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Say Not "What If" Paperback – July 11, 2011
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The book was engaging due to the poignant story, the authors ability to create a short story entirely in rhyming form, and its ability to provoke personal reflection from the story of the main character.
This book may help you decipher what is really most important to you and put it into perspective. That alone is worth the read.
I was not sure how I would feel about a long prose-poem, and I was a little intimidated by it. However, it did not take long for me to know how I felt about the book itself. I was hooked by the second page.
Most of us can probably relate to a story of a man spending too much time away from his family, and not enough time appreciating the time he has on this earth. Why is it that we can all find ourselves in this situation, even when the world around us is filled with examples of how "not-to"? I am reminded of two famous sayings: "Learn by example" and "Learn by our own mistakes". Which one is correct? Or are they both correct?
The main character in this short story is depicted, in the beginning, as one who has a passion for his job, or if not a passion, then dedication and loyalty. When everyone else leaves for the day, he and his boss remain. And it is clear that he believes this is the way to get through life, the way that will lead to a wonderful time of retirement.
Reading the opening stanza, it seems as though this man's life theory is: to live for the day. "Say Not What If", embrace life and all it offers. We learn, almost immediately, that this philosophy of life was only arrived at after some big moments of regret. The bulk of the story finds the main character struggling with his life choices.
While it might be tempting to read this book in one short period of time, I would caution against this. I took multiple sittings, as the subject matter was heavy, even though the style of writing was light. And as the book progressed I was pleased with the slower pace of my reading.
As I read his story, I could not help but feel pain for the main character. But also pain for those of us living part, or all of our lives, saying "what if". For a short book, this story addresses major life issues, ones which the reader will find speak to the core of our beings. The author has the skill to reach directly into our hearts, souls, and minds - in a very short amount of time.
I highly recommend this book, and hope that we as readers, will learn life lessons that will stay with us for the rest of our journey.
I would like to thank Andrew Friedman, for providing a complimentary copy of his book, for my review.
"Where is the Joy?"!!!!!
My very next post, after deciding I would ask that question at the end of any post, I forgot! So, I will add it in here. Maybe no one else remembered either!!
So, where is the Joy in this post, in this book? I thought that might be a challenging question, given the subject matter of the book "Say Not What If", (maybe that's why I `forgot'!??).
However, the answer came quite easily. I found Joy in the rhyming pattern of the stanzas, in the flow of the words, and from there the images of what was being depicted.
That was the Joy.
"Say Not What If" is a unique blend of poetry written as a short story. It focuses on a man who, throughout his life, has always pushed his career ahead of anything else in life. In a desperate attempt to change things and right the wrongs, he finds that he's made his life much worse and ends up on death row. We get to see into the life of a prison inmate as he endures his days behind bars.
It's very important to live in the now and be there for those in your life that you love and cherish. Spending too much time in pursuit of a career, material goods, prestige, etc. while sacrificing time spent with loved ones are things you can never change. You can never get back the 20 hour days you spend at the office, the baseball games you miss, the family togetherness (in whichever way it's spent) that gets pushed aside, or other things. While an extreme example, "Say Not What If" really drives those points home. Plus, you can't outsmart death; whether it be naturally, due to accident, illness, or, as in the book, a death sentence due to unwise choices.
The flow of "Say Not What If" is smooth and flows well. The rhyming pattern makes the book read smoothly and quickly without become dull or monotonous but sometimes I felt that it distracted from the ultimate message. If nothing else, though and you can adapt to the poetic tones, this book makes you step back and ponder your own life. Of course, whether you self-assess and make changes or not is up to you, not me or the book, or the messages conveyed.
This is definitely an interesting approach to writing.
(Book provided at no cost for an honest review).
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