A vague supernatural tale hidden in ruminations on psychic photons.

TRANSCENDENCE

After her murder, a woman reaches out from another dimension to find a good home for her pets in this debut novel.

An intuitive pharmacist discovers discrepancies at her place of work: the ordering of too many narcotics and the moving of money deceptively. Her corporate bosses are being strong-armed by a cartel, which does not care for her meddling and stages a fatal car crash to get rid of her. Untethered from her corporeal body, the pharmacist is transported to an ethereal dimension of glowing orbs and vibrations, able to read the minds and influence the actions of the living. Her immediate concern is to transfer her orphaned special needs dogs—Penny, Wilbur, Chance, and Jake—and her sometimes-intractable parrot to the home of an elderly woman, an ex–political activist, who needs the companionship as much as the animals. To effect this change, the pharmacist brings closer together a green-haired veterinarian tech and a shelter van driver, who aid the pets. The pair also helps a middle-aged racist confront the abuse that feeds his bigotry. But when the old woman dies, the pharmacist finds she is not done with the living world, as she takes over the body of her pets’ new caretaker at the cost of her powers. Ellerup’s novel is as intangible as the other dimension its protagonist finds herself in. Characters aren’t given names save for the dogs; by the book’s own admission, this is to provide an “immersive experience of using your imagination and personal experience.” This puts the impetus on readers to fill in the blanks, with characters reduced to physical traits or their jobs and settings left vague. Some personality can be gleaned from the tale’s dialogue, which, despite grappling with metaphysical ideas, is natural and affable. The nature of the other dimension and the powers it grants is left largely abstract save for a post hoc lay summary on the theories of physicist Lisa Randall, dark matter, and parallel universes, coming to rest on electromagnetism as the driving force behind the story’s astral projection and precognition. The interpersonal relationships and friendships this mysticism or extrasensory perception facilitates are warm and welcoming even if there’s no solid ground for readers underneath it.

A vague supernatural tale hidden in ruminations on psychic photons.

Pub Date: July 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-79230-560-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2019

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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