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Life Is A Balance: It isn't only about you Paperback – August 7, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
From the Author
Awarded The Gold Standard of Literary Excellence from The Princeton Literary Review Board 2013.
About the Author
Philip Nork was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the oldest of three children. His early years were devastating as he endured the divorce of his parents, the death of his beloved great-grandmother, and the resulting feelings of isolation and loneliness. While these events took their toll, they also shaped the man he grew up to be. Phil had a different perspective than his friends and his experiences were totally unique. As his young male friends were busy playing baseball, defending their turf, and hitting on girls, his time was spent reading, listening to music, writing his feelings down in his journal and trying to understand the differences in people and to figure out how “we can all get along.” After graduating early from high school, he entered the work force as a way to help support his mother and his siblings. To get away from the reality of his life, Phil spent much of his off time with his friend Joyce, a lesbian. She was able to help him experience women at his own pace and taught him many of the lessons he was to put in place. As more and more straight ladies entered his life, these experiences allowed him to learn more about human nature and he was able to turn these special times into the stories in his book. Phil lives in Nevada with his wife and their son. He mixes work with his love of writing. He spent the first 25 years of his working life in the restaurant industry. He took all the knowledge from his early days at McDonalds and parlayed that into a successful stint with Panera Bread. He rose from the day to day operations of a general manager to become an Area Manager and then a Training Manager for that organization. Teaching and speaking in front of hundreds of trainees day in and day out helped him perfect his easy going style. He is now an Area Manager for CDS, a marketing and sales firm which specializes in working with the vendors of Costco Wholesale Warehouses. In addition to writing, Phil is a baseball card collector, an avid reader, and enjoys listening to the music of his youth, especially Rod Stewart and Air Supply.
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Top customer reviews
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I started reading this book expecting a story that would entertain me. But there is much more to Disco Phil than glowing lights. Phil was once a shy boy dealing with the divorce of his parents. But all that changes when he reinvents himself as Disco Phil. Disco Phil has a rhythm, a certain style, and he seems unstoppable. His grandmother had given him the most valuable advice on the ladies. Always listen to their problems sincerely. And this ability becomes the magnet with which Disco Phil attracts and seduces women. While to his friends, Disco Phil is living the perfect life, there is an inner world of this very interesting man which pulls us deeper into the story. Phil wants to discover who he really is and wants to be loved by a woman, who sees beyond the glamour. This desire to rise above appearances and reach out to something higher and meaningful is what pulled me into his world.
As Phil leaves his hometown to visit his father in Florida we are introduced to a whole new kind of life style. I don't want to give away anything here, but it was intriguing how Philip gains access into the gay bar scene in Florida. The view he presents is detailed and so visual that those chapters could be their own book. These are also the years when America encountered the horrible AIDS virus. The details of these times and how people were reacting to it is fascinating. He is able to explain in his very clear and powerful way the allure and menace of getting involved with drugs. Throughout his journey, while listening to Rod Stewart, buying roses, and of course, skinny dipping, Phil struggles for his dream woman, always trying to leave behind `Disco Phil.' Yet we cheer for him, as he falls for a black woman and stands up to racism. His deep connections with women are highly entertaining and yet they are always accompanied by his deep insecurities. That is the success of this very important journey: The writer's ability to portray the glamorous lifestyle of a confident ladies man, while simultaneously informing us about his deepest fears.
The dialog is honest and feels very real. I feel I know these people! When his beautiful ex-girlfriend shows up dramatically at his workplace, claiming to be pregnant, we are suddenly jolted by the serious consequences of his lifestyle. At times, Phil gives everything he has, but the relationship still does not click. His greatest gift is also his greatest enemy. Phil loves women by empowering them, but this sensitivity also triggers in the women, a desire for self-discovery, and some of them discover that they don't really want him! Whether Disco Phil is mourning the loss of a lover, or swimming with a naked woman on a romantic night, a powerful and meaningful message is forming and lucky readers will get it.
I am a slow reader. I was in the world of Disco Phil for three evenings and I read the last line this sunny morning. I was working with my brother-in-law on his deck and as I was hammering away, on the nails, I felt the sunlight, and I suddenly realized, that it was not about the deck, or how good it will look, or when it will be finished, it is about the people standing on it, and how we see each other. Thanks Phil.
Psychologically, he rationalizes his treatment of women, seeing himself as the victim. That is a facile twist of reasoning, because in fact he takes advantage of women at their weakest moments. At times he gloats over how well he can manipulate them. Occasionally he becomes aware of the feeling of triumph and has enough moral fiber to be bothered by it. He also has the intellectual perception to recognize his malaise. Phil makes attempts to change, but quickly falls back into the old way of life. All he knows is that after each party is over his psycho-sexual way of life leaves him feeling empty.
His moments of reflection signal that he has a higher vision of himself, including a caring relationship to others. He is conscious of the effects of his actions on others. He leaves himself open to being used and hurt. Striking the right balance in a relationship takes some work. This is an authentic coming-of-age story.
Phil has a mentor, his great-grandmother, whose guidance even after her death helps him assess what he is doing and eventually find his way out of the morass. With her help he is able to identify the signs that tell him whether he is on the wrong, or the right, path. He is seeking an integration of all the aspects of being human: psychological, social, philosophical, physical and spiritual. With this integrity and a good deal of courage, Phil begins to create a constructive purpose in life.
This book summarizes the prior book in the series: Misguided sensitivity and then moves on to when the male character is older.
Heartache, struggles, joy, death, medical emergencies, emptiness-he sometimes needs help to get through life that balances good and bad.
He wonders if the gift is actually a curse. He needs to take control of his own destiny, find his spiritual self again.
For the summer he and his younger brother head to FL where his father lives and they reconnect and he learns of his life there.
He decides to live in FL after their return, he cuts away from everybody he knows in St. Louis after a huge going away party from the roller rink.
FL has many opportunities for him as he takes it all in. Love the descriptions of the rides, so detailed I feel like I am there.
Auras are fascinating to learn about. This book is so involved with the people he meets and each one gives another clue to the puzzle of his life.
At times you wonder if he will find one to really love and grow old with. Love the visits from Nana and what rain and roses signify.
Received this copy from the author and this is my honest review.