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Ghosts of a Tired Universe Paperback – June 3, 2011
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About the Author
Jonas Samuelle awoke in an Arizona vineyard several years ago to find that he had no memory, a bleeding head-wound, a relentless authorial drive, and a shotgun leveled at him. Some of these issues have yet to be remedied.
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In a wasted corner of Arizona that time can't see, a journalist arrives for an interview more important that he knows. He has been sent to uncover the event now known as `The Forgetting' but is, in fact, the mysterious disconnect of everyone in the world from his or her previous life. Though the journalist is following a lead, the powerful stranger he meets is the only one who can - and will - finally tell all.
The interplay of polar opposition underlies this story at every turn: the perverse cherubs and `lurks'; the rise or fall from grace; passion and materialism; and dark and light, to name just a few. The novel is an exploration in mirror opposition that is mysterious, poetic, and even playful. It is verbal burlesque; as each passage reveals more of the story, new layers are exposed that are exquisitely tempting.
The story is fast-paced and well conceived. Amidst a multitude of players and symbolic elements, Samuelle weaves a stylish account with complete control, even as the reader writhes with anticipation to see each piece find its place. The main characters, Charles and Dormius, are authentic and their loyal friendship is rendered with skill and insight. A few secondary characters are done well but are less distinct as the author's voice overpowers them somewhat. This is easily forgiven, however, as Samuelle writes with vivid and often poetic imagery. If occasionally (rarely) his simile is a little heavy-handed, it is also richly descriptive and entirely commanding. His style is bold and robust, full of poignant questions and meaningful insights.
Ghosts Of A Tired Universe barrels along the edge of darkness in a tale that is at once disturbing yet is simultaneously a release into freedom and exhilaration.
(This would be 4.5 stars if the system worked that way to account for the bits that I think need a slight tweaking. While most 4.5 authors would end with '4' here, Samuelle does such an excellent job and the narrative is so well executed that 'Ghosts' earns the bump to 5 stars - J.A.Taylor, author)
Of course there is more to the story than that. Both Charles and Dormius are both gifted, Charles with the ability to see the universe both past and future, and Dormius is able to look into peoples minds. A man with Charles's talent and the kind of pain that he was in after what happened to Mira ends up being a recipe for the extreme.
I don't want to go into a lot of detail about the path that Charles ends up on, mainly because it would give away to much about the ending, and it would rob you as the reader from going on the journey of discovery that Samuelle takes you on to explain what has occurred. What I will say is the Charles spends a lot of his time exploring what makes the world what it is, and that his journey ends up being more of a philosophical journey for the reader.
I myself, tend not to enjoy books that get overly complicated, or that are hard to follow. This book had moments of being hard to follow, but I think that was intentional by the author, the confusion I felt as a reader was parallel to the confusion that Charles was going through, and when Charles made revelations so did I.
Samuelle has a lot to say about the world, and offers a lot of commentary to a wide range of topics, the greed of humans, organized religion, and so much more. Ever though Samuelle has a lot to say, it never comes off as preachy. There were times I agreed with what was on the page and times when I didn't, but I always understood where Samuelle was coming from and was able to make up my mind as to how I felt about the topics at hand.
The book is written very intelligently and the intricacies of how the plot is revealed are complex. There is no doubt that this is quality writing. While there are some paranormal elements within the book (both Charles and Dormius have a power, as well as some other elements that are revealed as the story progresses) the book is primarily a philosophical one. If you are looking for a book that makes you think and makes you questions why the world is the way it is then this is most definitely your book. I can say I enjoyed the read and it really did make me think.
This book was perhaps a little too deep for my liking. I kept finding myself slowed down while trying to digest the book's complicated themes and unnecessarily large words and long sentences. At first, I was confused by the chronological and narrative shifts, but I eventually caught on. That said, the plotline and characters of this novel were truly unique, and I found the concept rather intriguing. This book is worth a re-read now that I better understand the characters.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.
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This book was provided free from the author in exchange for honest literary review