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The Year We Finally Solved Everything [Kindle Edition]

Rudolf Kerkhoven
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Shan Won seems to only exist deep within the dark rumor-crazed underbelly of the internet.  But the common thread throughout all this writing is glaringly obvious: people stumble upon Shan Won, espouse its perfection, and never, ever--ever--return.

The global economy is in tatters not because of humanity's faults but because of its accomplishment.  The country of Shan Won, a small island state off the coast of China, has cured all of our ills, and like a black hole, a piercing singularity of perfection, it's sucking the
world dry of its stability and leadership and power.

Human traffickers become overwhelmed with smuggling hordes of North Americans across to Asia for a better life.  And for Richard, to whom growing up seems to have solved nothing at all, escape seems to be his only option.  But when he becomes reacquainted with Mia, the girlfriend of his twenties, he's no longer certain about just what's the problem and what's the solution.  He only knows that he's running out of time.
 

The Year We Finally Solved Everything is a dark, ironic and fast-paced novel (55 000 words) about the sacrifices one makes to achieve perfection.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Kerkhoven's writing is flawless, his dialogue exact...  just go read the book.   Five Stars
-- Big Al's Books and Pals (20/04/2011)

I was hooked from the very first page... My questions were answered, but not in the manner I was expecting. Instead, my questions were answered in a way that forced me to think about my own life choices.
--Motherlode Book Reviews (11/13/2010)

But what is life when we have nothing left to strive for? The Year We Finally Solved Everything will make you ask that question and many more.
--Writing, Reading, and Everything in Between (11/10/2010)

I found the writing style of this author to be excellent.  I enjoyed the natural dialogue, and the imagery was sharp.
--Red Adept Reviews (13/01/2011)

I highly recommend this book for your summer reading list
--CorrineCan (7/26/2011)

There was never a moment when I thought I should put it down and try something else for awhile.  And the end was completely unexpected.
--Shawn Davis Writes (12/10/2011)

From the Author

Rudolf Kerkhoven is the author of the choose-your-own-adventure ebook comedy, The Adventures of Whatley Tupper (with Daniel Pitts).

Product Details

  • File Size: 2354 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bowness Books; 2nd edition (November 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0048EL3IC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,099 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Candy-Coated Hope Here January 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not an action story. It is not a drama. Rather, it captures the sweeping listlessness, apathy and passive selfishness that is growing in modern society. Throughout the book, I find myself waiting for Richard to find some passion, or some empathy...something. I ask myself, why is he working so hard to find the easy way out? Is it really worth it? Is that what I'm doing in my life?

Another review commented on the lack of detail regarding Shan Won, but you see, that's the whole point. The story isn't about achieving Utopia. It's about the downward spiral and hitting-bottom of a person who realizes it's impossible to get there. Told in the first person, the author doesn't tell you that Richard is anxious or depressed. Instead, the author uses emotionless interactions a lack of minute description and make you feel what Richard feels, and to see his world through his eyes.

If you enjoy a story that makes you feel something, I recommend this one.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven on Earth November 14, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
A sparsely written letter received by a friend, a determined google search, a lot of individual soul searching, and Richard finds himself on the path to Shan Won. Shan Won is a refuge of perfection that welcomes everyone, and renders its visitors virtually incapable of leaving; not because they can't, but because, well, why would they ever want to? Who could leave a place where hunger, sickness and societal discord are things of the past? The question is not one of wondering *if* you will go or what to do there, the questions is simply "how will I get there?"

I was hooked from the very first page. There was just something about the story and the direction it took that made me eager to continue. I wouldn't be satisfied until I had read every page. Although not at all what I anticipated, the ending was satisfying in its own way. My questions were answered, but not in the manner I was expecting. Instead, my questions were answered in a way that forced me to think about my own life choices.

We can all read deeply into this idea of a "Shangri-La" called Shan Won. At times, it almost seems like a heavenly afterlife, and at other times, it seems the perfect utopian society on Earth. The choices Richard had to make along the way were reminiscent of choices we all make in life, both big and small. Our individual choices may affect someone else, and, collectively, the choices of a large group can be devastating to a society dependent upon its members. This story makes you think about your own personal haven, and who is ultimately responsible for creating happiness. Does it come from circumstances outside yourself, or are you responsible for creating your own happiness?
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow-motion apocalypse April 19, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What if there was a place far, far away where life was perfect? How would your life change? How would your world change? This book presents a thoughtful, realistic vision of one man's efforts to find his way under such circumstances. The story doesn't fit neatly into any one genre, but the core of it is Richard's attempt to find purpose, meaning and direction in his life. The story is haunting, and it has stuck with me for quite a while after finishing it. I look forward to reading more by this author.

Notes on Kindle formatting: I read this book on my Kindle Keyboard. The table of contents is fully linked and functional. I found only one typo in the book, which I emailed the author about and to which he responded quite politely.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An edgy read November 28, 2010
By Kerala
Format:Kindle Edition
The Year We Finally Solved Everything is a dark novel about one man's obsessive quest to find utopia. The main character, trapped in a mundane life framed within a crumbling society, is swept away by the ideology of an island where all of humanities problems have been solved. After a series of crushing events, he resorts to desperate measures, sacrificing friends, family, and possible child, just for the chance to experience true freedom and touch the ground of the Infamous Shan Won. I enjoyed watching one man sacrifice everything with blind faith in order to reach a place that may not even exist; an interesting take of modern life and its pitfalls. The writing is cut with a modern slant: edgy and succinct. It's an easy read and edited well, but definitely darker in tone. If my synopsis grabs you, you'll probably enjoy this novel. Very different compared to his very amusing last effort, The Adventures of Whatley Tupper, but really worth a look.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wait, is that it? July 27, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I rather wondered where all this was going, as it took a while to get there. I advise preparing for numerous distracting and non-plot-advancing side-trips while the story shuffles along to the point. Once it arrived at the point, however, I wished I hadn't made the trip. This was such a great idea in the making, too! Tighter editing would be a gift.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story but poor editing... July 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a really good story, but there are lots of misspellings and grammar errors. Do the free books on the Kindle site undergo ANY kind of editing?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast and enjoyable read February 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was super short and an easy read - I was able to get sucked into it pretty quickly, thanks to the author's writing. I found it completely intriguing and I didn't want to put it down - I wanted to find out more about this place Shan Won, the place that finally solved everything and where everyone wanted to go. I guess that's not really the point of the book though, and for that I felt a bit let down. But otherwise I found this book really good and would totally recommend it.. I'm still thinking about the book and it's been quite a few hours since I finished it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun summer read
Book wasn't long - pretty easy reading. Interesting premise of a dystopian near future from the perspective of a 20-something - is there a paradise out there when everything works... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Eric Messelt
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
I want to tell Mr. Kerkhoven that he wrote a very good book.
This was an interesting read. There were times when I wanted to stop, but couldn't. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Liz Bennett
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth cluttering up your mind with
Wisely, this was classified
"Notes for Parents
Reading Level: Adults"
Young Adults and younger are defiantly unable to continue plowing through this past the 1st... Read more
Published 17 months ago by cheepo retiree
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but doesn't go anywhere
I kept expecting more, and it kept not delivering it. The protagonist is mediocre at best, and maybe he's SUPPOSED to be that way, but I kept waiting for either a big reveal or... Read more
Published 21 months ago by juffi
3.0 out of 5 stars Lousy Ending
Although the book is quite timely and works many contemporary North American themes into a Canadian setting, I'm afraid to say that the conclusion was quite dissapointing. Read more
Published on July 10, 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book wish it was longer
This was a great book! At the time I purchased it was free. I truly enjoyed reading it and only wished it were longer. Read more
Published on March 15, 2012 by Amy Simonovski
4.0 out of 5 stars The Solution is Apparent
Only after you finish this book does the solution to the current problems of the world show itself. The solution is not pretty but petty and vindictive but there is a bittersweet... Read more
Published on March 15, 2012 by D. E. Olvera
4.0 out of 5 stars So Good.
Beside some minor annoyances, i.e. excessive use of commas and an entire page or more dedicated to sentences starting with, "I wanted to tell her... Read more
Published on January 7, 2012 by Teri
5.0 out of 5 stars Yearning for Perfection Can Create a Horror
The world is falling apart. The economy is in the tank, people are losing jobs, civil society is starting to break down, and people are disappearing. Read more
Published on December 12, 2011 by The Galloping Horde
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a really excellent read.
I picked up this book after reading a review of it on BigAl's Books and Pals blog. There was something about the description that really grabbed my interest and I am so glad it... Read more
Published on July 14, 2011 by New Girl
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More About the Author

Rudolf Kerkhoven is the author of three novels, "Love is not free. The price is 99 cents", "The Year We Finally Solved Everything" and "A Dream Apart." He is also the co-author of the choose-your-own-adventure(ish) comedy novels, "The Adventures of Whatley Tupper", "The Redemption of Mr. Sturlubok," "The Most Boring Book Ever Written" and "Can Stuart Henry Zhang Save the World?" (with Daniel Pitts). He lives in the greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada. He does not have a dog or a cat. But he does have a daughter and sometimes she acts strangely similar to that of a dog or cat.

You can sign to his mailing list at http://eepurl.com/I_fsv

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