novel is rushed and abrupt in its ending and resolution.

The novel can be compared to other works by the same author or genre.

Some of the works by the same author are:

  • Vamped, a sequel to Rapture that follows Zander's adventures as a vampire.

  • Buzz Kill, a novel that explores the consequences of a world where everyone can read minds.

  • Happy Doomsday, a novel that depicts the aftermath of an apocalyptic event that wipes out most of humanity.

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, which is considered the masterpiece of magical realism and tells the saga of the Buendía family in the mythical town of Macondo.

  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, which follows the lives and loves of three generations of women in a Chilean family marked by political turmoil and supernatural powers.

  • Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, which narrates the stories of a group of children born at the exact moment of India's independence and endowed with extraordinary abilities.


Rapture by David Sosnowski is a novel that offers a unique and imaginative perspective on the modern world. It blends humor, romance, fantasy, and social commentary to create a story that is both entertaining and meaningful. It explores the questions of identity, prejudice, freedom, love, faith, and redemption through the experiences of two unlikely angels. It challenges the readers to think about their own views and values and to appreciate the diversity and beauty of life. It is a novel that can appeal to a wide range of readers who enjoy magical realism, satire, or romance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers about the novel:

  • What is Angelism and what causes it?

Angelism is a condition that makes people grow wings due to a virus that alters their DNA. The virus is transmitted through blood contact or sexual intercourse. The virus is not fatal but it has no cure. The virus affects people randomly regardless of their age, gender, race, or religion.

  • What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being an angel?

Some of the advantages are: being able to fly, having enhanced senses and reflexes, having a halo that glows in the dark, and being part of a special community. Some of the disadvantages are: being discriminated and persecuted by humans, having to hide or cut off their wings, having to deal with physical and psychological changes, and being unable to have children with non-angels.

  • What are some of the symbols and metaphors used in the novel?

Some of the symbols are: wings as a symbol of freedom and identity, feathers as a symbol of beauty and fragility, flight as a symbol of escape and transcendence, halo as a symbol of light and hope, fire as a symbol of destruction and purification. Some of the metaphors are: angels as a metaphor for minorities and oppressed groups, humans as a metaphor for majority and dominant groups, Detroit as a metaphor for decay and despair, heaven as a metaphor for utopia and illusion.

  • What are some of the influences and references in the novel?

The novel is influenced by various literary works, such as The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, The Bible, etc. The novel also references various historical events, such as World War II, the Holocaust, the Civil Rights Movement, etc.

  • How can I get a copy of the novel or learn more about the author?

You can get a copy of the novel from various online or offline sources. You can also download an ebook or an audiobook version. You can learn more about the author from his website or his social media accounts. You can also read his other novels or his short stories.


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