I wrote it. So I'm biased. If you like imagining life a thousand years ago for the Ancient Ones of the Southwestern United States, you might like thisI wrote it. So I'm biased. If you like imagining life a thousand years ago for the Ancient Ones of the Southwestern United States, you might like this. Even if you don't, you might like the story. ...more
Let me begin by giving five stars to the editor, copy editor, proofreader, and layout designer. In this age of declining quality by the big publishingLet me begin by giving five stars to the editor, copy editor, proofreader, and layout designer. In this age of declining quality by the big publishing houses and the seeming ignorance of such quality by the burgeoning majority of self-publishers, it is a welcome comfort to come across a story presented so well.
Now to the story, which, ultimately, is all that matters. This novel unflinchingly tackles an enduring dividing line that affects everyone confronted with modern life and its emphasis on the rational mind at the expense of the spiritual. For that alone, I give this book an extra star.
The story’s protagonist is a man of the deepest faith who, nonetheless, questions and challenges that faith to its core. At great risk to himself, he traverses the breadth of Hell and, ultimately, challenges God Himself as no mortal has ever done. How can there be a more gripping story than that?
If you are a Believer who questions how Evil can coexisted with Good in a world built and controlled by an all-powerful Benevolent Being, this is a book you should read.
If you are ambivalent about the existence of a greater guiding entity, yet you constantly probe the frustrating boundaries between the rational and irrational divisions of Man, then you should read this book.
And if you are a fundamentalist follower of any faith or religion, then for the good of yourself and the world, you really must read this book.
Yet, there are flaws here, perhaps due to the grandiose reach of the story that renders the telling of it extraordinarily difficult. The primary characters seem cardboard, lacking a depth of reflection and humanity that would render them both more frail and more powerful. Much of the dialogue comes across as preaching rather than genuine discourse, and the action seems contrived for the sake of storyline rather than the true grit of reality. The protagonist in particular is unconvincingly obsessed with his dead parents at the exclusion of his living fiancé, and her devotion to him beyond the limits of tolerance renders her unbelievable and even unlikable. For these reasons, this story fails to achieve the goals of its ambitious storyline.
The work of this author bears watching. As his ability rises to grasp his obvious desire to tell astral-hot stories, he will likely astound us more and more. ...more
I give this 5 of 5 stars because of Gilding's synthesis and thinking, not because of his writing. As a writer, I give him 2 of 5 stars. This book coulI give this 5 of 5 stars because of Gilding's synthesis and thinking, not because of his writing. As a writer, I give him 2 of 5 stars. This book could have been about a third of its total length and it would have been better. But, that's not a valid reason to dismiss it. The intellectual content is worthy of digging through all those extra words.
Gilding, the former head of Greenpeace, has been an environmental activist essentially all of his life. As such, he did what many others have done -- he descended into despair. There is a natural limit to our growth on this planet, and all logic and reason point to us either having already reached that limit or we're darned near it. Yet we're continuing along as a society as if we're not about to fall off a catastrophic environmental cliff.
There are three possible responses: give up and watch the calamity ensue; build a bunker and stock it with food and weapons; envision a better way and proselytize. The third way is Gilding's path, and I admire that. He believes we will have a sudden awakening and address it in the equivalent of a war footing, much as England and the U.S. belatedly, but energetically, entered World War II.
Don't expect a how-to in this book, or advice on what we as individuals can do. It's more of an attitude-adjustment book, a reality check, a challenge to pull our collective heads out of our collective rear-ends. As such, it should be read by every sentient being on the planet. ...more
I just finished Tony Noland's collection of short stories. These are flash fiction pieces, which means 1,000 words or less per story.
My biggest impreI just finished Tony Noland's collection of short stories. These are flash fiction pieces, which means 1,000 words or less per story.
My biggest impression is of Tony's ability to capture dialog. He reminds me of John O'Hara, who could carry a deeply emotional and descriptive story through dialog alone, even without tags to indicate who is speaking. That generally works only with two characters in conversation, and Tony does that in a highly skilled way with the story "Intervention." Nothing but quoted material. Not a single "he said" or "she said." The acid test is reading it out loud. Tony nails it. The guy has an ear for dialog that is rare. Very rare.
Tony breaks this collection, helpfully, into genres: "Fantasy: Tales of the Heavens"; "Literary Fiction: Tales of the Earth"; "Horror: Tales of the Moon"; and "Magical Realism: Tales of the Sun." I'm not a particular fan of any of these except literary fiction, so I had a little trepidation that only a quarter or so of his stories would interest me. But I was wrong. I enjoyed most of them. As long as you're willing to hang on and take some rather bizarre twists and turns (and a little blood with your picnic), you'll enjoy the ride.
Things he could have improved upon: Better formatting (have each story start on a new page, for instance) and copyediting (yeah, there are a mistakes throughout, but none that materially interfere with the story).
All in all, I recommend this, especially if you're into the Horror and Fantasy side of things. These would make great short reads on a phone while you're waiting for a meeting to start or for your dentist to shove his fingers into your mouth. ...more
Not a great read, but adequate for a history book. If you really want to know the mining history of Colorado, you'll enjoy this. If not, you probablyNot a great read, but adequate for a history book. If you really want to know the mining history of Colorado, you'll enjoy this. If not, you probably won't. But that could be said for nearly any straight-history book. ...more