Kenneth Johnson is one of the unheralded architects of my childhood. He not only produced The Six Million Dollar Man, but also created such shows as The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk, Alien Nation and the television miniseries, V.
Now, Johnson brings his creative genius and storytelling gifts to an ambitious undertaking: an epic supernatural thriller rooted in one of the great untold legends in human history. Here is a unique blend of gripping action, intriguing characters, cinematic scenes, and a narrative interwoven throughout centuries of historical fact in The Man of Legends, which arrives on July 1st from publisher 47North.
Set in modern-day New York City, The Man of Legends presents a startling mystery: a cursed but heroic man who does not age and cannot die, and who has profoundly altered the course of human history for 2,000 years. It’s New Year’s weekend, year 2001, and Jillian Guthrie, a troubled young writer for the National Register, discovers an impossibility: the same man, un-aged, stands alongside Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Gandhi in three different photographs spanning eighty-five years of history.
Way uptown, Will—a charming thirty-three-year-old of immense kindness, wit, and intelligence—looks forward to 2002 in hopes of a new beginning. Haunted by secrets from his past and shadowed by an ominous and taunting stranger, he spends his hours offering help to people in need, making use of his inexplicable omniscient knowledge. At the same time, an ambitious and obsessed Vatican emissary leads a global manhunt in search of Will, and an elderly former UN envoy named Hanna is consumed by wistful memories of a long-ago romance with the enigmatic young man. The next forty-eight hours spin out of control to bring Will, Jillian, and Hanna together, as well as the many New Yorkers whom Will’s benevolent acts have touched—until they’re all in the crosshairs of a centuries-old international conspiracy. Together, they face the consequences of an ancient curse that stretches back two millennia and beyond and confront a primal evil that is determined to consume them.
Told from many characters’ perspectives—including that of an aging musician, a young waitress, a teenage tagger, and a Latina child—The Man of Legends is a complex and multilayered novel that is both a riveting and suspenseful thriller and a shrewd examination of the way our decisions and actions affect others.
Thanks to our friends at 47North, we’ve got two exclusive clips from the upcoming audio version of the book.
Authorities from the Vatican have been trying to capture and contain our hero, Will (Eric Pierpoint, who starred in Kenny’s Alien Nation series), for 1600 years. The latest is Frenchman Father Paul St. Jacques (Stephen Mendel) who has enlisted the New York Archdiocese and the NYPD, who’ve tracked Will’s cell phone and are closing in toward a tenement house that is in flames. Inside Will is trying to save a five-year-old Latina girl from the conflagration.
Will saved the girl, but was grievously injured and is comatose in ICU. Jillian Guthrie (Emily Adams), a tabloid journalist, has heard him speak deliriously of his astonishing 20-century history and calls 85-year-old Hanna Claire (Kerrie Keane, who also appeared on Alien Nation) who had become the love of Will’s life 60 years earlier.
For more details, visit KennethJohnson.us