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In any event, this father and son agree, with their secret followers around the world, that the only way to save humanity is to kill off all but a tiny fraction of the human species in a magnificent World War III—in which even England and Canada see fit to drop bombs on America—and to begin civilization anew with the survivors in an area of Los Angeles north of Sunset Boulevard purposefully protected from the ravages of the war.
Charles, though, wishes to go beyond his publicly taking on the role of the Anti-Christ to herald the Second Coming of Christ and start the war. Charles, defying his father, imagines the roles of the Anti-Christ and the returning Messiah as one.
How else can he justify giving the horrific orders to wipe out billions of human beings? What I especially enjoyed about Baum's novel was the question raised throughout I would've said "on every page" if I hadn't read the digital version as to the reliability of the narrator.
He tells us he's a hopelessly unsuccessful novelist who is writing a novel in that turns out to be the one we're reading, The American Book of the Dead.
The story becomes true as he writes it, almost as if he's a god. And yet, since the past, present, and future are all the same, when the action he's writing about takes place in , he has already finished writing the novel.
Some of the characters read it and therefore know how it ends and what happens to themselves even as they play their parts in it like actors in a drama.
They wisely, though, don't give away the ending to readers such as myself. Baum is delightfully playing with the very idea of telling a story.
Nobody ever told one without pretending to be a god. That's what a god does. Jul 29, Pam rated it it was ok.
I really did have to push myself to finish this book, and when I finally, at long last, got through it, I felt cheated. The ending, in my opinion, jumps the shark.
Basically, this guy, Eugene Myers, writes a book that is somehow published before he finishes it. I didn't like the narrator at all.
He came across as self-serving and egotistical. Oh, and the author needs to go look up the word "evolve" in a dictionary.
Any old dictionary will do. Cause he misused that word pretty much throughout the I really did have to push myself to finish this book, and when I finally, at long last, got through it, I felt cheated.
Cause he misused that word pretty much throughout the book, which I found really irritating. The author has a bad habit of repeating the same ideas ad nauseum using different wording.
Such needless repetition is typical of an author who lacks confidence in their own writing to get the point across the first time or of an author who doesn't believe his audience will understand it the first time around.
Either way, I found it both irritating and frustrating. I'm hard pressed to come up with a single thing I really enjoyed about the book.
Honestly, the only reason I even finished it was because I hate to leave books unfinished you never know -- the ending could be amazing!
But I definitely wish I hadn't read this one to start with, as it was a trite story that didn't offer much in the way of either entertainment or education.
One could argue that there are layers to the book, that it's a look at the impact of religion and politics on the modern world while simultaneously offering a glimpse into the mind of a writer.
I would, however, argue that both of those concepts have been handled much better by other authors many, many times already, and this book brings nothing new to either discussion except maybe, MAYBE, a clearer sense of the megalomania some authors find in their control over the material.
Overall, I really wouldn't recommend this book. It didn't offer me anything entertaining or thought-provoking, and it was more of a slog than anything.
Nov 26, David Major rated it liked it. This book developed and changed as it went on, in ways that kept me thoroughly engaged.
Intelligent and thoughtful, while at the same becoming increasingly surreal and worthy of a Dali painting. SF meets some very strange headspaces here.
I like that kind of thing. We start with a father discovering his daughter starring on a porn site, then take off into a political and psychological voyage through a World War started by a fundamentalist president whose father is the archetype of all elitist new This book developed and changed as it went on, in ways that kept me thoroughly engaged.
We start with a father discovering his daughter starring on a porn site, then take off into a political and psychological voyage through a World War started by a fundamentalist president whose father is the archetype of all elitist new-world-order patriachs.
We see the world depopulated by a planned war so it can be saved, and the central character, who is in a very real sense the author of the novel, becomes a central player in the increasingly surreal drama that unfolds.
To help matters along, the novel itself becomes a central part of the plot. I understand that the author has a sequel in the works.
Definitely recommended if you like your SF with a healthy dose of the unusual and bizarre, and frequent allusion to contemporary conspiracy theories.
Read on an iPod Touch, in epub format, in Stanza, which worked just fine. Oct 11, Rachel rated it liked it Shelves: I initially thought I was going to be confused by this book as it was about an author who writes a book about the future and the it turns out the future is how he has written it.
He also starts to dream about people and decides that the messages he receives in the dreams are real and heads off to meet and save these people.
Once I had my head around this the book was good. The book is about a dystopian future with a religiously fanatical President whose aim is to kill off the masses and rise as I initially thought I was going to be confused by this book as it was about an author who writes a book about the future and the it turns out the future is how he has written it.
The book is about a dystopian future with a religiously fanatical President whose aim is to kill off the masses and rise as the new Jesus.
However, things do not turn out as he hopes. There is still the bombing and the killing of the masses but human nature prevailed and people saved themselves.
The writing was simple in places and I often thought it was aimed more towards a young adult market except for some of the more adult references , but it was and enjoyable piece of Sci-fi and would definitely read more by the author.
Aug 08, Todd rated it it was amazing. The beauty of it is, by the time I got to the end, I wanted it to fall. I wanted the apocalypse to happen.
That humanity, when facing the abyss, will awaken to a greater consciousness and progress, rather than destroy itself. The book gets a little weird toward the end, but given the context, it sort of makes sense in its own strange way.
If I had to sum up the book, and the experience of reading it, I would say Henry Baum made me want the apocalypse to happen, and quickly.
However, I did not want the book to end. May 01, Sift Book Reviews rated it really liked it Shelves: While I appreciated the quality of the writing and the originality of the story, I couldn't really get in to this book.
Don't get me wrong, I can tell that many many others will enjoy The American Book of the Dead immensely, but it's one of those books that just isn't for me.
Henry Baum has excellent company where this is concerned; many bestsellers fall in to this category. I think this book would be perfect for those who enjoy heavily philosophical sci-fi and for those who don't necessarily n While I appreciated the quality of the writing and the originality of the story, I couldn't really get in to this book.
I think this book would be perfect for those who enjoy heavily philosophical sci-fi and for those who don't necessarily need to love the hero of the story Right or wrong, I do.
See the entire review at Sift: This has, in no way, affected the reviewer's opinion. What an odd book to review! This is actually a completely insane story.
I don't really know how to define it. It skips from subject to subject until we get a feeling we know what the main plot is.
Then it just starts all over again. Some parts were nice and you have this urge to know more about all the nonsense that is going on.
But there are parts that are a bit boring and just "more of the same". Anyway, I What an odd book to review! Anyway, I'm glad I read it cause I do like to read a completely different story once in a while.
But I probably wouldn't be much interested in reading a sequel and I know the author is writing a second book. May 18, Alex rated it liked it. Henry Baum, who nests more than a few matryoshka dolls inside the concept, pulls it off mostly, in this cleverly plotted, and at times demanding, book.
Aug 17, John Plunkett rated it did not like it. Book started off very promising with interesting premise - a writer writing about the apocalypse as if it has already happened although he is actually writing it in advance.
About a third of the way through it degenerates badly as the author seems to be in an incredible rush to get things done.
The author also gets away from scenes and starts explaining everything instead. Sep 28, Paul rated it liked it. It's an interesting idea - a guy in writing a book about his future self who is writing the same book.
There are a few twists and turns along the way like this which are pretty original and surprising.
However, the rest of the book is just OK - the plot is a bit predictable in parts and the ending was quite weak. It was pleasant enough to read if you're happy to suspend disbelief and put up with some weak narrative, just not as well executed as I think the central premise deserved to be.
Aug 08, Joel Tumes rated it liked it. The next American president is the anti-christ and will destroy the world but you already knew that right?
An eschatalogical tale of the apocalypse, drawing on the fringe beliefs of end-of-days cults and conspiracy theorists and presented as prophetic metafiction.
If that piques your interest at all, as a bonus it's distributed for free on the internet legally I mean. Es un libro raro, muy raro.
Jan 27, Jessie Verino rated it it was ok. I received this free from a Kindle promotion. The concept is intriguing.
Even with all the "action" in this story, it all felt bland. Like I was an observer, being prevented from immersing myself in the story, just like the narrator.
The ending only accentuates this. I didn't dislike the story, but I can't say that I liked it, either. Dec 01, Pangs rated it liked it.
An interesting take on the end of world scenario. It started slow for me, but I found myself enjoying it more than I thought I would.
I would rate the book better were it not for the ending. I didn't appreciate the conclusion at all. It lacked substance and I felt like the story fizzled to a conclusion.
I could not force myself through this unappealing and boring book. Sometimes if I stick with a book it gets better as it goes on, but in this case I gradually came to dislike the narrator so much that it was impossible to continue.
Henry rated a book it was amazing. Aug 09, Henry wants to read. Mar 19, Goodreads Los Angeles — members — last activity Oct 02, Indie Page 99 — 72 members — last activity Feb 12, Read an Indie author today.
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It's just kind of. The president and those surrounding him are caricatures of fundamentalists. I was utterly unconvinced that these people would agree to cause the deaths of most of the people on the planet.
The ending was very disappointing to me also. Not really post-apocalyptic, not really political, more like a subjective tale from the point of view of Gene Myers.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's still free and I recommend it to you too. The flaws are more apparent because the author reached for so much, which is a welcome relief from authors reaching for too little.
If this book had made the future horrors more palpable, if the political situation had been more plausible, the political antagonists drawn more carefully, this could have been a great book.
I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I mean, a good book is one thing. I got through the Lord of the Rings trilogy in a fair bit of time.
That's some dense writing, a lot of exposition, description, elaboration. Translations of invented languages, whatever. Took me a few weeks for several thousand more words.
The American Book of the Dead reads like a vital sign. I bought it too, in another format, then, quite a bit later, when money was available, bought the dead tree version.
This is a book filled with urgency. It is not simply sci-fi or fantasy. It's true to life confusion and an apt descriptor of America.
We, as a whole, fail to pay attention to the travesties that are highlighted here, ignore the dual-edged sword our freedom has us hanging over, despise each other over hastily drawn imaginary lines we've been taught to see.
Conservatives and liberals hashing things out in a ring that just doesn't even make sense. Eugene Myers doesn't try to make sense of it.
He rolls with it. He winds up in the hospital after the worst thing a dad can imagine. Things only go downhill from there, on one hand, but on the other hand, things only get better.
This is the American conundrum. Land of the free, home of the brave, occupied by insolence and bravado.
Where there is freedom and bravery, the facade of today's America fails, and new ideas radiate potential and suggest a global resurgence. Henry's daring with the format of this novel inspires me to believe at least a little bit longer in what we can think, collectively, without imaginary lines interfering with human potential.
Awesome book, I've read it a few times now! Worth checking out no matter what interests you. I will be reading this once again!
A lot of the reviews here seem to be written by people who would Like to Write Novels. Some of them are long enough to be a short story. Hemingway said something to the effect that the only competition he had were dead guys.
There are no new stories, there is no new art. I found several sections of the American Book of the Dead to be outright plagiarism We all Dream the same Dream?
Where have I heard that before? The action foundered at times, was even tedious. This was probably the best apocalypse novel since Swan Song or The Stand.
Baum made a crazy, twisted,disturbing ride for my money. The ending was unexpected and I applaud him for surprising me!
Novels tagged as apocalyptic sci-fi are usually not my bag, but I gave this one a chance and I'm glad I did. Part apocalyptic sci-fi and part psychological thriller with elements of more accessible literary novels and even neo-noir, this is a deep story that transcends genres.
It feels like others' books, with influences ranging from Pynchon to Delillo to Philip K. Dick and more, but it also felt original -- always a good sign.
It started a little slow for me, as Baum has a lot to set up, but then it really took off as the end of society as we know it looms and chapters alternate between the wary hero, writer Eugene Myers, and a childish and deluded American president, Charles Winchell.
Without giving too much away, both men believe -- and fear -- they are transforming into a new type of human that the post-apocalyptic future will depend on.
Who wins out or do they? As a line in the book states I'm paraphrasing , the best sci-fi takes present themes and exaggerates them almost beyond recognition.
I know they got me thinking. Baum also manages to avoid getting hung up on religion and politics, choosing to focus on the human nature that binds us all.
The revolution is not just societal but evolutional. My complaints are few. Some narrative and even dialogue had to be expositional in spots owing to the wide-reaching story and context, but Baum does well to blend it all in.
The story could've begun closer to the world war that engulfs the planet and wouldn't have suffered too much. But that's more niggling than it sounds.
The quality was there in the beginning to carry us along. Baum creates worlds and lives and psychology with the small details, showing us and not telling us in ways that keep the reader involved -- not something we get enough of in books from any sized publisher.
The editing was also first-rate with far fewer typos than I've seen from big publishers charging far more for their books.
A book from an independent writer outshines those from the big establishment publishers. As a fellow independent writer who doesn't know Baum, by the way that's definitely a revolution I like to see.
I got this book for FREE. I'm amazed at the quality of writing, and at how interesting the plot was, for a free book.
Ok, it wasn't just good for a free book. I thought it was very good, with the added bonus that it was free. I didn't have much use for the 1st few chapters.
They just didn't do much for me. I thought the writing was good, but the early part of the story didn't pull me in.
I'm guessing that fundamentalist types wouldn't much like it, but that's part of what I liked about it. Very imaginative, very well written.
I will keep this fellow in mind, and not baulk at paying for his work in the future. It was refreshing to read a different take on the end of the world.
The ending left me feeling ambivalent, but I suppose that was the point. Loved the time horizon folding concept.
However, the gathering of dreamers was somewhat tedious. Loved the intro then wandered around until the climax which was satisfying.
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This history of the future covers every conspiracy imaginab Eugene Myers is working on a novel about the end of the world. This history of the future covers every conspiracy imaginable: UFOs, secret societies, and World War III, as well as theories on life after death and human evolution by a writer whose last novel was called by Dogmatika, A page-turner and an example of an effective piece of storytelling that should be envied.
In the tradition of Philip K. Dick and Robert Anton Wilson, The American Book of the Dead explores the nature of reality and the human race's potential to either disintegrate or evolve.
Paperback , pages. Published November 1st by Backword Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Lists with This Book. Dec 19, logankstewart rated it liked it Shelves: You see, he contacted me early last year about his book, thinking that it might be something that I would enjoy.
I agreed to review the book, but told him that our first child was due soon and that it might be a while before I got to the book. Undeterred, he went on and mailed me a signed copy, scribbling a note on a card wishing me the best of luck with my soon-to-be daughter and that there was "no rus I feel like I owe Henry Baum, the author of The American Book of the Dead , a sincere apology.
Undeterred, he went on and mailed me a signed copy, scribbling a note on a card wishing me the best of luck with my soon-to-be daughter and that there was "no rush.
Finally, at the end of March, I picked up Mr. There's also a free download available through the book's website, linked here I vaguely remembered that the book was some sort of apocalyptic tale about a struggling author and some strange happenings.
As long as it took me to start the book, had I known that I would finish it so quickly I would have started much sooner.
It's an easy enough read to finish in a long afternoon sitting, if you're so inclined, as the book weighs in at just shy of pages.
It is difficult to describe The American Book of the Dead. The first word I think of is "Meta. It's post-apocalyptic, pre-apocalyptic, apocalyptic, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, suspense, religious, satire, and a host of other things.
It reminded me a lot of Kurt Vonnegut , though maybe not as deep, nor as funny. A blurb on the book says it's very much like Philip K.
Dick , too, though I've not read any of his stuff, so I cannot attest to that. Eugene Myers is a struggling writer in his 50s. He's making do by teaching a class at a local college.
He's bored and depressed and his wife doesn't really love him and he doesn't necessarily love her back. The year is and the world has gone to hell.
Random acts of violence are the norm, and there's little to be done about them. Sex is everywhere, with people copulating on prime time television and not a soul cares.
All around him Eugene sees his world and its problems and he writes about his lifeless marriage and whatever he can think of. One afternoon he discovers an online sex video of his daughter.
This straw breaks the camel's back, so to speak, and it begins the strange journey of Eugene Myers.
Paralleling Eugene's life is President Charles Winchell. Charles is a Christian Extremist who is bent on destroying the world so that he can rebuild it and enjoy the peace that is prophesied in the book of Revelation.
Charles won his presidency on promises that he would save the world, and that's exactly what he intends to do. The man quotes scripture and takes the bible's words a fair bit out of context.
That would be The American Book of the Dead in a nutshell. Baum's writing is smooth and engaging. His story is thought-provoking and provocative.
I felt the message was rather heavy handed at times and possibly fueled by conspiracy theories, but never downright offensive.
The book progressively grew more surreal, to its advantage, and I never once got bored with the story. However, for all its praise, the tone of the novel was rather matter-of-fact, which took away a lot of the suspense.
I'm not saying that there was no suspense, because there was, but I think there could have been more. Henry Baum's book provided a surreal reading experience, as many things that jump into the Meta tend to do.
However, by and large, I think Baum kept a deft hand on the plot, driving it forward with building momentum.
Personally I would have enjoyed seeing more of the world and more of its characters, especially in the latter part of the novel.
Instead, The American Book of the Dead is a tight, character-centered book that has some urgency in its message.
Because Baum's frightening future is something that could easily happen, barring the magical-like things that happen.
If you're in a reading slump and curious to try something bizarre, check out The American Book of the Dead. Even though I would have liked more development with some of the characters and settings, it still was a fun romp through genre-defying madness.
And if you've read and enjoyed some Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Five particularly comes to mind , you should definitely give this a try.
I received this book for free from Mr Henry Baum himself. Not in person, mind you, but through a machine of different people it did eventually arrive at my house, autographed and lustrous.
Mr Baum did not hypnotize me and force me to write a flattering or positive review, and the opinions reflected here are solely my own.
Furthermore, Mr Baum did not include any sort of cookies with my book, so I was under no Cookie Clause, either. Apr 12, Beata Bowen rated it really liked it Shelves: One of the most unique approaches to storytelling I've ever come across!
It's a book about that same book, which already has been written, but the author does not remember actually writing it Was it written in the past or in the future?
Was it written at all? It could have been a whole lot more confusing if it weren't for the fact that the book is about an apocalyptic event, which feels uncomfortably likely to happen felt a whole lot more likely when Bush was still president, but who knows?
Presidencies have been known to repeat themselves. Overall I really enjoyed this uncommonly self-aware story and I liked the narrator and how he handled himself during some rather challenging times What sort of threw me off for a loop on more than one occasion, was the book's fixation on conspiracy theories.
It was obviously meant to be sprinkled with just about every conspiracy theory circulating out there, but for me they only took away from the story.
Feb 12, Cheryl Anne Gardner rated it really liked it. The year was Except as I write this the year is In chapte The year was In chapter one our protagonist Professor Eugene Meyers, who teaches creative writing at the local University, inadvertently discovers that his teenage daughter seems to have taken an interest in making internet porn.
Our narrator is full on in the middle of his mid-life crisis and is having some difficulty dealing with the aftermath of youthful delusion. Blows to the ego like a stagnant writing career, a failing marriage, and the public domain sexual promiscuity of his only daughter are never taken lightly.
But all this is just a device to introduce the reader to a viewpoint, one that will be vigorously challenged throughout the course of the book.
The writing style has a stream of consciousness chop to it -- lots and lots of fragments: And as for the end of the world and the survivor society that would come after World War III, his thematic vision for his book validates his bleak yet optimistic way of thinking.
After Eugene is pummelled and subsequently released from the hospital, he finds that he is having visions, well, more like dreams, but in his dreams, he dreams of real people, complete with names and addresses.
He is also under the impression that a mass holy war needs to come to fruition in order to save the world after the apocalypse.
Charles may be blinded by vanity and egomania, and Eugene may be prophetic in some way, but prophecy is really only a casual glance back over our shoulders.
History divines the future; we are just too ignorant to pay attention to it. Much like in this book, we can travel through time to a different dimension and learn from our mistakes.
Every single character was critical and had their own front story and back story and separate plotline with all plotlines affecting one another and eventually converging.
This book is more concerned with the two divergent Points of View. The two main characters are very well actualized, and again it reminded me of The Stand where Eugene is sort of Mother Abigail and Winchell is Randall Flagg.
The book explores a lot of Theological and Political theories with respect to the two conflicting views on Utopia and how to create it.
We have the right-wing view through the biblical eye, but since Winchell is delusional and his father is a sociopath, the Bible is used rather haphazardly here to validate some really radical measures.
For instance, President Winchell declares that he is the anti-Christ, believing that once revelations comes, he will be given the title and the power of Christ the King to rule over those who have survived the apocalypse.
Basically, Winchell and his staff read into the Bible exactly what they want it to mean. Not to mention the war he helped orchestrate has left him high and dry.
I noticed some fiddly editorial issues, but what was more problematic for me was that the barrage of fragments and chop and odd sentence structure, often seen with stream of consciousness styled writing, also often made the text difficult to read.
There were points where if felt that the stylistic approach diminished some of the clarity. On my little reader, there were huge gaps between the chapters.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book. But this book really touched on a broad range of ideas, and some of those ideas were very non-conventional.
I really liked that. The alien thing almost had a Scientology taint to it: Satire of this sort definitely hits the hot buttons.
Even so, it had a very open consciousness to it, and the point it was trying to make was driven home successfully: Humanity needs to evolve because even if you believe some higher power will come to save us, be it Aliens or God, it might just be too late.
As for the story, this could have been an epic adventure, but instead the author decided in favour of a tighter focus by picking two diametrically opposed philosophies and slamming them into each other.
Jul 23, rizka rated it liked it. Rasanya alurnya kok lambat bener ya. Trus penggambaran penulis tentang apocalypse-nya juga ga menggigit.
Apa karena baca versi inggrisnya ya, sedang bahasa inggris q dibawah rata-rata? Kemaren maksudnya sih biar sekalian belajar bahasa inggris: Tapi wajar saja, soalnya novel yang dibaca kan juga bahasa indonesia, he.
Saat membaca bagian Hufh Saat membaca bagian depan buku saya pikir buku ini sepertinya akan cukup menarik. Saat itu saya baru saja menonton beberapa film yang vulgar menampilkan darah dan kekerasan saat saya membaca buku ini.
Haduh,adegan darah bermuncratan dan bagian-bagian tubuh berlepasan dalam Ninja Assasin masih saya ingat. Pada intruduction, dengan menggunakan sudut pandang pertama, diceritakanlah seseorang yang bernama Eugene Myers.
Saya mengira introduction ini merupakan semacam kata pengantar atau pendahuluan dari Henry Baum, si pengarang buku. Sebab 'aku' pada bagian introduction ini menceritakan gambaran tentang isi buku.
Bahwa pembaca akan memaafkannya untuk ending yang buruk pada buku ini. Dimana Ia mengatakan "I live in a time when violence is a religion, God is dead, and humor is something grandfathers used before the war.
Sadar bahwa kekerasan sudah dianggap normal dan dinormal-normalkan sebagaimana film-film yang baru saya tonton.
Melihat pengarangnya yang bagi saya sepertinya berbeda dengan orang kebanyakan, maka saya mengambil kesimpulan, buku ini sepertinya akan menarik.
Tapi tiba-tiba saja cerita menjadi terasa mengalir. Maka kisah hidup Eugene Myers dan orang-orang terkaitpun pun diceritakan--petualangannya serta mimpi-mimpi anehnya tentang orang-orang yang tak dikenalnya dari berbagai tempat, yang ternyata memang ada.
Kemudian ia yang mendapati apa yang ia bayangkan dan ia tulis ternyata dapat menjadi kenyataan. Singkat cerita, Ia mengalami keanehan-keanehan begitu pula dengan orang-orang yang Ia mimpikan.
Namun Ia tidak mengerti makna dari kesemua hal tersebut. Hingga mendekati akhir kisah, kesemuanya ternyata 'menuntunnya' menjadi orang yang memegang peranan penting.
Setelah berhari-hari membaca--ga tau juga kenapa kok pengen cepat diselesaikan padahal seringnya kalau baca ini sampai ngantuk--akhirnya ada juga bagian yang disuka.
Di paragraf kedua bagian epilog: D "Were these real beings or a projection of our imaginations? The difference no longer mattered, but the answer was: All of us were the product of self-perception and the perception of others--watched and read by beings of our own invention, some of the stories tragic, some uplifting.
We were the universe's entertainment" Mungkin disamping menunjukan kepada para pembaca betapa bobrok dan gilanya dunia saat ini, salah satu yang ingin disampaikan penulisnya tampaknya adalah All of us were the product of self-perception and the perception of others.
Saya membaca buku ini dengan presepsi, menulis review ini dengan presepsi. Yah, saya tidak mau menulis akhir kisah bukunya.
Karena mungkin anda sudah punya presepsi sendiri Aug 05, Kevin Armstrong rated it really liked it. I first discovered this book through the author's postings on RealitySandwich.
This novel makes an apocalyptic thrust with measured humaneness and a good deal of wistful irony through it's narrator: Co-mingling psychic interventions with 'realist' style is never easy to pull off.
Baum handles it with real aplomb in terms I first discovered this book through the author's postings on RealitySandwich.
Baum handles it with real aplomb in terms of voice and character. The plot tracks well, indeed he seems to rush things a bit toward the grand finale -- which I enjoyed with a silent hat-tip to Vonnegut.
However, if Baum had settled into the smoking carnage of his creation, I think we both might have extracted more emotive resonance and had a little more visceral fun.
There are however, several bon mots en route, among my favorites being: But I was confident, a renewed romance for life, as if it loved me back.
What will likely scare away skittish book-clubers is the first chapter's bluish dream-sequence and narrator's discovery of his daughter engaged in on-line porn.
Baum knew this was a risk -- and he did not care, an I love him for that. So if you are among that crew, please realize that Baum's not a misogynist, just a dude depicting dad-like issues honestly and for that matter, tellingly via a reliable if fraught 1st person POV.
He also makes up for it later although for the story's benefit, not his chances at political office. As for the PSI and manifest dreams depicted, ultimately people either 'swing' that way or they don't.
So, while not flawless, I give major kudos to this book for a reach that exceeds it's grasp while offering up some beautiful touches during the ride, if slightly fewer than i think Baum is capable of.
Apparently he has a sequel or two planned. Given his ending here, I have no idea how he aims to pull this off, but I look forward to reading how -- and paying for that privilege.
Oct 14, Nathan rated it it was amazing. This was an amazing read. I think this gets comparisons with The Illuminatus Trilogy! This had a great feel throughout the book, a building sense of something great, just like Rushdie does.
And I think like SV, some people may find the ending abrupt. If you need resolutions to look all tidy, this isn't the book for you.
But if you have the type of This was an amazing read. But if you have the type of aesthetic that appreciated the end of SV, this ending is has the same "natural" quality, like it's the only way things could have worked out.
I finished this last night and waited until almost a day later to review this because of the ending. At first I was annoyed, saying "Are you kidding me?
I loved this book: The unique way it was written, the main character, Eugene with his view of the world, and how easily worldwide destruction could occur and is realistic!
This one will stick with me for a long time - isn't that what Interesting.