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Book Review – The Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 1: Archipelago

Posted by mcm0704 on March 29, 2015 |

The Man who loved too muchThe Man Who Loved Too Much – Book 1: Archipelago”
John Rachel
File Size: 3556 KB
Print Length: 206 pages
Publisher: Literary Vagabond Books; 1st edition (November 9, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00OKKA3OO

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Blurb: Poor Billy Green! When he was just turning four, his father tried to throw him in the trash. He was a smart kid but that just seemed to create enemies. His mom did everything to protect him. But this was Detroit, armpit of the wasteland! Catholic school didn’t help much, except the time he got his first kiss from an atheist nun. Home life was dismal. Was his father capable of anything but drinking beer and farting? And what was with that neighbor who made puppets and tried to molest Billy? Golly! Detroit was sucking the life out of him. At such a young age! Then adolescence swirled around him. Like water in a toilet bowl. High school was a B movie. Only without a plot. So finally he did something about it. Billy ran away … to college. Cornell University. That was a good move for sure! He studied hard, lost his virginity, met the love of his life. Things were definitely looking up! What could possibly go wrong?

Review: Who couldn’t help but root for a kid who gets dumped in a trash can in the middle of the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit. Billy Green is a delightful character, and the many people who touch his life are equally fascinating and engaging.

Billy’s world view is off-center of norm, but that is to be expected considering his childhood, and I liked his philosophy. I also thoroughly enjoyed a visit to my hometown and a reminder of the joys of Catholic education, even though I never had the pleasure of meeting an atheist nun.

The humor in the book is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and wonderfully reflects Billy’s skewed sense of himself and the people around him. He thinks of himself as not normal, but maybe all the rest of the world is not normal.

When the writing stayed focused on scenes with Billy, I thoroughly enjoyed the read, but there were times the author pulled away with back story on another character, or lists of things that Billy heard from other people. For me, those detours were disruptive, and the editor in me wanted to cut, cut, cut. I was also disappointed when the book ended, very abruptly, but the story had not ended. Granted, this is the first book in a trilogy, but in most trilogies, the first story comes to some kind of satisfactory conclusion, and we can then pick up with that same character in another phase of his or her life.

The book is receiving great reviews on Amazon, so obviously not everyone is finding the ending, or the story detours, problematic, and I do highly recommend the book. It is a wonderful coming-of-age story told with a great deal of good humor.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Rachel has a B. A. in Philosophy, has traveled extensively, is a songwriter and music producer, and a bipolar humanist. He has spent his life trying to resolve the intrinsic clash between the metaphysical purity of Buddhism and the overwhelming appeal of narcissism. He is author of eight novels, four of which are coming out in 2014 and 2015. He has also had over 30 short stories, 7 poems, and numerous political articles published in both print and online magazines.

Rachel has been traveling through, and living in, over twenty-six countries since leaving America August of 2006. He is now somewhat rooted in a small traditional farming village in Japan near Osaka, where he proudly tends his small but promising vegetable garden. You can follow his adventures and developing world view at:  http://jdrachel.com

He is also a very funny guy and he will be my Wednesday’s Guest this week. Do come back and meet him.

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