Modernist, random sci-fi weirdness seemingly beamed in from the James Joyce/William S. Burroughs/Last Words of Dutch Schultz...

FROM THE YEAR INFINITY

A godlike being who is an interplanetary Earth ambassador and a time traveler recalls his manifold adventures saving the cosmos in this debut novel.

At age 4, the supernatural entity named Lewis must take on human mentality and winds up working in a Connecticut office. Even so, his impressive IQ (described as the fourth highest ever) draws the attention of the U.S. Navy and Colin Powell. Lewis not only serves in the Navy, but is also appointed an Earth representative for the United Planetary Federation, even though assassinations disrupt the meetings—and in the remote future (or past), civilizations rise and fall and threats are fought (or will be). Because Lewis marked his apotheosis by time-traveling to infinity, the fabric of reality has started to come undone. In fixing it, he meets Father Time (who really exists). Lewis embarks on epic exploits in his seven other immortal lifetimes. Viewers of TV’s Doctor Who may enjoy the way Feinland, a poet, manages to make this highly experimental piece bigger on the inside than the outside—just like the time machine/spacecraft TARDIS. In a slim 109 pages, he info-dumps terabytes of sci-fi jargon; alphanumerics and acronyms; author references/genre shoutouts (John Scalzi); invented words (“cataclypse”); poetry; complex, technical manual-style instructions; and metaphysical musings. It’s the epistle of a sort of god or demigod who, while born on Earth, is actually of Olympus lineage (though Jesus crosses his path, as do the devil, Buddha, and Sitting Bull). When the narrator speaks of seeing psychiatrists and getting a regimen of psychotropics, it begs the question of whether to interpret any of this literally or as the artfully described schizoid ravings of a lunatic savant off his meds: “From my office which was my enterprise, bridge command; sort from my helm..Or was enterprise is now plastic and the universally Messianic deed be done. Paradise lost be found, it’s heavenly response. Kingdom come and the last eternal link be round, that link being physically the mild core (plutonium 181) but not energy.”

Modernist, random sci-fi weirdness seemingly beamed in from the James Joyce/William S. Burroughs/Last Words of Dutch Schultz outer-asteroid field.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4327-9677-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Outskirts

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2018

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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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