Oct/Nov 2017

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i n t e r v i e w s

Reviews & Interviews

(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Ann Skea reviews...

The City Always Wins
by Omar Robert Hamilton

Action is immediate and tension in the novel is constant and palpable as Hamilton uses a mixture of prose, dialogue, tweets, text-messages, real headlines, and news reports, stream-of-consciousness, and the grieving testament of mothers and fathers whose children are missing, imprisoned, or dead.

The Necessary Angel
by C.K. Stead

This sounds like a run-of-the-mill, tangled love story, but Stead makes it much more than that. Paris and the French way of living are essential to the mood of the book and the actions of the characters.

Freud: The Making of an Illusion
by Frederick Crews

Clearly, from all the available evidence, Freud did exaggerate his connection with well-established and successful figures; he did make claims on the basis of insufficient or questionable evidence; he did manipulate his data and borrow from the work of others; and he was a misogynist. Yet put in the context of the society in which he worked, the fledgling nature of psychology in the treatment of mental problems, the prevailing opinions and mores of the time and place in which he lived, and what Crew himself describes as "the rivalrous psychoanalytical community," Freud seems to have been no more devious than other ambitions members of that community.

The Stolen Child
by Sanjida Kay

Then, on a day when Zoe has been cross with Evie as she drops her off at school, Evie disappears, and The Stolen Child becomes a thrilling and totally absorbing mystery story. The fact that the family lives in a village on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors adds tension to the resulting search..

Bridget Crack
by Rachel Leary

Throughout the book, we see life through Bridget's eyes and understand her experiences in this strange new country where convicts and settlers are thrown together in a fledgling society far from their English homeland. And from the moment she runs away from her last assignment, she is a lone woman, not only endangered by every man she meets but also lost in harsh bushland, starving and exposed to the intemperate weather.

A Good Life to the End
by Ken Hillman

However, for the elderly there are usually a whole host of problems, and treating only one often causes further complications. The result is over-treatment, and as Hillman says, "our practice of applying medical miracles designed to make people better, in increasingly perverse and futile ways, often causes pain and torture in the last few weeks of elderly people's lives."

All the Galaxies
by Philip Miller

The problem for me, is I enjoyed the realistic parts of this book but could not become engaged with the galactic fantasies or the dystopian elements.

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree
by Shokoofeh Azar

This mixture of magical realism, fantasy, and horror continues throughout the book. In the tradition of Persian story-telling, ghosts, jinns, and demons are part of the everyday lives of the family and the people amongst whom they live, and digressions into tales of inexplicable events, possession, mermaids, and magic are frequent..

The Park Bench
by Christophe Chabouté

If I had the artistry and the graphic drawing skills of Christophe Chabouté, I would respond to his graphic novel, The Park Bench, with a graphic review. Pictures, not words, would show me t.

Carole Mertz reviews...

by Layli Long Soldier

In her portrayal of the losses and legacies of her people, Long Soldier is successful in conveying the ring and substance of her native tongue. But the reader can sense the struggle she faced, the bending and twisting of the English language she had to manipulate, in order to express her pain about her disenfranchised ancestors and her concerns for their lands and rights.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy reviews...

The Essential W. S. Merwin
edited by Michael Wiegers
In some ways, part of his Great Poet status comes from the fact that his environmentalism and pacifism have been powerful influences on those who have come after. More influential still has been his poetic experimentation. Already the craft was rapidly becoming a choir at the expense of the soloist. Already the craft was growing simpler such that more were able to join in as choristers. Merwin has managed to fruitfully straddle two worlds: the old cultural literacy and the new democratic buzzing hive.

Illusion of an Overwhelm
by John Amen
While the Anima is inescapably Jungian, the book is not. While the Anima dealt with in any real way pretty much guarantees the reader is about to enter a world of Jungian architypes, the Twitter contractions, emoticons, and ampersands here make it clear we're encountering those architypes in the wild. The effort here will be to not maintain perspective by observing at a distance.

and interviews...

John Amen
author of Illusion of an Overwhelm
I enjoy the "hustle," for the most part. I was brought up in a motivated family. This has pluses and minuses as we all know. A capitalist setting, whether it be cultural or familial or both, can prompt one to be motivated and productive; however, it can also render one dependent on production, response, affirmation; that is, achievement (results) can supersede engagement (process) in terms of how things are valued.

and discusses...

What he does
In order to see when messages have arrived, in time to answer within 15 minutes, the administrator (or a hired hand) must continuously be on the advertising platform, then. There is not a whole lot to do on the advertising platform other than to buy advertising. Not only that, but all one gets is a small badge on their product/book page. There are no further rewards.


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