The Far Shore Kindle Edition
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From the Author
The Far Shore came into being, like a lot of my stories, from a chance brush with a character or notion. In this case, it was the idea of a World War II medic. I may have seen such a character in passing in a documentary, I really can't remember. But I was struck by the hopelessness of such a job. Armed solely with syringes and bandages, he is trying to heal while at the very same time the War around him is destroying everything on a far faster and grander scale. I was intrigued by what would keep such a person going, the sort of perpetual attrition experienced by them. For every one they save, another 20, say, go down. How does one persevere in the face of such suffering? Which of course is a central notion in Buddhism, and being a Buddhist, I thought such a character would be a fine lens through which to explore this idea.
- Publication Date : March 7, 2017
- File Size : 1950 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 518 pages
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Publisher : One Light Road, Inc. (March 7, 2017)
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B01MU7VOP3
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #722,254 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I expected this to be a great read.
Unfortunately, I'll never know.
I couldn't get past the one-sentence paragraphs.
Have our attention spans really gotten this bad?
I won't read James Patterson because I can't handle the two-page chapters.
This is far worse!
I couldn't get past the first chapter.
I found it jarring to be forced to take a mental break...
... after every...single...sentence.
Of course, your mileage may vary.
Lonely, adrift, and suffering from ennui, Lily Allen works at a tedious office job during the day, only to come home to a cramped, cluttered apartment at night. Her sole comfort consists of vegging out in front of the TV while consuming a steady diet of Coors Lights and Klondike bars. As Lily longs to escape her rut, her dream seemingly comes true when an heir-finder informs her that her grandfather, Gray Allen, left behind a fortune to the tune of $16 million. Rightfully suspicious, Lily’s quickly told that the “prize money” comes with a catch: She can only claim it if she’s able to locate her grandfather’s remains and prove he’s legally deceased. Unfortunately, she knows little about him as he went missing in action during World War II.
Driven by this potential windfall, Lily slaps on her detective cap and embarks on an international quest to retrace his steps. As her journey takes her across the world, from South Carolina to the Far East, she learns that she and her grandfather have more in common than blood relation: A traumatized soldier, he yearned to free himself from his haunted past by walking the Earth, seeking answers to life’s biggest questions. Lily realizes that, without even knowing it, she has also been searching for answers and a sense of meaning in her own life. However, if she’s to ever uncover this pot of gold, she’ll not only have to risk life and limb, she’ll have to conquer her own demons as well.
The Far Shore is a gripping page-turner, one that will keep you up into the early hours of the morning, eagerly following Lily’s journey into the unknown. In truth, part of what makes the novel so engaging is that it’s as much about Gray (the grandfather) as it is about Lily. What’s more, Gray’s story is actually a series of stories told by the people who encountered him over the years. Unfettered by time or place, Scheuring cleverly uses this device as a way to immerse the reader into his characters’ lives and perspectives. Meanwhile, he deftly weaves these characters’ narratives into a whole, and as a result, Gray, who starts out a ghostlike figure at the beginning of the novel, is a fully defined character by the end.
A perfect blend of escapism and realism, you could simply sit back and lose yourself in the mystery, which serves as the bedrock of The Far Shore. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, as Scheuring incorporates a range of ideas into his work, the more rewarding experience involves taking time to reflect on the subtle insights laced throughout. While relating his story to Lily, Kesuke, a Japanese Buddhist monk, says it best: “I now know that a man’s surface thoughts are rarely what actually drives him; those thoughts are effectively just a movie projected upon his consciousness, a facile narrative to render the confusing experience of life into a most easily digestible shorthand. The really interesting stuff is what is going on over in the darkness by the projector. The real currents of the soul.”
In terms of dialogue, Scheuring’s extensive experience as a screenwriter has obviously paid off, as he possesses a real ear for it. Realistic and natural, it effortlessly flows across the page like the voice of an old and dear friend. Similarly, Scheuring paints his scenes in such startling detail that you can actually feel Gray’s terror as the artillery shells rain down on him during an especially harrowing battle. Later, as Gray traverses the Bangladeshi countryside, living off the land, you can feel the smooth earth beneath his bare feet.
As a good chunk of the novel focuses on Gray’s nightmarish experiences as a World War II soldier, there are some disturbing passages not meant for the faint of heart. However, it’s this grittiness that enhances the realism of the novel. Scheuring doesn’t sugarcoat the cruelty humanity is capable of, and seen through this lens, the novel is also a grim exploration of how we cope with life’s inherent suffering and pain. Fortunately, Scheuring wisely knows to balance this weighty subject matter with Lily’s modern humor and dry wit. Here she is offering her views on the opposite sex: “Men were ultimately funny. Actors that didn’t know they were bad. Wholly transparent, with no clue that they were so. Any complexity they exhibited during the romance stage—whether in business, relationships, dating, or conversation—could always be reduced to a binary of sex and power.” In a less capable writer’s hands, this could come off as bitter or even shrewish; yet, Scheuring imbues Lily with a combination of strength and humility that instantly makes her a likeable protagonist.
The Far Shore is many things: an exciting mystery, a meditation on humanity and its capacity for war, an individual’s path to enlightenment. It’s also the understanding that, while life can be painful and isolating, it’s only by turning outward toward your fellow man that you can truly begin to heal. I highly recommend The Far Shore for anyone who enjoys curling up on the couch and diving into a juicy mystery, one full of labyrinthine twists and turns. What’s more, with its spiritually rich and profound insights, it may just illuminate a few dark corners in your life.
Top reviews from other countries
We basically start off with our main character, Liliana. Typical, average lady, with a dead-end job that gets her nowhere fast. Enter the next main character Bruce with an enticing offer of $16.4 million provided they can find a long-lost grandfather. Lily does what any curious human would do, make inquiries about her grandfather and see if there's any possible chance that this kind of money is real. Finding out that she had been lied to about her grandfather for all these years, Lily heads off on the journey of a life-time to track him down, not even knowing if he's dead or alive.
The reader is along for quite the ride. Journeying through the Eastern Coast of USA to the West Coast and Hawaii, over to Burma and Japan. Following in her grandfather's footsteps, talking to people who knew him as they tell quite detailed stories of World World II and Pearl Harbour. Both of those stories were extremely detailed to the point where one can visually see, feel, and hear everything that went on during those times. Hearing war stories from those who were actually there, is quite a different experience from reading about them in history books. All those War Veterans share with you what the books don't tell ... their own personal experiences. What they thought, how they acted, their own personal experiences, their feelings, happy times, sad times, the struggles, the achievements, all the things that truly matter the most.
Reading through the war stories sections, I felt everything that Gray went through. From being sent out to War, seeing all the things he saw, the fear he felt, all the death around him, the darkness that formed deep inside his soul, the pain anguish sadness, his journey to find some kind of light within himself, the peace he finally found. All of it, a truly emotional ride. Such a brilliant experience to read.
Following Lily as she tracks down her grandfather was also an emotional read, but not quite as deep as what Gray (her grandfather) had gone through. Naturally, everyone has their own experiences in life, their own struggles, and their own ways of overcoming them. Being lied to about her own grandfather, then going out to find the truth about him, was a huge step for her. I love seeking out the truth, whether they end up in happiness or tragedy. The mystery of what one is going to find at the end of the journey is intriguing. Lily sought the truth, and found it, all the while encountering various obstacles and hardships along the way. A very much satisfying ending.
For much of the book, it was a constant battle of what the end will be. Is Gray still alive? Is Gray dead? Both were very strong possibilities. Without spoiling the truth, I will say that about 3/4 of the way through the book, I strongly felt that it was going to be one way, but there was always that inkling within me that is telling me it's the other way. It did end up being what I thought but it had come so very close to being the other.
The one thing I was not expecting at all was Lily's decision at the end. I often wondered what it would be like to do what she has done. But then I remember what the "real world" is like out there and I get scared, scurrying off to my blankets. Even Vancouver seems like an impossible dream for me. (I'm from PEI where things here are small and quiet compared to the real big cities of the world.)
The Far Shore lived up to my expectations. I expected an intriguing story, relatable characters, the emotions and feels, a journey, some truth-seeking, characters that change/evolve throughout. I got all that and so much more. It was near impossible to put this book down as you just gotta read the next page, and the next, oh and one more page, and another. It was a digital copy I purchased through Amazon and I am determined to get a physical copy to display nicely on my bookcase. Maybe someday I can finally meet Paul T Scheuring and get my book signed. :)