- Hardcover: 510 pages
- Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC (October 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 160860859X
- ISBN-13: 978-1608608591
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,017,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gone Away Into the Land Hardcover – October 1, 2009
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Top customer reviews
I read Gone Away: Into the Land. Not yet on the bestseller list but if it doesn't get there I'll be surprised. I stumbled onto this author's web site while searching for something totally unrelated and found the information about him and his book fascinating. My hope is that the publisher soon puts it out in paper back because I carry the book I am reading along with me and the hardback was cumbersome. That's where my criticism ends.
Gone Away is now a part of who I am. That puts it on my steadfast list along with Dune, and Lord of the Rings. I kid you not. And if it ever becomes a movie I would relate it to Pans Labyrinth, because it is like a fairy tale but with its dark side, which I loved. Allen's characters have been engraved into my memory as their stories, faces, and demeanor are so prevalent in my thoughts that I keep thinking about them. Upon completion of most books I read, I briefly reflect without much after thought, but the journey that takes place in this brilliant work of fiction has gripped my thoughts and engulfed my daydreams without my consent.
I have already passed this book along to a friend and I wrote on the author's blog, on which he wrote back and asked me to post a review which is a first for me. I am thinking of this post as doing many avid readers a great favor. From one enthusiast to the next, I strongly advise the following: READ THIS BOOK!
January 7, 2010
GoneAway Into the Land. Wow. I begin this review at eight in the morning, only four hours after finishing one of the most unique reads I have had in ages. I bought the book on a recommendation from a book blog I follow where Jeffrey B. Allen's, GoneAway into the Land was placed number one on the top ten list for 2009. I have never been misled by the reviewers on this site, however, after glancing at it when it was originally reviewed I moved on to another book and forgot about it. I decided to buy GoneAway only after I read the overall consensus. How could I not?
The first chapter immediately gripped me. I knew from the brief synopsis on the cover and descriptions I had read previously that I was into a fantasy book, but the beginning does not start out that way at all. The first fifty pages take you into the life and mind of a twelve year old boy who is living with his mother and younger sister under the fear and oppressiveness brought on by a very nasty and abusive father. John, the twelve year old boy, and main character, aptly names his father the beast. Although, what happens during the first fifty pages is disturbing, I was drawn in, I couldn't stop reading. The author sprinkles you with shadows of where the story is headed and also fills you with a deepening compassion for John and his mother and of course a loathing for the father that only grows stronger as the story progresses.
Part II throws you directly into the fantasy yet pulls you out just as you are about to close the book and say, "I'll pick this up another time." Don't, because Allen has a unique gift as a writer. He weaves the reality with the fantasy better than any author I have read in years. You are soon following the quest of a boy into his own fantasy world which becomes known as the land. The land is created by John. It is so relevant and wonderfully obvious that, as the reader, you are willingly led along, all the while being sucked deeper and deeper into this fascinating muse.
GoneAway Into the Land is an incredible book because it never becomes a fairy tale. It is one of those fantasy fiction books that defy a genre classification. GoneAway is a slow, steady series of revelations that turns into a superior coming of age story where you must root for the hero and wish the worst for the villains. Yet, along the way there are intricate philosophical and symbolic interactions among an abundance of wonderful and unique characters. GoneAway Into the Land is a large story with multiple plots. As a result, there are times when it is easy to question Allen's motives, yet the interplay of the plight of the land with its parallels to the world, as well as the ultimate quest of the hero will actually cause you to pause to reflect, or go back to re-read just to get the full impact. When it all starts to come together, you had better plan your time because you will not easily put this book down. And be prepared for a few surprises.
When Allen first introduces his reader to the land it is easy to take literally this fantasy place he dreamed up for the benefit of his hero, twelve year old John Greber. It would also have been easy to label it rather a silly place where sweet flavors are invented. But you quickly lose that feeling because of Allen's talent to send you a powerful message that this land is not what it seems. Its relevance to modern society, politics, greed, love, hate, life and death is astounding. And the relevance to the solutions John is searching for make its outward appearance perfectly sensible.
I recommend this book highly. It can be enjoyed on many levels, but I for one took a great deal from this book. The enormous compassion and relationship I developed throughout the story with the struggle of one boy to reconcile his life and find a place where he could be at peace will not soon leave me. And the characters I came to love, and some others I loathed, will also stay with me for a long time to come. A good read is something that remains in your mind as an indelible impression. GoneAway Into the Land is just such a novel.
Jeffrey B. Allen takes us on a surreal journey where John can confront his father head-on. In the luscious land of ZingZong, which is oozing with double layered cake, lemon drops and desserts that increase their flavors in your mouth, John meets a series of quirky and captivating characters, from the inadvertently comical Driver of the TAXICAB ZZL to the two lively twin-like Tasters. The conflict within the land is as great as that within the boy, but passing through a series of hurdles, our young protagonist moves from despair and hopelessness toward maturity and strength.
With an imagination rivaling that of JK Rowling and Lewis Carroll, Allen weaves a complex story of adolescence that deals with child abuse, divided loyalty, the importance of family, and the tools required to summon courage and find closure from psychic wounds. Ideal for adults and children alike, Gone Away Into the Land, Book 1, is a magical tale with a feel-good message. Don't miss it.
Most recent customer reviews
Book provided by the author for review
Originally posted at Romancing the Book
This book was absolutely amazing!Read more
This was an amazing book. It had so many elements (strong characters, wonderful plot, vivid imagery), and yet seemed rather simplistic at times.Read more