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Sisyphusa [Kindle Edition]

Michael Richmond
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $28.00
Kindle Price: $9.00
You Save: $19.00 (68%)

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Book Description

Sisyphusa is an allegory of depression and the mental health system as seen through the eyes of its main character and first person narrator, Odis Winston. Odis is abducted from a comfortable existence at university and taken to an institution called 'Sisyphusa'. He is told when he arrives that he is 'Weird' and that he cannot leave until he has been 'Normalised'. He has been fitted with an Earpiece which has a poisonous and malign voice, similar to his own, and which begins to torment his every waking moment. Encountering characters and situations loosely based on Homer's Odyssey and in a dystopian style influenced by Orwell and Kafka, we follow Odis's transformation from helpless captive to active rebel and leader. The book is imbued with dark humour and compassion for its characters and their struggles. It manages to be a satirical polemic of our own times while creating an entirely new world of "Aspirati", "Hysteria-Dominated Television (HDTV)", "I-Spy's", and "Climbing Pills." It explores Mental Health themes surrounding institutionalisation, dehumanisation, self-harm, stigma, suicide and media (mis)representation.

Product Details

  • File Size: 439 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Chipmunkapublishing Ltd (June 28, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058ODCGC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,547,784 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving, Meaningful, Masterful August 20, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Incredibly moving, Sisyphusa grabs the reader and does not let go. The dystopian vision rings true: horrid but not so very different from our worst instincts of what might happen in the future.

Clever word usage, strong character development and a plot that moves at a fast pace, the author has created a remarkable book, especially once one reads that he is in his mid - 20's.

I found myself paging through the last third of the book, unable to put it down, wanting very much to hope against hope that in fact the protagonist could succeed.

No spoiler alert here - read it for your self. You will undoubtedly find yourself writing your own review soon thereafter!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Crisis in Normalcy July 18, 2011
Sisyphusa is a tale of the struggle for identity in a civilization that demands normalcy without defining it for anyone. What begins as a story of abduction to a seeming mental health facility becomes a parable of the search for meaning by a young man amidst a dehumanizing system of oppressive controls. Viewing the experience through the thoughts and actions of Odis, an erstwhile indifferent former university student, the story unfolds as he awakes in confusion recalling a life centered around intoxicants of many varieties and no direction. Labeled as abnormal he receives an earpiece that is constantly reminding him of his failings and lack of hope.

The story is one of resilience and growth in the face of such abuse as he goes from abject isolation into a futuristic 'chain gang' whose job is to break up granite into blocks for sale by the government. It is populated by vivid characters who pose challenges to Odis' definition of manhood, as he works to reach the point when he can 'climb the wall' and get back to normal society. A surpise ally requires him to become a leader and negotiate with that diverse cast in the hope of escape. Odis is heroic like his namesake in Greek mythology but reflects the fantasies of a young man struggling with his place in the world rather than an experienced military leader travelling home from the wars. This does not diminish the heroic nature of the story as the momentum of Odis' adventure is juxtaposed against a society that struggles to stay intact.

The story is a clear commentary of the confusing seemingly out of control world in which we live. It contains the universal personal struggles for a meaningful life along with evolving civilizations that seek to define normal out of differences and diversity while losing what is truly meaningful and of value. In some ways Odis' youth and inexperience provides a more accurate commentary for the primitive stage of development that humanity occupies than the Greek classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, what a book! July 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Michael Richmond's Sisyphusa is a must read. Before I even read the first page, I was drawn in - the cover just grabs you. I cannot believe this was written by a 25 year old and that this was his first book. What an extremely clever idea to go back and forth (using different fonts) between the fictional character in the book to the author's real life. I learned so much about mental illness - the struggles to understand it as well as the desire and hope for recovery. I hope to hear more from this very gifted author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a must read July 5, 2011
What an incredible story. I could not put it down. The author gives the reader the best insight I have ever read into what it feels like to suffer from mental illness. It needs to be read by anyone (on both couches) who is interested in mental illness. I particularly loved the allegorical format he chose. The main character is fantastic and you cannot help yourself from rooting for him. More than anything else, it leaves the reader with a sense of hope for the author and others like him. I cannot wait for the next Michael Richmond publication.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! July 4, 2011
I just finished Michael Richmond's Sisyphusa...I had just stumbled across this as I was intrigued by the title and cover of the book. The author weaves a tale that I am sure pertains to his personal struggle fighting the demons of depression. I say this is a must read for those in the throws, their families and friends, and for those in the trenches of offering therapy. Here is a brilliant young man's search to find the truth placed into a well-spun tale of the supernatural.
Hope this is not the last time we hear from this author
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