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Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" (Nova Scotia)
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The Perception Deception - Part One
The Perception Deception - Part One
Price: CDN$ 9.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars David Icke; a self-described "angry saviour" or Flim-Flam man ??, March 19 2014
I count it very fortunate that I have experienced a few truly gifted and wise people during my lifetime. They, too, had the ability to see the world from a different perspective, viewed our day-to-day problems for what they were, namely opportunities for learning and growth, and, most importantly, they viewed all persons and life as being on their own challenging spiritual journey. David Icke shows few, if any, of these traits. He delivers his message in a callous, angry and egotistical manner while deriding anyone who even slightly questions his intent. He does so, at times, in a manner that smacks more of paranoia rather than the altruistic manner in which he views it.

Are David's pronouncements true? After years of personal study and research I feel the answer is a qualified 'yes' and equally qualified 'no'. His mockery of claims of global warming, fluorine solidifying the pineal gland, ray guns on the moon and the fantasized mysterious 'them' are his most obvious failures at intellectual honesty. But there are numerous others. In regards to his claims of other dimensions and our inability to be fully aware of them appear to be true as shown by the numerous conclusions that have been reached in the areas of quantum physics and astronomy. But, even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut. He fails in these virgin areas by the degrading of those of us who cannot or did not undergo the spiritual experiences that he claims to have occurred. Not all of us have been to Paris and can comment on its cuisine any more than all of us have undergone a supposed spiritual transformation of sorts and can relate to his experiential claims. My advice to David as a former psychotherapist? I think you need to spend some serious time within your own ego structure in order to dispel the latent anger which you will find there before you make any further attempts to perform your own version of Siddhartha or the Sermon on the Mount. Then, and only then, can you instruct your readers to do as you do rather to simply do as you say........

It
It
Offered by Penguin Group USA
Price: CDN$ 10.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King; the human word machine...., March 16 2014
This review is from: It (Kindle Edition)
Some authors write for the sake of their chosen profession. They formulate a moralistic tale, wrap it in symbolism, submit it to a publisher and feel totally satisfied that they have completed the task of by adding a quality novel to world of literature. Does their work become popular? Do they earn an enormous amount of money from their publication? The answers to these two questions are mute and quite secondary to their purpose of their work to begin with. It was clearly their initial writing of the work that mattered and that their message was placed into print for all (or any) to read and that their statement was now made public. If the readers rejected their work it was not necessarily because of their writing skills alone. No, it was probably because the reading public had become so numb to what good writing really was is why it went completely ignored. Such is the makeup of our less than scholarly reading public.

The other type of authors is a Stephen King who performs the opposite objective; write such that you appeal to the numbness that pervades our reading public and, by doing so, you become rich and popular. The public sees life in colors of only black and white, behaviors that are either good or evil. So, therefore, create stories in which the public can identify with the `good' by giving them traits that are less than perfect, be it stuttering, asthmatic impulses, obesity or having been emotionally abused. Then take this hampered band of troubadours and have them battle an aura of `evil' that is not only diffuse and indescribable but have the victory be won via an eerie, out-of-body manner such that the readers can imagine any and all things about this malevolent spirit as they chose to. But, don't forget to titillate the public frequently. Don't just due it with their paranoid fears of evil but also bring into the story a immature titillation that, on the surface, is morally repugnant but underneath lies a wealth of reading sensuality. A secret tryst between seven eleven year olds should do it! Morals? Hardly worth mentioning because readers have vey little patience with writers who preach to them or tell them the way society should treat itself. And, lastly, a theme or a concept that the reader can take away from the story and use as a learning experience that they can fasten their own lives to as they meet their own traumas of life, is this something the public wants? Hardly. They would rather plod through nearly 1400 pages of dialogue that points not to a purpose for life but, instead, spins and spins and spins in ever increasing circles until it concludes at the story's very beginnings. The only thing learned is that the reader finds he/she actually has the perseverance to sit for fifteen+ hours with a very cumbersome book in their hand.

Yes, Stephen King will remain a popular author because of this and, yes, he will continue to make an inordinate amount of money for his work. But no, the likes of Dickens, Faulkner, Bradbury and even Poe will remain a league above our friend from Maine.......

A Taste of Tomorrow - The Dystopian Boxed Set (11 Book Collection)
A Taste of Tomorrow - The Dystopian Boxed Set (11 Book Collection)
Price: CDN$ 3.23

2.0 out of 5 stars A medicore set of dystopic tales..........., Feb. 19 2014
Outside of this collections preview of 'Sand' by Hugh Howey (which is excellent) this a very average group of dystopic novels. On two bright notes, if you are seeking a wide variety of end-of-the-world stories and you are looking to clog your hard drive with a great deal of mega-bytes, this may be the collection you are looking for.........

Apocalypse Drift
Apocalypse Drift
Price: CDN$ 9.96

2.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time the Chinese government punched a few computer keys..............., Feb. 15 2014
This review is from: Apocalypse Drift (Kindle Edition)
The author's statement that this novel is to be viewed as a 'G Rating' is a warning that should be heeded. A 'Cleaver-type' family, previously hit by economic collapse, takes the lead role in leading a merry band of pleasure boats out from a marina onto a secluded beach while the rest of the US falls into utter chaos. Yes, we have our share of 'bad guys' either in the form of 'Red Chinese' scoundrels or redneck pilferers who make both the country and our happy flotilla very unpleasant place in which to reside. And, yes, we have a 'happily ever after' conclusion whereby the dastardly villains meet their necessary end, a killer is identified and, happily, the Cleaver family finds familial bliss. A 'G Rated' novel has, indeed, been thrust onto the reading public. The only question I have is what is the target audience for this book?

Like most dystopic novels, this one is not without additional flaws. First a libertarian form of government that requires no taxes, except from newly landed immigrants, would lead to further massive economic failure. Economic growth, no matter how astronomical, that is not tied to taxation provides no governmental income. Having the number of fatalities in the US equal the entire population of Canada from China's shenanigans is a bit extreme. And, lastly, requiring only two defunct manufacturing plants to supply all the parts necessary to repair the entire US electronic grid is a bit far-fetched. But, if you are looking for a 'made-for-TV', vanilla, end-of-the-world story, you have chosen the right story to read.................

Sand Omnibus
Sand Omnibus
Price: CDN$ 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificient display of poetic sci-fi........, Feb. 10 2014
This review is from: Sand Omnibus (Kindle Edition)
Hugh Howey is, obviously, best known for his absorbing tale aptly named “Wool”. In it he takes us on a highly descriptive and frightening journey through a post apocalyptic submerged world of underground silos. His character development is well formed, his plot engrossing and his climax is one that echoes both hope and trepidation. He, in sum, showed very quickly that he could capture and maintain a reading public through his innate and acquired skills.

With “Sand” he has moved to even a higher level. Building upon the skills learned through his previous publication he has now attained the ability to write what I term as being ‘prose poetry’. The ability to have your writings capture readers is one thing, but to have your novel literally sing beautiful melodies to you is quite another. There are very few classic authors who have this ability, let alone the more recent group of modern literalists who view the English language more as a road map into their thoughts rather than a book of poems or sonnets in which to enrapture those fortunate to peruse their novels. Bravo Mr. Howey! This is an lovely melody to have read!

Normally I gauge sci-fi writers on their portrayals of other lands based on their portrayal’s feasibility, if not realism itself. Admittedly this tale passes neither test for it’s setting is neither real nor feasible. But, in spite of that and because of the author’s tremendous writing skills, this failure quickly fades into the background and by chapter two I was readily accepting that the improbable was, in fact, probable and that the unbelievable had a strong leaning towards reality. If you are simply a dystopic lover this is an excellent book to read. But, if you are like me, and also appreciate highly skilled writing, this is a must read. Move over Charles Dickens, you may have found another writer who can describe people and places such as you did..................

Karma of the Silo: the Collection (Karma Omnibus Book 6)
Karma of the Silo: the Collection (Karma Omnibus Book 6)
Price: CDN$ 5.36

3.0 out of 5 stars An cativating novel with a disappointing ending.........., Feb. 2 2014
First I want to praise the writing skills, the innate creativity and the emotionality that went into the writing of this Wool sequel. The author is able to immerse the reader back into the claustrophobic atmosphere of Silo 2. She does so through the eyes of a secondary character from the original series, namely Helen aka Karma. Her insertion into this surreal world is not only initially dramatic but we follow her life through the ensuing fifty years of her raising of children, being the wife to the head of I.T. and her tireless work to not only remember how life was before the holocaust but to overcome and conquer the perverse conditions in which they presently live.

SPOILER ALERT

My problem lies with the novel’s ending. Is Karma originally hallucinating the green and blue earth she sees as she comes out from the Silo, or are the dark clouds the illusion? If she sacrificed her life for the good of the others, why didn’t she give them a view of where the exterior cameras, connecting pipelines or communication stations? How would the Senator recognize her after all the years that have passed since they knew one another? If the air was toxic, why wasn’t the Senator also in a air-tight suit? Yes, the ending does leave a glimmer of hope for the ensuing generations of silo dwellers but it could have been done in a more realistic manner. Because of this my rating went from a five to a three..................

Yesterday's Gone: Season One
Yesterday's Gone: Season One
Price: CDN$ 4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars That was a wasted 6 hours of my life.............., Jan. 29 2014
I do not doubt that the writing of a dystopic novel is a difficult venture. First, you must have the world collapse in a manner that, while not fully believable, is somewhat feasible. Obviously during this phase you have to deal with the rotting corpses of most of humanity, what has happened to the overall topography and whether or not there is any hope for recovery. Secondly, you have to develop a reasonable plot line whereby a band of heroes successfully fight off the forces that have caused the world collapse while attempting to salvage what is left of humanity. Lastly, you need to tie the entire tale together in a rational manner explaining what occurred and how, in spite of the odds, civilization has or has not the hope to go on.

Our co-authors did none of this. Instead we have corpses, automobiles, street signs, etc... magically disappearing. Then we have a dispersed group of characters who, through magical 'dreams', eventually come together with little or no planning on how to deal with the global tragedy. The characters are very shallow and have very little, if any, believability about themselves. The 'monsters'? They are the strangest and most diffuse group of nightmares you will ever encounter! Being a dystopic novel fan I can honestly state that this is the worst story I have ever encountered!

In conclusion, while I support and encourage the publishing of e-novels because of it provides an avenue for unknown authors have their works published, it also allows unskilled and sophomoric pieces like 'Yesterday's Gone' to be thrust on the public. As a reader the only manner you have in deciding on a purchase is through the summation reviews of other previous readers. Unfortunately this does not prevent the author's friends and relatives from writing promising reviews in order to lure people to buy the novel in question. That sets a trap that the serious reader too easily falls into. I got caught in this trap! Please avoid my mistake and move onto something that is more feasible and not so poorly done...........

Let's sell these people A Piece of Blue Sky
Let's sell these people A Piece of Blue Sky
Price: CDN$ 9.96

3.0 out of 5 stars The minutia of Scientology..........., Jan. 15 2014
While the author included all of the facts and factoids of Scientology he did so in a highly drone and unorganized manner. His relating of this important history of chicanery should have been done in a linear manner with far less Scientological language and be presented as a tale that leads to the author's ultimate leaving of this cult. Instead we have a hodge-podge that jumps from the early fifties to the late sixties and back again with little symmetry at all.

The ultimate content of this work, however, is valuable. Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was a man who formed his professional leanings from writing science fiction stories. He appears to have convinced himself that his tales were not only possible, but highly probable for it is from this unlikely mixture of space aliens, paranoia and heroism that we have him developing a quasi-therapy which is loosely based on Freud's work, to the gathering of his 'flock' of believers to his formulation of Scientology as a religion. The one constant that remained throughout was not only Hubbard's charisma but his paranoia, his massive need for control and his deflated ego that needed continual stroking. Yes, his legions remain strong and loyal long after his death, but so do numerous other tenets of religion. Mankind continues to seek out not only the answer to life's basic question, but to do so at the exclusion of other groups of people. "We are the only people who know the truth" is a banner which should not only raised above the mantels of Scientology Meetings but above all other religious groups and churches as well. When will church members ever question the inane beginnings of the church doctrines that they hold so dear? My guess is that as long as there are frightened people in this world who are too lazy to find the answers within themselves, a PT Barnum will be there to sell them what they want to hear.........

The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion Book One: The Mormons
The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion Book One: The Mormons
Price: CDN$ 6.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Of 'suckers' and 'members'............., Jan. 15 2014
While PT Barnum made the statement that ...'there is a sucker born every minute', David Fitzgerald restates it and says ....'there is a member of Mormonism born every minute'. While seeing himself as being a atheistic heretic I, on the other hand, see the author has being both a truth-seeker and a realist. The historical myths that he reveals in this text is both shocking and, yet, fully expected. Mankind has historically sought out the answers to two pressing questions; What happens after I die? What is my purpose for living? While numerous dogmas have been created around these questions, the Mormon tenets, like most others, are based on wishes and hopes rather than facts and events. Joseph Smith was little more than a 'magic rock' charlatan who decided he could take his inane act to the next level and, by doing so, obtain for himself the riches and fame that he felt he deserved. What resulted, as we know, was a magical belief system that included magic underwear, a planetary god, fifty wives, and civil revolutions. But is also included for Smith the money and power that he sought. Brigham Young followed lock-step in Smith's footsteps and turned a façade of belief and magic into a full blown set of church rules and certitudes. And, believe it or not, the magic continues through to today with Mormonism being the fastest growing of all world religions.

Why then would members abide by such a fairy tale belief system? Because Smith and Young gave them the answers to the above two questions and added to them the 'fact' that they, and only they, after death would gain the highest recognition from their fairy tale god. Additionally their purpose in life was now clearly defined as being to a period spent pleasing the 'heavenly father'. A very sad tale of deceit on a massive level. But, unfortunately one that is not unlike all other organized religions that begins in myth and winds up in exceptionalism, power and corruption ............

The Modern Book of the Dead: A Revolutionary Perspective on Death, the Soul, and What Really Happens in the Life to Come
The Modern Book of the Dead: A Revolutionary Perspective on Death, the Soul, and What Really Happens in the Life to Come
Offered by Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 16.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the map we all seek after ??, Jan. 4 2014
It is quite easy, I suppose, to praise a person whose thoughts, explorations and conclusions match those of you own. It is even easier, it is said, to praise that same person when he/she is able to put into highly readable verse the endpoint of your own personal struggles and adventures as you have groped with the meaning of both life and death. Both statements being obviously true I can, therefore, heap great accolades of praise on Ptolemy Tompkins for his book "The Modern Book of the Dead". But I must warn potential readers that this is not a book written for the less ambitious that lie amoung us. Nor is this a book for the virgin explorer of life's ultimate mysteries. This is a book that is to be read by those amoung us who have spent countless hours seeking out the same answers that the author, himself, has tirelessly sought. This book is meant to be a confirmation of your own effort as being `a job well done' and not as a starting point of the study itself. I, like the author, have spent decades researching, exploring and contemplating the issues that are set forth in this text. I, unlike the author, naturally had a different starting point and a different familial setting. But, as we both suspected, regardless of the twisting path that a person is initially set upon, all paths lead to the same ultimate truth. The secret lies in realizing that it is the journey that in itself is the reward for no single endpoint can be reached in this lifetime .......................

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