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Polly! Paperback – November 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Polly is a book aspiring writers should read just to study the craft. Goldin calls on everything he knows from the silly to the profound to create a story that starts out entertaining and winds up being thought-provoking. --Great Books Under $5

Fast moving, well-written, tongue-in-cheek dramatic comedy so representative of real-life in some aspects, it felt like coming home.  I found the story laugh-out-loud surprising at times. I thoroughly enjoyed Polly! --Flying With Red Haircrow

From the Back Cover

All hands on Decalogue! A protagonist readers will find it easy to identify and empathize with, a classic journey story told with wit, wisdom and deceptive ease, and the most interesting guest star ever--what's not to like, here? Perhaps writers who attempt a book like Polly! wanna crack or two across the face for their audacity (to parrot conventional wisdom)--but not if they can manage to pull it off this entertainingly.

--Spider Robinson, co-author of Variable Star by Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456336398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456336394
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,275,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Stephen Goldin's POLLY takes on the subject addressed by some of humanity's most sacred tomes, and blows conventional wisdom to smithereens. Oh, it would also be viewed as highly irreverent, blasphemous and offensive, at least by those humans pretending to be in charge of life and the universe. This tale takes the case of a decent man who has suffered a few Job-like troubles, puts him into an encounter with a twenty-something young woman of mysterious powers, and sets him on the pathway to exploring why humanity has to fix itself using its own talents, rather than waiting for divine rescue. Very nice characterization, flawless dialogue, a great evocation of real world issues for real people, and a delightful put-down, or smack-down, for all the dogma-bred hyper-religionists who use spiritual faith as a tool to run the world. A great story with fine characters and an ensemble of scenes that nicely encourage the reader to not only "think for yourself" but to realize how much power to do good resides in the hands and heart of any person.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I find organized religion to be deeply offensive to what I *KNOW*. Polly, however, tickled my funnybone, with a deeply irreverent take on God not seen since Alanis Morrissette played god in the movie Dogma. This story was like reading one of those funny, feel-good stories you find in Guideposts magazine, only instead of scripture, this story is hilariously blasphemous to the teeny-tiny confines organized religion has tried to place around so vast a being as God.

I can't tell you how many times I giggled as the protagonist (Herodotus ... or 'Hero') navigates his way out of personal tragedy into a Kafhaesque situation where you ask yourself if he died and went to heaven, hell, or some purgatory deeply reminiscent of the Twilight Zone. Polly is irrational and funny, and as she drags Hero in and out of various situations, it will lead you to a much more empowered viewpoint of the Dude Upstairs.

If you are a religious person who believes that God truly makes wagers with the devil and tells people to go slit their son's throats to make burnt offerings, then is not the book for you.

4 Perfect Points
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Format: Kindle Edition
Life is not going too well for Rod, something his Jewish parents may not have anticipated when they gave him the name Herodotus. Within a short time, a week or so; his wife's left him, he's discovered he owes the IRS $8,000 and his bookstore burns down, with him asleep in its above-shop apartment - the point at which the reader joins the story.

Could it get worse? Perhaps so. Maybe a speeding ticket, on his way to stay at his brother's ranch, might be small fry, but it's yet another pointer towards disillusionment with life. The heat of the Mojave Desert doesn't help either, and certainly not when his Toyota suddenly breaks down. Fortunately, it's just outside the only property for miles around - a large white mansion. Strange? You can say.

There begins a rather unexpected diversion in Rod's journey through life, one that carries him and the reader into something of a modern-day version of Alice's Wonderland. No white rabbits, no, but a non-melting snowman on the front lawn marks the start of a series of yet more bizarre events.

The stage is clearly set, the markers in place, the pointers aimed at something beyond a simple tale, much more a fable of sorts. It's a fable with an intriguing and eminently plausible foundation, one that stretches from human foibles, failings and misunderstandings all the way through gods to the very nature of the universe - and life's place in it.

Does it work as a fable? In its premise and exposition; eminently so. In fact, it has a surer footing than most traditional fables, for it presents a wholly plausible and hugely down to earth (excuse the pun) explanation for the highly noble conclusion to which it leads.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Polly was a highly unusual read. After his wife leaves him, Herodotus finds himself in trouble with the IRS over past due taxes, as if all this isn't bad enough his bookstore - above which he lives - catches fire in the middle of the night. Rod, as Herodotus is known, escapes with his life but little else. Beaten down he decides to head for his brother's ranch in Nevada to lick his wounds and hide away from the world for a while - preferably while huddled in bed in the fetal position, but life has other plans for Rod.

Whilst on his way to Nevada, Rod's car breaks down in front of the only residence for miles. Approaching the mansion, Rod notices what looks like a snowman standing in the heat, but this is only the first of several surprises in store for our erstwhile traveler when he meets the mansion's owner, Polly.

Polly is an enigma. The more Rod, who is now called Hero, tries to figure her out the less he understands her. She tries to teach him some truths about the universe, but can he learn the most important of those lessons?

Polly made me think deeply about many things and realize some truths I already knew, but hadn't verbalized. At the same time there was one philosophical point in Polly I disagreed with - there being no afterlife. I don't know what that afterlife might look like, but I believe there is one. On most other points I was in agreement with what Goldin postulated through his imaginary character.

* I received a copy of this book from the author in return for my honest and frank review *
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