"Abstract Phil " is a deeply passionate story,that compels the reader to consider their most basic instincts; the drive to survive,the inspiration to create and the need to love. The story centers around artist Philip Riley. He is brilliant,successful and volatile. Complications arise when a lovely woman,Gina Bartoni, enters his world,and becomes Riley's muse.
What initially appears to be a story about the seductive entanglements of the opposite sex, quickly unfolds,revealing an unexpected revelation, that is emotionally stirring. Author Marco Barla skillfully choreographs an agile dance between the stream of consciousness and the classic narrative style. The result is a novel with richly defined characters. We discover humor,fear,obsession,isolation and exhilaration. While the story belongs to Phil and Gina, perhaps we may even identify and connect to our own psyche, as we travel their journey. We are drawn by an invisible force, straight to the intimate, inner landscape of Barla's characters and we dare not look away! " Abstract Phil " is a novel that will engage,surprise and most assuredly entertain.
From the opening scene of the book to the journey of the soul that the character travels, I was immersed in the passion and struggles of the life of an artist.The depth of Mr Barla's writing is exceptional! I enjoyed this book very much! and look forward to more of his writing!
It is never easy to make its mark when writing a first novel but Marco Barla brilliantly succeeds in his taut and elegantly woven, inspiring and revealing portrayal of an artist's struggle to regain his confidence, faith, trust in his fellow humans, himself and his art. Flawlessly navigating the intricacies of a man in search of a renewed meaning of life and love, the author is able to make us feel deeply for the elusive, uncertain, challenging and rewarding journey of his character. Fiercely independent, Phil is the epitome of a certain kind of mustang of a man. Widely unpredictable, untamed in spite of himself, not easy to like because he has been hurt too many times, but sensitive and profoundly aware of his flaws and idiosyncrasies. Achieving the delicate balance of rawness, emotions and originality and also, a welcome sense of humor , the book avoids many of the cliches and traps usually associated with that type of story. Characters exist for a reason, are not perfect which contributes to the poignancy to their fate and doubts. Captivating the seismograph of their lives whose tempos are never quite in synch. But even in the fiasco of dreams, hope subsides and resilience will pay off in spite of heartaches, disillusions,mistakes, regrets... Written in a richly detailed prose that at times might evoke the virility and tenderness of John Irving, the book has undeniable roots in a certain tradition of the American fiction...but never tries to imitate or parody, instead reaching its own voice and uniqueness... And the Northern California setting adding enormously by the genuine authenticity of its descriptions. In the end it is difficult not to be moved. No wonder then, that after one closes the book, it stays with us, haunting us for a long time... ABSTRACT PHIL should make a great film and one can hardly waits for Marco Barla's sophomore novel...
Marco's "Abstract Phil" is a very special gift for readers. We know that those of us from working class family's that did not go to college seldom acquire a taste for great literature. I'm often asked by otherwise intelligent folks why they should read a Harvard classic, or a platonic dialog. There is no easy answer to this. You hand them Oscar Wilde, and they just can't bridge the gap. It's just easier to grab an easy reading best seller on the table at Costco.
Marco bridges this gap immediately. The story is easy fun and you visualize a great film potential in the first few pages. You soon realize Marco's immense skill as a writer, philosopher, psychologist, and both the psychiatric patient on the couch, and the psychiatrist. And he tells you over, and over through the book that he is giving you everything he has, straight up, from the bottom of his soul.
Marco is an intense person. You are left with no doubt where he stands. And for those seeking an understanding, and appreciation of just what art is: read "Art is Love, Art is Life"....
Marco Barla's newest novel "Abstract Phil", is a thought provoking and sensitive story about the value of time and trust. I suggest everyone read this tale of romance, redemption and renewal. As an abstract painter myself, the author captured the complex and isolated journey we take, alone, in studio, compelled to express and reach our audience. Wonderful.
I truly enjoyed reading this book, offering as it does an insight to the creative process, with a love relationship correlation. The author brilliantly makes art and life interchangeable, presenting each as an extension of the other. It's a thoughtful concept, driven by controlling one's time, while accepting one's destiny. Abstract Phil is poignant without affectation, well written and definitely recommended.
i LOVED this book!! as a single mom, i dont get a lot of free time and when i do, i spend it reading. there have been books that have wasted my free time and some that i can read again and again...THIS is one of those books, i can read again and again!!