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Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma, Book One) Paperback – July 6, 2012
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About the Author
“Makes a living by travelling, talking a lot and sometimes writing stuff down. Galericulate author, polymath and occasional smarty-pants.” John Dolan hails from a small town in the North-East of England. Before turning to writing, his career encompassed law and finance. He has run businesses in Europe, South and Central America, Africa and Asia. He and his wife Fiona currently divide their time between the UK and Thailand.
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"Everyone Burns" is by turns gritty, tender, introspective, darkly funny, clever, sad, dangerous and sexy. Mr. Dolan draws the reader into the Thai landscape and culture, spins a tricky mystery, and releases into the story a wholly engaging and diverse cast.
I was particularly delighted with David Braddock's complex (and brilliantly flawed) relationships with the women in his life.
The first-person point of view is unabashedly intellectual; Braddock is a storyteller of a protagonist, taking the reader through the events of his life through the filter of a man who is literate, self-aware, kind, generous, coarse and full of human failings. In short, the best kind of man.
The resolution is satisfying without being obvious, with unexpected twists and timely reveals.
I am very much looking forward to the next novel in the series.
Everyone Burns by John Dolan
The setting is Koh Samui, Thailand. I spend lots of time in Thailand, but only as a tourist. This story gives an excellent feel for what it would be like to be a Westerner actually living there. It's great to see an insider's view of this life.
The characters come to life. They are created in a fashion that makes you feel you know them intimately - like them or not, you will know them. The protagonist is a flawed character that you grow to like, but would often like to throttle him.
The plot/story line is absolutely fascinating. The author takes you into a variety of interconnected subplots that keeps you guessing the whole time.
For anyone with an interest in Buddhism, (like my wife, who is currently engrossed in the book), there is lots of thoughtful and insightful philosophical passages. The hero is forced to engage in self-discovery throughout the whole story.
The ending is very satisfying and completes the picture making you glad you invested the time into reading the story.
As a slow reader, I would usually take a month to get through such a story, only being able to read a chapter or two each day. But this was one of the few books I had trouble putting down and finished in record time. I am now keen on reading more by John Dolan.
This was a different type of lead character, a man with his own moral compass and values. David: a sarcastic, brash-witted investigator who, in the end, imparted his own brand of justice. That part I liked, but at times, the book seemed to be all over the place and the story not focused.
There was Buddhist philosophy and segments of the story which were deeply meaningful, offset by the characters constant lust and sexual desire, especially for Kat. With the exception of David, the other characters seemed less developed and the story just moved along in and out of different scenarios. And other than Bee, Da & Wayan, none of the other characters had any redeeming value. I have to admit, the reveal of the relationship between David and Claire was awesome......I didn't see that coming.
I struggled between rating this book a 3 and a 2, so I opted for the higher rating. I finished the book and highlighted some of the key Buddhist messages but I don't think I'll be following this character into the next two books of the series.