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Circles in the Spiral

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  13 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Fake News!!! Will Smallwood, a writer suffering from the dreaded "block" and from troubling childhood dreams, is sucked into a living nightmare when he becomes the fall guy for a gang spreading misinformation to hijack the upcoming Canadian Federal Election.

Fleeing from the law, Will is forced to confront his personal demons: his suppressed and abused orphan-hood, his stal
...more
Paperback, 202 pages
Published October 1st 2020 by Blue Denim Press Inc
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Bharath
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book covers a topic which gained prominence after the last US elections – foreign interference in the election process. The story is set around an upcoming general election in Canada.

Will Smallwood is a writer who has had a period of struggle with his career and also his relationships. As things seem to be looking up, he goes on a retreat organized by Guru Swaminanda. There he runs into a set of people who coincidentally come to play key roles in the weeks to follow. There is Dee who he be
...more
Bradley
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
As implied by the title, things start out slow and easygoing -- a retreat for the body and the soul -- but this is where things begin to spiral out of control. :)

The changes are imperceptible at first. A free-spirited romance. A few reveals.

*grin*

This is what happens when writers throw off their yokes and write what they want to write, letting the crazy out. Each new reveal, each new piece of the puzzle throws a monkey wrench into the bigger work until the circles become an ever-widening gyre
...more
Shane
Sep 20, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Author’s Note

I wrote this novel during a period of convalescence from a sudden cardiac arrest that overcame me on September 11th 2018 – my 9/11. Writing the novel helped in my recovery, for I was able to reclaim some artistic freedom during a time when writers were losing out to a groundswell of political correctness. We were being squeezed into foxholes where the only permissible character we could write about without sanction was ourselves.

Therefore, this book spans a range of character, race
...more
Michael Croucher
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
An intriguing plot and a cast of colorful characters highlight this entertaining and very graphic novel.

Will Smallwood, a struggling novelist, seeking relief from a stubborn bout of writers block and some healing introspection into his troubled life, enrolls in a spiritual retreat in Northern Ontario. Headed by an oversexed Guru, Swaminanda, and attended by misfits, cult-like followers, and more than one sexual-pervert, the retreat gives Will much more than he bargained for.

He hooks up with De
...more
Liz Torlée
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From beginning to end, this is a roller coaster of emotions. The political interference angle is timely and engaging but what really captivates is the story of Will Smallwood, his troubled childhood, his difficult and often wrong decisions as an adult and how everything comes round in circles to meet and challenge him again and again. Despite his flawed character, you can't help rooting for him, cheering when things go well, groaning and rolling your eyes when he strays off course. On almost eve ...more
Ben
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it


A review by Ben Antao

Shane Joseph’s new novel Circles in the Spiral explores a theme in Eastern philosophy — what goes around comes around — by situating his story in the West, namely, Ontario, Canada. The protagonist suffering from ‘a writer’s block’ is plunged into a fake news campaign to hijack the Canadian federal election. Narrated in the first person, the main character named Will Smallwood ‘relives’ his dysfunctional childhood, being an abandoned orphan, in an effort to find some degree
...more
Barb Nobel
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
My initial impression of this book was that there were too many different threads, and I wondered how they would all come together. But, come together they did, and it was worth the wait.

Here is a mystery/psychological thriller with a diverse cast of strange characters, good and evil. Our heroes and villains are sometimes normal, sometimes abnormal, and occasionally bizarre.

Throw in a dash of misery, literary references, Canadian politics, and sex; and a smattering of humour, wisdom, intrigue,
...more
Jacob Hogeterp
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
What Terry Fallis did for Canadian politics with mild satire, Shane Joseph has done with a fast-paced thriller: snatched it form the humdrum of the daily news and laid its seamy underside exposed. There’s always a story behind the headlines, and sometimes it’s an intriguing one — even in Canada. Circles in the Spire, however, steers clear of the headline-grabbing mainstage players of the political machinations game, and dances with characters wallowing knee-deep in muck even the backroom regular ...more
Isobel Raven
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it


Can you identify the “bad guy” in chapter one of Shane Joseph’s psychological thriller, Circles in the Spiral? You won’t know until the last few pages how right or wrong you were. You might even choose Joseph’s protagonist, Will Smallwood, a writer whose initial success has dwindled to less than a memory. Self-searching under the guidance of a twinkling-eyed guru sets him on a new course, but we readers aren’t confident that it will stabilize the downward spiral of his fortunes.
We learn Smallwo
...more
Michael
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
The dark underbelly of the world of politics. The power of social media when harnessed for disreputable purposes. The sometimes crippling weight of a dysfunctional childhood. Suppressed memories that lie waiting for the chance to ambush. And the redemptive power of second chances that come with their own price.

It may be difficult to imagine all of these themes packed into one novel. But Shane Joseph weaves them all into “Circles in the Spiral” – a no holds barred novel that is rooted in the 201
...more
Lorna
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
This story was different from anything else I have read but kept my interest throughout. Timely with politics and fake news included but so much past anguish for the main character and his "family." Very graphic in places which made it hard to read but very necessary to the story as a whole. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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Shane Joseph is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers in Toronto, Canada. He began writing as a teenager living in Sri Lanka and has never stopped. Redemption in Paradise, his first novel, was published in 2004 and his first short story collection, Fringe Dwellers, in 2008. His novel, After the Flood, a dystopian epic set in the aftermath of global warming, was released in November 2009, and ...more

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