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Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" RSS Feed (Nova Scotia)
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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and highly readable............., May 1, 2015
With a great deal of imaginative skill and a fluid writing style the author gives us the tale of Harry August; the man who could not die. Similar to the 'Groundhog Day' scenario, Harry keeps living the same life over and over again. The main focus of the novel, however, is in the fact that our protagonist must overtly act on an ongoing scientific breakthrough or else the world, as we know it, will come to a faster demise than the path on which we are presently heading. While many readers may complain that this novel is not written in a linear fashion and, instead, takes numerous side-paths, this writing style does highlight how difficult it must be to have lived numerous lives and be unable to accurately recall which events happened in exactly which lifetime. The side-paths merely point out this level of confusion that Harry must have encountered...............


The Nightingale
The Nightingale
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $8.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Familiar story line strewn with unreal characters..........., April 24, 2015
This review is from: The Nightingale (Kindle Edition)
Although this is a well known author and her fluid writing style does carry over into this novel, this is one of the poorest plots I have read in a long time. World War II, the abhorrent treatment of the French Jews, an unloving Father, and, of course, an ongoing sibling rivalry are the thin plot lines the author expounds upon. The characters are as flat as cardboard yet take life risking chances to gain their Father's approval? A flash forward reveals the story's ending after 150 pages. Why did Ms. Hannah do this? Did she research the French people of the 1930s and the actual occupation of France before putting pen to paper? I think not. Because of the flat linear style of this book, the outcome was easily predicted after a few pages into reading it leaving it to be a struggle to finish.

Similar to Paris Hilton or the Kardashians, this is one of those icons that is famous for simply being famous.............


Damnation by Probability: 75 Billion in Hell and Counting
Damnation by Probability: 75 Billion in Hell and Counting
Price: $0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Highly, highly repetitive............., April 21, 2015
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While the author does present a compelling series of statistics that reveal the futility of religion, he does little to expand on this data into a more complete analysis. The repetitive nature of this book is mind-numbing !! While attacking religious church rules he, in turn, creates an equally stifling atheistic dogma. The information given should have been condensed, put onto a two page pamphlet and given to the faithful as they are leaving Sunday church service. Instead the author shotguns these stats. it into a massive and highly repetitive book! I realize that an author needs to eat and there is no money to be made by merely producing pamphlets..................
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 26, 2015 2:44 AM PDT


For the Love of Spirit: A Medium Memoir
For the Love of Spirit: A Medium Memoir
Price: $3.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Clear insight into a spirit-driven person.............., April 6, 2015
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While I will offer reasons why her life story may not be entirely without fault, I do have to commend the author for a compassionate and emotional filled biography regarding her journey into the spiritualistic side of existence. Genetically born into a mode of life that is quite different from the norm, she has been able to have contact with another realm from the age of four through her adulthood. I am sure that her contacts with the other side have led numerous people to a greater feeling of peace and understanding about life and our journey afterwards. I commend Ms. Winter for her courage to pursue this avenue of thought and encourage her to remain steadfast in her future journey.

That being said, however, those of us who specialize in one aspect of life have a strong tendency to define ALL of life through our one area of strength. There exists four planes of existence that interact with one another on a personal level. They are physical, emotional, rational and spiritual. As a psychotherapist my strength was in the area of the emotional. I found throughout my career that it would have been very easy for me to explain away nearly all of a person's actions based on this one level. That would not have made me fully accurate, it simply meant that my strength and insight could lead me to do so. The author similarly has a tendency to explain away all of her experiences in terms of the spiritual level. As a therapist it was easy for me to see large portions of the author's life as being influenced to a far greater degree by the author's psychosocial background rather than how the author defined it.

Life is a highly complex process in order for anyone, myself or the author, to paint with a broad brush and present simplistic solutions. And while the well intended author attempts to aide us the reading public with these easy answers, let us be aware that they may be only partially effective. Yes, I am sure that we have a fully spiritual side that interacts constantly with that which we cannot see nor fully comprehend. But we also have a physical, emotional and rational side with effects our interactions with the world. There are crayons in our crayon box in addition to the one we like the best and are most used to coloring with. Let us make sure we not only use all of them but that we understand why they are all important. Understanding the necessity of living a life of balance is a critical lesson that we all must learn during this lifetime.................


A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel
A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $8.99

1.0 out of 5 stars and it goes on and on and on.................., April 3, 2015
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I have never been a great fan of 'popular literature' and this novel underlines the reasons why this is so. I am not sure if the reading public, itself, have lost all of their abilities to have them define what good literature actually is or that they never had those skills to begin with. This novel is not good literature by any definition. This is a trite and unrealistic view of how a slightly built person can not only cope with the demands of a competitive society but actually thrive in it. In real life a person such as Owen would have been shunned to the sidelines and forced to live a meager and lonely existence. Instead, he winds up being the town's most favored and revered personality. Why you ask? Mr. Irving decided that in order for this to occur he would make his protagonist a 'spirit filled angelic misfit'. How is this accomplished? By his parents claiming that he is of virgin birth, by Owen claiming that God had willed him to kill his best friend's mother, that he was 'led' to speak out at a Christmas pageant in order to scold the parishioners and that he was given a vision of the date of his death and he would be saving helpless children while it happened. I am not sure if this storyline echoes the shallowness of the public's spirituality, is highly skewed definition of predetermination or is simply a laughable set of circumstances. Lastly, authors like Steven King and John Irving leave some of us with the feeling that their publisher pays them by the word rather than by the content. This silly rendition of life could have been written in less than two hundred pages....................


Life II
Life II
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great potential but a meaningless novel nonetheless........., March 21, 2015
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This review is from: Life II (Kindle Edition)
Seldom have I read a novel that initially had such great potential that has led to such a dismal finish. Through time travel our protagonist chooses to relive his life from his high school years onward. From such a premise you could conclude that he has taken this oppportunity to overcome the troubled existence that he is trying to escape from, but you would be wrong! Instead he chooses to live a life equally as troubled and as meaningless as the one he left! Sheer perseverance is the only reason I finished this 600+ page book with the slight hope that it would eventually straighten itself out and head in a more positive direction. It never did. In the hero's cumulative span of 60+ years he went through three wives, four children, three different occupations and over twelve years of university learning and, yet, he winds up being as dumb as the rock he was on page one.


The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew
The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophically delightful..............., March 4, 2015
While some of us spend a great deal of our time reading about the scientific mechanics of the universe we live or what our religious leaders tell us we should believe about our universe or, even, what parts of our universe is real and what parts are mere folk-tales, no one has recently penned a philosophical viewpoint that draws all facets together. Mr. Lightman has done just that. Without influencing us with his religious, scientific or even personal convictions the author examines the reality of the universe from a number of perspectives. Why is there a universe, how it, along with us, will in time cease to exist, how scientific and religious considerations have little to do with one another, the magnitude and the symmetry we find around us and how the laws of nature keep it in harmony with itself are some of the author's considerations. We are all part of the whole. Maybe we all need a quiet three hour reading to reflect on that............


Birdman (Jack Caffery Book 1)
Birdman (Jack Caffery Book 1)
Price: $9.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Unfettered perversity..........., February 26, 2015
There are sentences that should never be written. Notes written in the margins of library books should not be there. Lurid jokes about body parts should not be on Men's Room walls. Allegiances to street gangs should not be emblazoned on highway structures call attention to symbols that lack rationality. Books that deal in the perverse and disgusting acts of those entranced in the macabre should never be placed on a sheet of paper. This novel is such book. How far down the toilet of perversity have we as a society flushed ourselves that such a presentation is not only a very popular reading ? Can we ever reemerge from the waste we have allowed ourselves to drift into? Probably not, but that is a topic for a Sociology course and not a book review.
Unfettered sexual fantasies, necrophilia, and moral perversions fill this tome from cover to cover. Only those who need the dark sides of self titillation and living an immoral life vicariously can find sadistic pleasure from reading this book............
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 5, 2015 2:55 AM PST


The Girl on the Train: A Novel
The Girl on the Train: A Novel
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars First Person Singular Shown Through Three Feminine Viewpoints..........., February 9, 2015
If you want characterizations that you can fall in love with, read a Harlequin romance. However, if you want to unveil the highly neurotic and narcissistic thoughts and feelings of those all around us, Ms. Hawkins will unmask them for you. Through the first person singular rantings of three highly passive and vulnerable women, the underlying depression and insecurities of their pursuit of the 'American Dream' are brought forth and thrust into clear view. In all, we have characters that range from the abusive psychotic to the unethical professional to the whiney and migraine producing alcoholic. Although our 'heroine' Rachel's diatribe becomes quite mundane and irritating at times, it is through this labyrinth of clouded thoughts that the crime is actually brought to light, solved and the cause of justice is served. One must remember when one ventures into this writing that a degree in insanity runs through all of our veins and how we are eventually labeled is merely based on how many of these traits we wish to reveal to other persons in society. If you adverse to one of the characters in this novel, his or her portrayal may be revealing something unpleasant about yourself.................


CyberStorm
CyberStorm
Price: $2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars 'Bumps' that we have mindlessly conjured up..............., January 25, 2015
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This review is from: CyberStorm (Kindle Edition)
Most of the citizens of the U.S. carry with them a high degree of paranoia and potential fears about the future of our planet. If you are one of those persons who hear a number of things that go 'bump in the night' this novel should aide you towards being completely catatonic. It appears that Mr. Mather had an extensive list of all the irrational and improbable things that may occur to cause the lights of planet Earth go out for the last time. And, being the 'adventure filled' author, he is included nearly everyone of these potential catastrophes in this dark tale, from head lice to Russian cyber attacks! And, he had them all occur within a fictional 36 day period!

In his defense Mr. Mather is a very fluid writer as he moves from one situation to another and, as stated earlier, his writing should appeal to a paranoid reading public whose numbers seem to swell each day. His characterizations, however, are flat and incomplete and leave us with a diffuse understanding of who the characters are and who they were meant to represent. I, on the other hand, find dystopic tales that have a moralistic base and/or can teach us something about our present living situation to be much more engrossing................


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