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Turnstiles by [Raine, Andrea McKenzie]
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Turnstiles Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 305 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

Product Description

Martin Sourdough is a homeless person who has chosen to turn his back on the corporate, material world; Willis Hancocks Jr. is a barrister, an alcoholic philanderer, and a misogynist; and Evelyn (aka Yvonne) is a prostitute. Turnstiles speaks to these social problems through the smaller scope of each character’s individual trials. There is a struggle that exists between the need to serve one’s own needs and the expectation to participate in the larger social scheme. Martin and Willis are both trying to fit into the world, but on their own terms. They are naïve, searching for an Eden-like state of being. Through a broader experience of personal fortune, misfortune, travel, and social interactions, they each learn to accept their path and take control of their own destinies.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1407 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Inkwater Press (Dec 17 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #404,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I loved reading this book! A very touching and interesting perspective on a rich man and a poor man. I enjoyed the way the author bounced back and forth between 2 completely different lives and tied them together at the end. Highly recommend!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I did not want to star this book because it is such an objective exercise in a subjective field. Do I compare this book to itself and give it a five, or to Tolstoy, a one. Do I grade it as storytelling or belles lettres? I would not normally presume to do that so I am going for five. I usually leave awarding Netflix stars to my husband, book stars to those who know more than I do about the symmetical universe. Turnstiles is a book in a great tradition, with the dramatic character transformations of Shakespeare, the inversion of Mark Twain's classic tale of the Prince and the Pauper and the remarkable plot coincidences of Thomas Hardy. Such stories are also found in the Bible. Insofar as there is only one life story, with many variations. Raine has given hers enough twists to keep the reader engaged from the first page to the last. The novel, a family tragedy with redemption, is a page turner. It is also an example of the challenges facing writers today when there are not enough people buying, reviewing, reading, editing and publishing books. Raine, like other self-published Canadian writers, deserves an editor, a publicist, and reviewers. Shame on us, Canada. We can partially rectify this by buying Turnstiles.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was drawn in and captured--- as all good books should do --- wondering how these people would connect but did not expect the twist and the ending. Andrea had many profound thoughts. I was jotting them down and amazed at her way with words and the quality of them.
Really enjoyed the book. Thanks!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa5c1afa8) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa560e2f4) out of 5 stars A hard earned 3 stars July 23 2014
By Malka A. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
*Please note: Some spoilers*

Andrea McKenzie Raine’s debut novel “Turnstiles” is a tale about three individuals whose lives intersect with one another in complex ways, illustrating the human condition through a kaleidoscope aimed at their stories. Each and every one of the main characters are all very unhappy with where their lives have brought them and their stories weave into one another in very intricate ways. Marty is homeless and aimless in life by choice, Willis is wealthy and misogynistic – not by choice. And then there’s Evelyn who is forced into the dark world of human trafficking—also not by choice. Their struggles stem from allowing others in their stories to define their own individual self-hoods, and ultimately they each try and break free from those invisible chains.

The author is a poet by nature, and this was demonstrated very eloquently throughout the novel. There were many wonderful glimpses of prose that would make any literary aficionado swoon. And every now and then when one of the author’s characters would stop what they were doing and allow the reader into their thoughts, their monologues were so beautiful it was like listening to the sound of rain—powerful and calm at the same time.

A reader may find themselves wrestling with many complexities of this book. Marty declares to the reader, within the first few pages that he is free. He doesn’t feel as though he belongs anywhere, and after gaining a new found fortune that takes him off the streets, he makes his way to Paris where he begins to feel as though he “might” belong. He often appears jealous of the lives of others and he uses his idealistic world view to cloak that insecurity. But then a few chapters afterwards, he declares that he wished he were free like others. His views come across as conflicted, with no meaning in the conflict of those thoughts to make it profound.

Willis is a very unlikable character. He grapples with the mental hold his deceased father has on him “I think I’ve turned into him” he declares. He hands over his inheritance to a homeless man on the streets on the London (it turns out to be Marty) in hopes that he can rid of his own demons by eliminating his father’s life-time accumulation of material currency. He is fearful of heading down the same path as his philandering father. Among the first scenes the reader finds Willis in is of him defendiTurnstiles-Cover-resizedng a man accused of killing his wife. This is an interesting set of scenes because it demonstrates the point of view that the author tries to establish in the book—the defendant, Mr. Harris, kills his wife because he felt as though she emasculated him and that is what pushed him to ultimately murder her. Before the word of law can decide on the defendant’s fate, Mr. Harris takes matters into his own hands and commits suicide. In the world of Turnstiles where majority of the characters allow others to define them, Mr. Harris doesn’t wait for the law to define him. His suicide becomes a heroic rhetoric that the other characters should have had the courage to follow.

Evelyn is one of the most melancholy characters that a reader may cross in the book. She comes from a very hostile and volatile background. As a teenager she is “captured” by Frank, a dark and lucid character whose only mission is violate and berate women. Just as Willis’s father has a mental hold on him, Frank has an everlasting hold on Evelyn. And when Marty and Evelyn meet on a train to Paris he declares to her that “you are like a caged animal. Just because there are bars in front of you, you think there’s no way out.” Marty and Evelyn share a brief romantic interlude, but because he is grappling with his own sense of self, Marty abandons her. This sense of abandonment may come across has Marty liberating Evelyn from Frank, but since the act of freedom was not her own, Evelyn’s new found liberty means nothing.

There were a few aspects which made Turnstiles a bit difficult to grapple with. The dialogue exchange between the characters often came across as a Q&A rather than a natural born conversation between individuals. Additionally, majority of the male characters of the book all seem to blur into one—they are all essentially the same ruthless beings with no sense of humanity at their core. The premise of the story lures you in with great promise, but the delivery of Turnstiles is unrealistic with its one too many plot twists and bleak characters.

The characters are frustrated with others who continue to define their own individual self-hoods. The characters often come across has victimized, with no spine and ultimately at times are unlikable. They walk the fine line between being a multifaceted character or one is severely underdeveloped. A reader may often find themselves hoping and rooting for Evelyn or Marty to step up to the plate and fight back the views of others and find themselves, but they never quite do. Their stories become a stark reminder that love cannot save you unless you’re willing to save yourself.

A hard earned ★ ★ ★
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa560e348) out of 5 stars What a great book! Jan. 21 2014
By SuperB67 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this was a fantastic story. The characters seemed so real and honest. I could picture everything that happen to them. The situations were described so that you weren't mired down with excessive detail, but poetically and expressively enough that you could easily visualize them, almost as if you were there yourself. Many of the secondary characters are quite interesting as well. I found myself wanting to know more about them. Sequel? Prequel? Spin-off? We can hope! I think this is a very accessible book as it could easily fit into several different categories or genres. I can't wait for more from this author!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa560e624) out of 5 stars Paints a vivid picture with her words June 3 2015
By James Bookreader - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I was blown away by the quality of writing in this novel. Some of the descriptions, particularly of the streets of Paris, are so beautiful that I found myself re-reading the same passages and savouring the words. This author is clearly a poet and paints a vivid picture with her words.
I would describe theme of this book as philosophical. The three main characters, Martin, Willis and Evelyn spend a great deal of time thinking about their past and what has led them to their current situation. Questions of life and love and the very reason for existence are raised as they each deliberate the meaning of life.
Of the three main characters, Evelyn, who runs away from an abusive home at the age of twelve, is the only one I could empathize with. Willis, a successful barrister, is a self centred man nursing grievances against his recently deceased father. Martin is a misfit who has difficulty relating to other people and never feels quite at home in the world.
The story also takes us into the minds of a number of supporting characters; Bonnie, a friend of Evelyn, Ellie, the mother of Willis, and Frieda, a cloakroom attendant from Germany who crosses paths with Martin. Each has an important part to play by giving the reader more of an understanding of the main character's motives and behaviour.
Evelyn, Martin and Willis all struggle to fit in with their everyday lives and are each searching for answers in the hope of achieving some sense of peace. All three are on a philosophical journey to come to terms with themselves.
The settings; London, Paris, Germany, Canada and the USA, are vividly described and add variety and colour to the story.
The novel ends on a positive note and gives the message that, although life may take a difficult and treacherous path, hope remains.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa560eb40) out of 5 stars Such remarkable work! Jan. 25 2015
By Dr. Glen Hepker - Published on
Format: Paperback
It is truly an honor to write a review for this impeccable work by Andrea McKenzie Raine.

I believe that this is in no way an exaggeration - Andrea truly is an artist/writer of the highest caliber, and Turnstiles is splendidly consistent with this level of artistry.

Please know I do not say this lightly - with this book, she has offered us a work which is impeccably written, quintessentially resplendent, and with a powerful, deeply moving much so that I (humbly and respectfully) believe it is important to say that she has truly made the world a better place through her splendid effort. Through the troubled characters in her book, Andrea weaves a so quite spellbinding study into the dynamics of life...and does so in a fashion congruent with succinct depth, prompting a deep and abiding insight into her characters. Once one begins reading, it really truly IS difficult to put down. – Dr. Glen Hepker (author of “A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa560eb58) out of 5 stars Excellent novel. Written in such a way that the ... Dec 23 2014
By Bonnie Mitchell - Published on
Format: Paperback
Excellent novel. Written in such a way that the reader gets invested and is engaged form beginning to end. It brings forth social problems we turn a blind eye to in such a way you can't help but feel compassion for all the characters involved in this interwoven web of life.

Simply put, easy to pick up and hard to put down, it is a very easy novel to read and eloquently written. I am looking forward to Andrea Raine's next novel!