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Testing the Prisoner Paperback – November 20, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Daniel Masenda thought he had made peace with his dark past when he left his home for a better life fourteen years ago. As the mayor of a small, tranquil town along Virginia's Eastern Shore, Daniel has everything he ever wanted - until a series of haunting visions, coupled with the death of his estranged mother, pits him against two ghostly entities at war with one another. Each has its own agenda as they force Daniel to relive moments from his violent youth and push him to the edge of insanity. As his idyllic life begins to unravel, will he be able to decipher the message behind the hauntings before they destroy, not only him, but the soul of someone he left behind?

About the Author

A Pennsylvania resident, Phil Giunta graduated from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. His first novel, a paranormal mystery called Testing the Prisoner, debuted in March 2010 from Firebringer Press. His second novel in the same genre, By Your Side, is slated for release in March 2013.

In August 2012, he was among an exclusive group of authors selected to participate in Crazy 8 Press's new venture, ReDeus, a collection of anthologies and novels depicting the return of all the world's mythological gods. This series was created by veteran authors Bob Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, Paul Kupperberg, and Steven Savile. Phil's short story about the Celtic gods, "There Be In Dreams No War", was featured in the premiere anthology, ReDeus: Divine Tales. Two additional anthologies are planned for 2013.

Phil is currently editing a short story collection titled Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity for Firebringer Press. He is also the narrator of an audio version of Testing the Prisoner, which can be heard for free at Podiobooks.com. The audio version of By Your Side is forthcoming on the Prometheus Radio Theatre feed: prometheus.libsynpro.com.

Visit Phil's website at philgiunta.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Firebringer Press (November 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977385116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977385119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,134,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Howard Weinstein on December 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
A darkly personal supernatural psycho-thriller about a small-town mayor who finds himself fighting to save his own soul from the demons spawned during his abusive childhood and now unleashed after the death of his estranged mother.

Author Phil Giunta confronts the blurred border between love and hate hidden within the human heart in this promising, ultimately hopeful first novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Phil is a relatively new author in terms of years alive and years published. When I started reading Phil’s first book I was skeptical. I had been reading bestselling science fiction, paranormal, and serial killer themed books for years. The stories behind these bestsellers are very deep, very emotional, and very real in a sense you know it’s fiction, but it’s also so very real. You keep reading because you have to know what or who’s behind the closed door, what’s lurking behind the next corner, how do the pieces fit together for that ah-ha moment. After wanting to know for so long, the author finally exposes the truth - what really happened. This is where the reader finally gets that ah-ha moment!!! What Phil Giunta’s books have in common with bestsellers is you want to keep reading because there is no next chapter, there is no start to another chapter. His writing style seamlessly moves from one scene to the next, from one character to the next, from the present to the past to the future without the reader needing to question why. You know why and you simply want to keep knowing more! And then there it is… Phil’s long awaited keeping me in suspense ah-ha moment!!! I’ve read both Testing The Prisoner and By Your Side. Thanks for a glimpse of your dark side Phil!!!!
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Format: Paperback
My Review / Thoughts:

My review is going to be a different kind of review on this book. Instead of writing my thoughts on the book, I am going to write a more personal take on the book. I really feel I was supposed to read this book the very moment I did.

One thing I will say about this book is that if you had an abusive, violent childhood, some of scenes in the book are triggers. The scenes with young "Danny" were so strongly written, I found myself in a state of panic reading each onset of abuse. I know it's a book. I know it's a story. I just could not separate my childhood from how the author described each scene. It was so close to reality, it was down right scary. The horrible things Danny's mother said to him echoed verbatim things said to me. I relate 100% to Danny/Daniel and the choices that lead him to become estranged to his mother, much like I am with mine today.

The book really brought to light the choices we make as humans. The choices that leave us here, tethered to humanity even in our afterlife. Abandoned and stuck for eternity to live out the horror we put others through. This book goes deeper than a just a great supernatural story.

Anyone who has come from that past, eventually has a crossroads they reach. Anyone from that past has decisions to make.

Anyone from that past, who has children today, fight EVERY SINGLE DAY, not to become that person.. that inner struggle.. good/bad/light/dark.

I will say though, the scenes of abuse are so richly, honestly, harshly poetic. From the physical pain to the emotional anguish, it really has triggered a lot of memories. It was hard to read. However, it's beautiful to read at the same time. It's cathartic. Truly.
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Format: Paperback
I finished reading Testing The Prisoner by Phil Giunta.........all it did was leave me wanting more. I really enjoyed his book from the first word to the last. It is to my understanding that Mr. Giunta is in the process of writing the next book. I eagerly await for it to come out, to see where the next phase of the characters lives takes them. I also started to listen(but didn't finish unfortunately)to Testing The Prisoner on audiobook, which was read by Mr. Giunta himself. He did a really good job of getting into all of the characters. He made listening to it quite enjoyable.....now I need to finish it!!!

Sincerely,

Beryl Wetzel
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Format: Paperback
Excellent book! Couldn't put it down once I started reading it. The author delves into the human psyche, with a paranormal twist; well developed plot and very believable characters. This is Mr. Giunta's first book and I'm looking forward to his second.
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Format: Paperback
This, I believe, is the debut novel for this author who now has 4 books out. This cover is different from mine, which must mean it is a second printing. Good for Mr. Giunta, because the book was great. It tells the tale of an ordinary man who sees his good life dragged into a personal hell plagued by demons of the mind and from those from the spirit realm. It isn't simply an exercise of dragging the character through pain. There is a purpose to the madness and one that the protagonist comes to understand by the end. Difficult to write a review with out spoiling it. I will say that there are two scenes: one involving a spectral appearance on a railroad bridge, and another involving a vision on the beach that still give me the creeps to think about. A good old fashioned horror tale.
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