Available from: Amazon
Released on: 3 August 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
Description: Experimental philosophical short story as deep and insightful as Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
How the eyes of the abyss look like, when she stares back at you? Does she, like a woman, enjoys attention and whip or not? Or why even staring into it, what can be seen there and is it even worth it?
So here is what I’ve seen in there.
Like Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, protagonist fictitious travels and endeavours serve as a metaphoric vehicle to present and illustrate philosophical ideas such as subjectivity of reality that people experience in their daily life, influence of religion on the world and its anatomy, psychology of the masses and of love, possibility and requisites of happiness. It consists of two narratives: one follows endeavours of main protagonist Aurelius and the other describes major historical events of the world of Mad Reality. Most characters and events in actuality are an allegoric representations of the real world concepts and ideas, for example Maximus embodies Ancient Rome, its values and metaphysics.
The story is set in a magic and odd technology infused, somewhat bizarre and even gruesome, metaphoric world. It starts with Aurelius reflecting over the disappearance of a mysterious women named THD as well as over everything his life had been about so far. As the story progresses, not only details of their love affair and other events revealed, but also both surface and hidden reasons behind various events of his life and even those of a broader world that caused it all to turn out this way.
Conversation with THD led Aurelius to eventually discover a psychological working of love that led to a metaphysical conclusion of her real nature, and other events and stories have their own philosophical, existential, metaphysical or psychological wisdom to tell.
Among them causes of conflict between Aurelius and priests of the Model over the existence of a certain dios as well as reasons for it unusual outcomes. As well as war between dioses Redemptius and Bicornerius and their followers that, while settles, leads only to further beaconing conflict with even more contestants. Origin of dioses and reasons for their popularity among the people and importance in the grand scheme of things. And even motives behind hitting a ground with a forehead according to a prescribed method shared by fellow ground-hitters and why it is not only a very popular activity but also a sacred ritual of great sanity. And many other witticisms.
Author of this masterpiece is a mysterious, solitary philosopher with a Bachelor degree in an unrelated field, who nevertheless has sound understanding of literature of merit due to independent studies and, in addition to works of Nietzsche, read such famous literary works as One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Slaughterhouse five by Kurt Vonnegut.
And he intends to eventually write several more books in this series.
Review: This story was another one with a good idea at the heart of it, or at least an intriguing one, that was hampered by the mechanics of the storytelling itself.
First off, I almost didn’t accept this book because I’ll admit I tend to steer away from books that describe themselves as “masterpieces” in their own summary. But the idea sounded curious and I wanted to see how it played out. It was also a short read.
Throughout the thirty pages, it feels like the author can’t decide if it is a fiction story or a non-fiction treatise on the ideas of reality and religion and perception (to name a few) that are played out. This book is 95% Tell with very little Show, which rarely works in contemporary fiction.
The allegories–which you know about going in since they are pointed out in the description of the book–sway between very vague and very heavy-handed. And I was disheartened to find that the sub-plot featuring THD contained, to my opinion, more than a thread of misogyny. (And in my opinion, not enough was done with it to make it anything else.)
Too much was done in this story to fit the size of it, and the writing itself needed an editor who could help the construction of sentences and paragraphs in both form and function to make it actually readable.
For the ideas of it and that I was able to finish it, it’s a 1.5 Fireballs. A review I hate to offer, but this is my opinion.