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Chaos to Order and Back Again: A collection of short stories, poems, and other dangerous things. Paperback – May 29, 2010
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About the Author
Rob Krabbe is an author, musician and composer living deep in the forest of the upstate of South Carolina, having relocated in 2005 from the Los Angeles area, to live where there are trees and seasons for a while. He currently lives with his mostly grown children and his wife of 30 years. Rob has written stories, books, poetry, and shopping lists for thirty five years, and is a published composer of over 600 songs.
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Chaos To Order And Back Again is both brash and vulnerable, but intentionally so, with a back cover illustration reminiscent of the wildness of Hunter S. Thompson and a subtitle of "A Collection Of Short Stories, Poems And Other Dangerous Things." Rob Krabbe dedicates this book to those who have stayed with him (when he thinks they should have left), that is, to those who haven't abandoned him. He tells us about "a place of deep passion/Its dreams lay waiting" and this entire book, although sometimes humorous, is absolutely not flippant but an in-depth dissection of one person's life. Krabbe acknowledges the individualities and eccentricities of others as God-given, which many people do not, and added onto the title on the back cover is the phrase "The Desperate Seach For Something More."
In the short story "The Stalker" Krabbe presents an eight-year-old murderer, scared to death at what he's done and afraid to go home, whereas in the poem "And": "I remember a time when I was very young/and I wish sometimes I could go back for just a day" when his dog Peppy dies. The book is full of zest as the author loves the smell of freshly-cut grass and each new day, while at the same time gunshots and fears and nightmares abound, energetically! The words almost jump off the pages at you, sling-shot as they are from the author's enthusiasm. In juxtaposition there are churches and sanctuaries and searches for God, as the author exists "Like every other day in that particular eternity" (from "It Was A Day In 2002," a story about manic-depression).
The book is so imbued with the word "death" or a form of it (actually, possible death) that you can't go for ten pages without encountering it, which shows us just how much the author is trying to live. (One story includes "a vial of eternal life", which would certainly be useful!) This is definitely not the work of an introvert but of someone who lives larger than life out among many people. Talking about Sally in the story "Come September" he notes that "Everyone, to the number, who heard about the way she had died allowed that it was by far the best way a person could die. One minute you're living, and the next without fanfare or trouble, before you yourself even notice, you have already moved on."
Finally, in a poem Krabbe talks of a God "Who, in Spirit, translates the groaning of my heart/Who says no, flatly/when I want to take my life in my own hand/and I weep again/For I know that today I would have died." All in all, Chaos To Order And Back Again is a spiritual portrayal of one person's struggle to remain alive and embrace life without abandoning it, as he himself has not been abandoned.
Reviewed by Christina Zawadiwsky
Christina Zawadiwsky is Ukrainian-American, born in New York City, has a degree in Fine Arts, and is a poet, artist, journalist and TV producer. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Award, two Wisconsin Arts Boards Awards, a Co-Ordinating Council of Literary Magazines Writers Award, and an Art Futures Award, among other honors. She was the originator and producer of Where The Waters Meet, a local TV series created to facilitate the voices of artists of all genres in the media, for which she won two national and twenty local awards, including a Commitment to Community Television Award. She is also a contributing editor to the annual Pushcart Prize Anthology, the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, and has published four books of poetry. She currently reviews movies for [...] music for [...] and books for [...]