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The Seven "profound & insane" Books

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An Angel sends a boy on a wild ride through seven bizarre tales to find the secret of the seven gifts that lie within us. A failed rock star, a lonely white dolphin and other misfits drive the tales, and they open the boy’s eyes to the meaning of the seven gifts implanted within us. The Seven Gifts awaken the boy: And The Boy awakens us.

Eric Hoffer Award 2019: Best E-book Fiction

“A beautifully conceived philosophical work” – Indies Today

“Beautifully written, wonderful, simple yet perfect prose; every sentence is an individual work of art” – Matt McAvoy

"One of those unique and wonderful manuscripts that come one's way all too rarely. A most unusual and beautiful story that lingers in the mind long after one has read it" - Souvenir Press

Sample read and more reviews at http://strangeland.nz

140 pages, ebook

First published October 1, 1988

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About the author

theSailor

12 books14 followers
I was born in Liverpool, England, at the end of the War, and went to sea in various guises - Royal Navy, inshore fishing, yacht delivery & sail training - before taking up writing. I contributed to many yachting magazines, and had 12 hardback sailing books published.

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5 stars
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17 (43%)
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13 (33%)
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Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews
Profile Image for Nur Fatin Atiqah.
Author 1 book40 followers
March 21, 2012
I've just received this book. And I have started reading it :D

I HAVE FINISH THIS BOOK! YAY!

In my opinion, it is really unique and one of a kind. I have never read this kind of book before so it was a fresh new experience. I like it though how the author is trying to convey his message through the story. And it really seeps into my mind. I understand what he is trying to tell to us.


However, I'm kinda confused with the ending. But nevertheless, I will try to read it again so that I can understand better about the story.


Last but not least, I recommend for everyone to read this book!
Profile Image for Chris.
Author 17 books21 followers
May 3, 2017
A young boy getting ready to be sent to Earth must first read seven books, which each contain a gift to be given to Mankind. From a reject rock star and his eclectic band, to a lonely bosun shipwrecked alone on a desert island, to a lonely white dolphin with a desire to rescue lost ships, the boy must read a scattered disconnected collection of stories and glean the heart of them, before he will be allowed to come to Earth.

Overseeing the boy and the stories is a mysterious Angel with plans of her own. She guides the boy in his discoveries, and prepares him for the journey he must take. But what could he hope to accomplish in a world gone mad, in the death grip of an insane controlling Snow Queen and her lockstep minions?

The outer story of the Angel and boy tie together an eclectic collection of fascinating violent stories of the Snow Queen's domain in this wild fantasy ride that teeters between insanity and wisdom.



Content:

Drug Content:
PG - There is a small amount of drinking and drug use hinted at in some of the stories in this collection. The queen and her entourage seem to know how to party.

Violence:
PG-13 - A person is struck in the throat with a crossbow bolt. A song destroys a palace and everyone in it. A vine strangles a person to death and destroys an entire kingdom. There are hints of torture, but none of it comes onscreen. Many people are exiled into a wasteland with vicious marauding beasts.

Language:
PG - There's a bit of cussing in this book. Several of the stories depict coarse people with coarse language, but the book doesn't seem to wander past the D-word.

Adult Content:
PG - The princess has a party which seems to be poised to devolve into an orgy, though none of that is more than hinted at. A song for the princess is fairly revealing in its discussion of her immoral descent.

Christian content:
I'm not exactly sure where to place this book. It appears allegorical on the level of Narnia, but the main characters are a bit hard to reconcile with who they seem to be intended to represent. Some scripture is quoted, but reincarnation is hinted at, and a 'cycle' of returning to earth until a lesson is learned, smacks of karma and Hinduism. There are some definite Christian references, but they are intermixed with other religious concepts that make it unclear where the path is. Basically the seven gifts are intended to put Mankind back on the path to enlightenment.

Final analysis:
Although the author intended to draw the reader into the characters depicted in the stories, and into the personalities of the boy and the Angel, there just wasn't enough time and dimension to help me relate to any of them. The Snow Queen was rather one-dimensional, a classic villain with only the characteristics of arrogance and contempt. The boy and the Angel had the most coverage, yet there didn't seem much in the way of conflict or emotion in their journey together. The best character in the line of characters is a tossup between the flamboyant musician Custer and the aged gardener George.

The author seemed driven to send home a point, and the story was exceptionally good on that front, but mixed with solid wisdom and encouragement are differing worldviews a bit at odds with each other. Coupled with rushed world building, character development, and pacing, the story placed with a solid Four Stars.
*I received an electronic copy for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sarah.
250 reviews23 followers
February 27, 2012
The range of characters present throughout this book is extensive and helps add character to the seven separate stories. It takes the reader on a journey and each story has a valuable lesson to learn. I feel that everyone will take something away from this novel, that will stay with them for a long time.

I loved the writing style that Mellor uses, he changes fonts at will and this really works in the setting of this novel. The only negative thing I have to say is that I wished the novel was longer but I did take something away from this novel that will stay with me for a long time.

This little book is a brilliant read that I recommend that everyone reads.

A copy of this book was received for free for review, all opinions expressed are my own through reading this book.

This review was first published on http://everybookhasasoul.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Jessie.
14 reviews
March 21, 2012
I really liked the style and setup of this book. It gave a little piece at a time that urged the reader on. Made me think that i would have a better understanding of the world after i was done reaing it. I enjoyed taking it slow reading one "gift chapter" every couple of days. Not intentionally, but it made me think of each story seperately allowing it to sink in fully.
I gave it a 3 star rating but it may be more like a 3.5 because i did really enjoy and I can say that i took something away with me after reading it. But it it not the type of book I normally read. It didn't have the extra oomf of "I cannot put this book down I don't care if I'm late going back to work" It was more of a slow, steady, peaceful read.
1 review
February 23, 2012
I don't know if I am supposed to do this but I am the author of The Seven Gifts and I have a very nice review from a while ago whose author and website have disappeared from the proverbial face of the Earth. So I am taking the liberty of posting it here through my account as a reader. I hope no-one objects. This is an edited version of the original review at Inkweaver Review, as the original gave away rather a lot of the plot, describing each chapter in some detail:

“The Seven Gifts That Came to Earth,” by John Mellor is a philosophical exploration of human character and behavior under the guise of seven short stories.

On the grand scale “The Seven Gifts That Came to Earth” is about a young boy and an Angel. The Angel directs the boy to read seven books. Each book is a story about a gift that was bestowed upon the Earth by its “guardian.”

Each story that makes up “The Seven Gifts That Came to Earth” is followed by a brief passage in which the fantastic events of the story are explained by the Angel and are finally decoded by the young boy. These intervening passages are like lulls in a powerful storm, and provide a chance for both the readers and the characters to recoup their strength.

I must say that “The Seven Gifts That Came to Earth” is a highly unusual book. To use an expression coined by a character from “Antsy Does Time” by Neil Shusterman it does a tremendous job of “walking that fine line between profound and insane.” After reading it I’m still not quite sure if the book is an amazing piece of literature or nothing more than a collection of disconnected passages of text.

“The Seven Gifts That Came to Earth” is definitely a book that you have to reread a couple times to absorb fully. It reminds me to some extent of the books by Madeleine L’Engle. It took her years to get her first book “A Wrinkle in Time” published simply because it was so strange. However, it was eventually accepted.

In my final analysis I would say that “The Seven Gifts That Came to Earth” is a book that is definitely worth reading."

Nathan gave me four stars so I do the same here. I hope some other past reviews will be posted by their writers shortly, which will make the place a bit more interesting.
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Here is another from Tedi Busch in my local paper - The Nelson Mail:

"Suppose you were the guardian of a planet; what are the seven most important gifts you could bestow upon it? A young boy must find this out for himself by reading seven books in a lonely tower at the end of a beach. Each story is about a gift.

The boy has to work out just what these gifts are, and eventually how to reveal them. Fortunately, an angel is there to guide him with seven of her own stories. This was a very good thing, as the tales could be deep with allegories and not a few layers of mysticism.

But what a delightful challenge! The range of characters includes rock star Coalhole Custer (with his 13-string guitar and his psychic synthesiser player), Arthur the astronaut honey bee, George the gardener with a precious weed, and the storm-tossed captain's White Dolphin.

The land is ruled by the Snow Queen and then the Ice Princess, who creates her own utopia. Every household has a television, every man has a wife, and every child has a social worker, but is everyone truly happy?

Gentle humour mixes with wisdom and pathos. Madness dances with brilliance. This little book is one that stays in your head like a piece of music, playing over and over again most delightfully. Congratulations to Nelson author John Mellor."


Profile Image for Kristin Walcott .
63 reviews6 followers
August 30, 2012
This book is a delightful collection of short stories. Each story is meant to illustrate one of the seven gifts that came to the earth from the creator. A boy is tasked by an angel to read the seven stories to gain the knowledge of the seven gifts. As he reads each of the stories, he ponders their meaning and significance and the angel helps him sort it out. Once he has learned what the seven gifts are and why they are important, he travels to earth to impart this knowledge to the people there in an effort to save them from the path they are on.

The very first story told by the angel to the boy is about a young girl who becomes a woman and all that she loses along the way. Not the monetary losses or even losses of those she loves, but the loss of wonder, trust, imagination, and all of those wonderful aspects of childhood that are shed for worldliness, practicality, and realistic adult pursuits. It is a sad tale and meant to depict the way life on earth has become. And it is this state of existence that has triggered the need for the boy to read the stories and deliver their messages to the people of earth in an effort to save them from themselves.

The stories resemble children’s fables. Some characters are likable, some are detestable. Some learn a lesson, others never will. The stories run the gamut from the return of an ostracized rock star to an old woman’s desire to die; from a bee’s incessant drive to be the best to a dolphin’s need to save humans. Each story carries its own tone and message. Through them, we learn about these fundamental and important gifts.

The book is an easy read because each story is self-contained within the larger story of the boy and the angel. It has a natural rhythm and it just feels right to start and end a story in each sitting. Between each story, the angel and the boy would interact in such a way to ensure that the boy understood the significance of the tale. This progression allows the reader to also ponder each story and try to figure out the gift before the angel and boy discuss it. It gives you the sense of actually participating as the gifts are unveiled. If you like books such as The Alchemist and The Celestial Bar, or enjoy fables and fairytales with a message, you will enjoy this book.
Profile Image for Aonik.
32 reviews1 follower
April 22, 2020
The stories in this book really felt rather unique and original. A nice little book one can read in one sitting :-)
Profile Image for Jennifer.
76 reviews1 follower
November 27, 2012
A series of beautifully written tales that capture the mind, heart and spirit; Mellor has done a splendid job engrossing the reader’s attention in a unique an utterly irresistible novel.

A young boy coming of age must face the lonely tower by the sea, where in it, are seven books he must read and interpret. Guarded by an angel, the boy begins a journey like none other to uncover the seven gifts of the Earth. As he reads, you are swept into each and every tale and I found myself trying to figure out the gifts with each turning page. A wondrous adventure erupts with the young boy’s growing maturity and we see a young man arise.

Each story has its own unique flavor; a woman trapped in an unforgiving circle, a rocker whose music is so honest and pure. As the boy reads, he is guarded by the angel and after each story as he seeks out the answer, the angel is there to guide. Other characters emerge to assist the boy on his journey; a gardener whose flowers are the purest in the land, the Snow Queen whose controlled reign makes her citizens miserable, a honey bee who learns a powerful lesson, and a cast-away who would much rather stay on his island than be rescued.
Stories and characters turn into lessons of life as the boy continues to read and the angel watches silently. Truths and lies, actions and words have consequences and rewards and slowly we see the boy making sense of the world in which he is about to enter.

I truly enjoyed every word of this novel. The stories will not easily be forgotten and will surely be told to my children. Each story teaches a powerful lesson that I have pondered over since completing this novel. I have recommended this novel to three others and will not hesitate to do so again; a thought-provoking, pure tale of a boy becoming a man.
Profile Image for John theSailor.
Author 12 books14 followers
August 3, 2017
This is an updated version of The Seven Gifts - that came to Earth. Due to non-existent sales, despite some very nice reviews, I decided to revamp the book with a new title, new cover and new blurb. I felt the original focused too strongly on the spiritual aspect of the story (off-putting to many, I know), so I have brought the quirky, offbeat side of it more to the fore in the hopes of generating wider interest. Apart from a few very minor tweaks the content is identical.

The book does have quite a deep spiritual core to the story, but it is handled in a very off-beat and unusual manner. In the words of one reviewer: "It walks that fine line between profound and insane". I hope the more quirky, down-to-earth approach will draw in readers who will then find the spiritual aspect of the story more interesting than they might otherwise have expected.

I have given it four stars as five seems often to be treated as somewhat suspect, and also I would be most reluctant to claim any kind of perfection in the book anyway.
Profile Image for Sarah Brillinger.
87 reviews1 follower
March 13, 2013
This is an interesting little story and not really like anything I've read. I'd almost classify this as an adult fairy tale taken place in a distant land where an Ice Princess rules the land.

Each chapter is an angel telling a story to a boy in order for him to understand values and principles that the angels says people lose when they become adults. The principles are: space, time, consciousness, harmony, wisdom, eternity and love.
It's interesting in that it makes you think about how you used to think about things when you were young. Things were so much less cluttered with judgement and negative emotion. The purity still existed.

In one chapter a man's beloved bird is killed that he had nurtured from the time it was an egg, and I was bawling like a baby through that. Be forewarned if you're an animal lover.

Overall, I have a fondness for this book and it's a good read if you're in the mood for something a little different.

Profile Image for Linda Harley.
Author 6 books15 followers
September 21, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised by this collection of short stories woven together into one book. Each of the seven short stories reveals one of the gifts bestowed by God on mankind, yet the stories are written in a fantasy type of setting. Seven in the Bible is the perfect number, and so there is a lot of symbolism dripping off the pages of this book, if you know what to look for. Definitely unique, but in the same breath I have say probably not a book that everyone would enjoy. Not all believers will agree with the entire message of this book, there were a few instances when I cringe especially when the author included the idea of reincarnation which the Bible does not teach. Therefore, to all who read this, I would challenge you to compare the lessons taught in this book against the Bible, who is the final authority on this topic. The writing was superb as was the story telling. Parents read this book with your kids, since they will benefit much from your insights.
Profile Image for Zeljka.
287 reviews78 followers
July 18, 2016
I got this book through Giveaways on GoodReads - and I'm glad I got it that way, otherwise I probably wouldn't ever notice it, because it doesn't have that hype that publishing houses manage to produce with their books, as this one was self-published.
I liked the book. I wouldn't say remarkable, as I've read so many books that I really think I can say what I deem remarkable, but it is neat. Visually is nice, original, even appropriate considering the message book is trying to give in some nice not-pushy way. Words flow nicely too, which I find somehow surprising, as author uses so many words that you wouldn't find quite so much in general use. The stories were a little bit odd but interesting anyway and well told. I wish the final story was more developed, I really liked the point of it, but in the storytelling way it seemed to me somehow unfinished. Overall, nice read.
Profile Image for Charlene.
Author 1 book93 followers
August 23, 2012
The seven short stories in this book were very interesting and came off as fairy tales in a way. They were set in a different place and time and had a variety of unique and colorful characters, and each story had a message that highlighted a "gift" that was given by God to humankind. There is a strong religious message throughout the book, which makes sense when the ending is revealed.

The author has credibly created thought-provoking moral fables, where the "gift" illustrated is not always obvious. I enjoyed the stories more than the summing up by the Angel and the boy at times, and I felt like if there was a way to tie up the stories without the extra chapters with these recurring characters, this book would have flowed better. As it is, it is an interesting, short read, and I think it would especially appeal to people with strong religious beliefs.
Profile Image for Britni.
177 reviews25 followers
February 22, 2012
I was given The 7 Gifts that Came to Earth by the author to review. Like the book, I'll keep this short and sweet. This book is broken into seven books with a small narrative after each. A young boy is tasked to reading all seven books and finding the gifts that have been bestowed to earth.

This book reminded me a lot of The Alchemist or The Little Prince. A book broke into quirky and at times, very strange, little stories that each have a hidden theme that all tie together in the end. It was a quick read and fun to try and figure out the gifts in each story before the little boy figures them out. Definitely worth picking up if you ever see it. 3 stars.

Profile Image for Zuzka.
40 reviews
June 1, 2012
Such a lovely book! I am glad that I won it in the First Reads giveaway! =)
As I am interested in angels I loved the angel and her attitude. I think it might be a great book for children, because it would encourage them to read! =) As a teacher-to-be I would definitely read this book to my pupils in order to prove to them that reading is fun, but also serves a certain purpose. This book prompts to think about a lot of things. Some things linger in mind long after you read the book. It is really a wonderful, unique book. I enjoyed reading it a lot! =)
January 29, 2014
I loved the fact that The Seven Gifts came to Earth has truly engaged me. As a reader, I enjoyed the seven stories, and then I even tried to guess the seven gifts (I was only able to guess two proudly). I love the way the story was structured, and the story was a light read because I finished it in two days. Reading this story made me feel like a kid again. I was able to connect to the story from a child’s view, and was very entertained. The seven short stories were all connected in some way, made me pay special attention to and want to keep reading as fast as I could.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Smrithiraj Puli.
39 reviews
Want to read
February 22, 2012
I have read the excerpt of this book and know about the first 2 gifts already... interesting indeed
The way the author has woven the story keeps the reader interested in knowing as to what happens next. The end of the story flabberghasted me as its unexpected and wonderfully described and the loose things seem to fall in place only if you read till the end.
Definitely want to read the rest of the book... :)
Profile Image for Rebecca.
163 reviews15 followers
June 25, 2013
I received this book through the Goodreads First-reads giveaway

Well this was an interesting book. I liked it, but it made me feel a little uncomfortable as well. I haven't quite figured out why yet. I liked this take on the 'Jesus Story' I thought that it was very unique. I've never seen something quite like this before.
Profile Image for SantosGray.
49 reviews8 followers
Want to read
February 23, 2012
This looks really fascinating. The description makes me think of The Alchemist or God's Debris, both of which I enjoyed. I am looking forward to reading this one.
Profile Image for Tara.
33 reviews
June 3, 2013
I received this book as a First Reads giveaway.

I really, really enjoyed this book. Very unusual format, excellent storytelling and I just loved it!!!
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