In this novel, computer expert Fred leaves behind his everyday life and sets out on a journey of mindfulness and self-discovery.
Fred thinks he’s a happy man, though he spends his days hiding in his basement office at Conglomerate Conglomerated, Inc. in San Francisco. Of course, his life abounds with problems: he drinks and smokes too much, and he refuses to accept that his wife has left him for good. On his way to work one morning, he stumbles upon a tent revival and meets a spiritual leader destined to change his life. The Teacher, who disappears and reappears over the next few days, connects Fred with Dorothy, a beautiful EMT, who turns out to have been Fred’s childhood friend, and other members of the Earth Council, who introduce him to the All-That-Is, a universal energy force. And to further complicate the plot, Fred is being followed by Bill, who works for Dr. Smasher of the Paranormal Studies Institute—a stand-in for everything negative in the world. The novel, filled with magical thinking, is sincere and may appeal to readers interested in spirituality, but it doesn’t make for a particularly satisfying work of fiction. While Fred eventually grows to become a three-dimensional character, Dorothy remains static. The Teacher and other Earth Council members get little embellishment; they seem to exist only to move Fred forward in his spiritual awakening, sort of like the ghosts in A Christmas Carol. While Fred may eventually find the life he was meant to live, the incomplete narrative framework may leave some readers unengaged.
Long on mindfulness but short on storytelling.