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Life Is A Balance: It isn't only about you Audible – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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By Bonnie Cehovet VINE VOICE on August 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Life Is A Balance" is Nork's follow-up book to "Misguided Sensitivity". Both books are written in an autobiographical format, and deal with coming of age, and the issues that we face in the journey we call life. "Misguided Sensitivity" took us through the main character's graduation from high school, which is where "Life Is A Balance" picks up.

The journey of discovery that Phil, the main character in both books is on, is all about how to interact with other people. In his case, coming to understand his own sexuality is a major part of this journey. Phil also has a gift - that of making others feel good about themselves. In "Misguided Sensitivity:, we see how this gift is interwoven with his sexuality, and how he sees himself. In "Life Is A Balance", we see the journey become more about the people around him.

In the beginning of "Life Is A Balance", Phil makes the decision to take a trip to Florida to meet his father. He takes his younger brother along as support. What they find is a father who welcomes them with open arms. He asks one thing ... that they respect his alternate lifestyle. Phil decides to stay and live with his father, while his brother returns home. He is introduced to a lifestyle that includes his father's luxury home, spending time in his father's nightclub, and exploring drugs and alcohol.

He also goes through a series of relationships, each of which has a lesson for him. When the woman that he loves is killed in an accident with her alcoholic father, Phil decides to return to Missouri. With no destination in mind, he stops in a small town, gets a job, and starts setting down roots.

Throughout the book references are made to roses, and what different color roses mean.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is Friday night, and the skating rink has suddenly gone dark. A signature song hints at his arrival. The darkness is pierced by gliding lights. Riding on transparent wheels that glow with light, in black angel flight pants and metallic shirt, someone different has arrived. The girls in the rink line up, reaching out to touch him as he passes them like a dream, a fantasy; an escape from all their problems. Welcome to the life of Disco Phil.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The main character, Phil, engages in a series of sexual encounters, in which he repeats the same behavior and comes away with only minor advances in understanding of himself, others and the world. His disintegrated life begins early, as he pursues only one path to knowledge.

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.
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