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Lost In Thought Kindle Edition
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|Length: 292 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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First off, let me say this is one of the best-written books I've read this year. Mr. Townley has a solid grasp on the craft of writing fiction. Sentences so lean that, like the notes in a Mozart symphony, you'd be hard-pressed to pick a spare word that could be removed without reducing the story.
The opening few chapters paint a picture of the challenging relationship between Richard and his son, Luke. I empathized with Luke, and with his son who has some undefined mental challenges of his own. This `real world' introduction is set against a beautifully drawn backdrop of a Cornish coastal town.
But the story doesn't dwell in the physical world for long. Most of the words are used to follow the characters as they ride the roller coaster of imagination inside Luke's comatose father's mind.
And inside the Brainscape, it's Jumanji meets A Christmas Carol (the parts where Scrooge is taken back in time), with a smattering of Alice in Wonderland. Nothing is as it seems, and everything is triggered or controlled through metaphors that relate to the old man's life and loves. Luke learns aspects of his father's life hitherto misunderstood, and in the process he also learns about himself. As Luke battles the evil government agent (who understands how to control the Brainscape-world) the action is non-stop: a psychedelic happening driven by words instead of pills.
I felt certain reluctance to surrender to this imaginary world. After all, I was enjoying the introductory story, and the idea of spending most of the book in a place where there were no rules that I could fathom, didn't appeal. However, the imagery was so strong, and the pacing so fast that I soon left my niggling Doubting Thomas behind, let go of the reins of reality, and went along for the ride.
And it was a lot of fun.
This review was originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog.
Very imaginative and well-written, with very minimal profanity. Contains some SF-fantas- type violence, but not explicit and not pervasive. These content considerations, a well-written story, and a well-done indie project combine to earn five stars, in my book.
ARK -- 31 December 2014
Dubois decides to steal it. He breaks into Richard's house, but Richard catches him in the act. A scuffle ensues and Richard ends up bashed over the head and in a coma in hospital. Of course, those working on the machine want to go in to wake him up, in the case of the doctors, and find zither algorithm, in the case of the backer. The policewoman investigating the case always goes in, hoping to find a memory of the attack that identifies the attacker. The other important character is Luke, Richard's son. The medical team won't go in without a family member to help them understand the memories they might come across. Dubois also thinks he may know where Richard has hidden the algorithm. At first Luke doesn't want to know anything about it. He has major issues with his father, but eventually he relents and off they go.
The imagery inside Richards brain is wonderful, as they travel for one area to the next, using the metaphors Richard subconsciously provides. I found the chasm between the left and right hemispheres and the rickety bridge across it particularly evocative. If you are interested in Freud and Jung, archetypes and the functions of the main parts of the brain and the psyche, you'll find plenty of that here, and it's been we'll researched.
The characters are excellent - complex, well drawn and realistic - and both Luke and Cate, one of the doctors, develop well as the story progresses. Once inside Richard's brian Dubois shows his true colours and becomes the evil mastermind, and the story becomes one to match the best of urban fantasy, even including a few vampires and werewolves.The ending is satisfying on many levels, and perhaps best of all, Mr Townley knows how to write good prose.
Undoubtably 5 stars.
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