The Born and the Made by Robert Spande: A Review

Original Cover Artwork from Goodreads

Art in Book Form

When I first received my copy of The Born and the Made, I was equal parts skeptical and intrigued. The skepticism came from previous negative experiences with self-published works. My cynical nature automatically (and incorrectly) assumed the worst.

However, this was quickly offset by the book’s presentation. As the age-old quip goes, you should never judge a book by its cover. Yet, in this case, you should go right ahead.

Original art, hand bound and hand sewn, this extraordinary novel was born in Robert Spande’s creative mind and made by his equally talented hands. Like a snowflake, no two copies of The Born and the Made are exactly alike.

Furthermore, it came with a vague yet menacing note from the author which paid homage to  the horror masterpiece House of Leaves (a book which uncoincidentally is listed as a source of inspiration.)

 The Story

The Born and the Made takes us to a time before the internet and cell phones to a quiet American mill town called Copeland. The story follows young siblings John and Cot Clearly, as they struggle to process their shock and grief following the heinous murder of a beloved school teacher. Fueled by confusion and anger, the children strive to find the mysterious killer and bring him to justice.

The story transcends time, effortlessly tying in events of the distant past with John and Cot’s present investigation. As the tale continues, it becomes apparent that Copeland is not as banal as it once appeared. Copeland is the source of ancient magic, and its power has attracted the attention of dark and potent forces.

The Talent

As an often deprived logophile, The Born and the Made was a breath of fresh air. The advanced verbiage and linguistic flow portray Spande’s deep appreciation for the English language. The use of alliteration made this particular word nerd put the book down for a moment in quiet contemplation. As such, it’s hardly any surprise that The Born and the Made was chosen as a finalist for the 2017 Minnesota Book Awards.

It bears noting that the focus on children protagonists added to the story at large rather than diminishing its effectiveness in adult audiences. The experience was reminiscent of Stephen King greats like The Body (or Stand by Me in its film adaptation) and IT.

In summation, I highly recommend purchasing your own copy of The Born and the Made. From a creative standpoint, the handcrafted book in itself is a piece of original art. The story inside is well-structured, beautifully crafted, and guaranteed to be a cult classic.

To purchase a copy of The Born and the Made visit