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Ghosts of a Tired Universe Paperback – June 3, 2011
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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 provided free from the author in exchange for honest literary review
This is a story of Charles and his sidekick Dormius. It follows the two from a stint in a juvenile detention center on through adulthood. Both are artisans, focusing on sculpture and poetry/writing respectively. Their common threads seems to weave a strong but unlikely friendship.
After a brutal rape on his love Mira, which leaves here scarred for life and institutionalized Charles seems to drift in more of a dark place in his life. He uses his paranormal gifts to spend much more time in reflection and cause and effect world related problems. As you delve deeper into the novel you see that it is actually Charles's journey into himself that is the true focus of the novel.
While the author is cryptic at times and somewhat hard to follow, I understand the purpose it. This book envokes a sense ofbeeflection both worldly and of self. It is way out of my normal genre and I was pleasantly suprised to have enjoyed it. This is some of the most intricate characterization and symbolism that I have ever read. While it is eerie at times it's not truly dark which I liked. Overall good novel and excellent philosophical read.