GONE TO THE STARS by Henrik Barkley de Pearson

GONE TO THE STARS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A young man's out-of-body experience opens the door to spiritual adventures.

Thomas McKenzie, 20, lives in a world of privilege and wealth, marred by the behavior of his psychotic mother and her threats of disinheritance should he pursue a relationship with his father. After a violent scene in their New York apartment, Tom retreats to a roof-top terrace where he leaves his body and visits distant stars that welcome and comfort him. His senses acutely sharpened, he reluctantly returns to Earth and the demands of his boss, "the Chairman," head of the Chicago-based Apollo Corp. Frustrated with the establishment, Tom quits his job and parties hard with what little remains of his finances. He then accepts an offer from his friend Caroline, also a child of wealth, to stay and work at a girls' camp in New Orleans. He heads south in a Volkswagen Beetle, hoping for romance with Caroline and instead finding friendship and a group of young girls who think he’s pretty cool. He learns about himself while telling stories, riding horseback and singing songs. He also encounters the Chicken Man–the "voodoo king of New Orleans"–who sheds light on a personal mystery. Tom then leaves the Big Easy and heads west, agreeing to rendezvous with Caroline later in Aspen. On the road, he meets many travelers, including a band of hippies, Caroline's drug-dependent friends, philosopher Merlin, an ex-Marine in search of intelligent life in the universe, man's best friend Rocket and more. Tom confronts danger, enjoys sensual pleasures–sex, pot, cocaine, hallucinogenic mushrooms–and falls in love. But beneath it all is his earnest quest to understand the soul and his place in the universe, which makes him a most endearing character. This is a gentle, quietly sensuous, beautifully crafted story with appeal for mature readers, young adults and any student of life who seeks greater self-understanding and fulfillment.

An enchanting spiritual odyssey that endures beyond story's end.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4415-9827-1
Program: Kirkus Indie
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