Archive for the Book Review Category

Ego In A New Light… Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”

Posted in Book Review, Editorial, Fiction, Inspiration, Life, Novella, Science Fiction, Short Story, Writing with tags on January 12, 2013 by darkjade68

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“He lived in the dark ages of future. In a loveless world he dared to love the woman of his choice. In an age that had lost all trace of science and civilization he had the courage to seek and find knowledge. But these were not the crimes for which he would be hunted. He was marked for death because he had committed the unpardonable sin: he had stood forth from the mindless human herd. He was a man alone.” TAKEN FROM THE BACK COVER OF THE CENTENNIAL EDITION OF THIS BOOK

Ego In A New Light… Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”

I’m the first to admit that I don’t read all that much… I never have. I’ve always heard that the best Writers, or at least Most Writers, are also ‘avid’ readers.

But for me, Math, and Creative Writing were my best areas in school.

A’s and B’s in Math, and B+’s in Creative Writing.

D’s and C’s in Grammar, Lol.

My mind just worked a certain way.

That said, though I’ve averaged over 1,000 words a day in the last 17 months in what has been the beginning of my pursuit of being a Writer for a living, I just don’t read very much.

Either I get sleepy when I try, or I feel like “You should be Writing, not Reading”… And so it’s gone, Lol

mzl.dbvwkaekHowever, for Christmas, a very good friend of mine sent me a copy of Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”.

The “Centennial Edition” to be precise.

Which includes both her Original 1938, England Published Version in the back of the book with her notes on it showing some changes she had made in the style of it (Not the Content/Or meaning). But the Edited/Style updated version is the main version in the front of the book.

That said, my friend, knowing that I’m not all that much of a Reader, but also knowing that I have some Familiarity with Ayn Rand, primarily from my upbringing, and most recently from seeing the New “Atlas Shrugged” Film (Part I, I haven’t seen Part II yet).

Sent me Ayn Rand’s “Anthem”, because she knew that it was one of her Shorter Books, and thus I might end up reading it.

My History With Ayn Rand;

Though limited, I do have some history in regards to Ayn Rand.

I’ve never before read any of her books (Until now), but My Boss, and Mom’s Boyfriend of 30+ years, is indeed an Avid Reader, and had read many of her books years ago.

fountainhead1In fact, “The Fountain Head” was a major influence on him in college, which lead him to switching his Major in Art (I believe it was Art), to Majoring in Architecture. (I believe the main character in The Fountainhead is an Architect)

30+ Years Later, he’s one of the Best, most Interesting Architects I’ve ever been exposed to.

Moving on… My Mom and her Boyfriend actually met one another at was called a “Workshop”… This Workshop was run by a Psychologist, who not only Practiced Counseling, but also ran Workshops based on the work of a man named ‘Nathaniel Branden‘.

And Nathaniel Branden actually was in a relationship with Ayn Rand many years back.

And so you see, I definitely had my exposure in regards to Ayn Rand.

All indirectly… And yet, exposure none the less.

My Opinion/Review of “Anthem”;

My Friend was right… Due to it’s length, who had Written it, and who had Given me the book, these things lead to me actually making the time to read it.

Some of the Introduction a couple weeks ago, and the rest of the Introduction, the Author’s Forward, and the Newer Edited Version of the Story Late Yesterday Afternoon/Last Night.

The Central Message;

Now like I say, I’m not much of a Reader (Though I am an Avid Film Watcher), and this is my First Ever Book Review… But I’d say the Central Message in this book is based on Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Objectivism.

Objectivism is a philosophy created by Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand (1905–1982). Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (or rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-fairecapitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform humans’ metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally.[citation needed]

Rand characterized Objectivism as “a philosophy for living on earth”, grounded in reality, and aimed at defining human nature and the nature of the world in which we live.[1]”

ala WIKIPEDIA

And in Ayn Rand’s own words;

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged[2]
also ala WIKIPEDIA
Alright, so this story takes place in a Dark Dystopian Future, where Men (And Woman)  follow a ‘We’ Philosophy, as opposed to an ‘I’ Philosophy.
Where all things are based on a ‘Collective’ mentality. Meaning all that we do, is for the Greater Good of our Fellow Man/Woman, and is not based on our Individual Needs, and/or Wants.
And all of our Decisions, including what field of work we go into, and who we ‘Mate’ with, are supplied by an Appointed Council.
Basically.
I don’t want to get all that technical, but I think you get the gist.
we-are-the-borg-borg-base-picard-all-your-belong-star-trek-demotivational-poster-1249788313For me Star Trek’s ‘The Borg’ come to mind… But that’s mainly because this book was Written in 1937, and thus this Fundamental Idea has been used in many ways in Stories, and/or Television and Film.
Plot;
A Man Called “Equality 7-2521” (Nope, People don’t even get to have True Names), considers himself cursed, because as he goes through the early part of his life, he can not seem to control his ‘Own Personal Interests/Passions’ Etc.
And so the basic Plot is about how he suffers because he is different, and slowly, piece by piece, starts to more and more figure out ways to Express Himself as an Individual (As Opposed to one of the Collective)… And when I say “Express” himself, I don’t mean Publicly Initially, I mean Privately. And when I say Privately, I mean when he is Alone, which is supposed to be ‘Never’, but he finds/makes a way.
Characters;
To me the main Character, initially, is Quite Tormented Internally… Partly because he can not Pursue his Own Individual Interests/Passions Etc… Partially because he feels he is Cursed, and is Ashamed of himself that he does not only think of his Brothers/Sisters, and instead thinks about what Makes ‘Him’, as an Individual, Happy.
The Girl… The Girl, or as he comes to call her “The Golden One”, appears to have some Inner Strength inside her as well, and is Instantly Drawn to him.
Ego;
I have come to find out that Ayn Rand generally has Cut and Dry/Working Titles for her Books, and then Changes them for the Sake of Publishing. The main part of this seems to be that her Working Titles “Give Too Much Away”, and thus she Creates Names that are not as Obvious, and also wants them to be more Intriguing… So to speak. Her reason, she wants people to figure out the meanings of the Books for their selves.
A Noble/Admirable thing I think/feel.
And so, the Initial Title of “Anthem”, was actually “Ego”… On that note, I’d highly recommend Reading Both the ‘Introduction’, and ‘Author’s Forward’, prior to Reading this Book. This is where she explains these things, and I found it very insightful going forward into the Reading of the Story.
Now the Funny thing about the word “Ego”, in my opinion… Is in my experience of the word Ego, it is, and/or has been, primarily used, and/or thought of in a Derogatory Light…
In such statements as “He has a Huge Ego… So watch out”… Or, “That Guys Ego is out of control”.
Now this is in my, American, mostly Southern California, experience of the word.
Here’s what Webster thinks of the Word;
1 : the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world
3 : the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality — compare
Hmm… A bit different than the Common Use of the word… Or at least in My Experience.
But Ego is a word that I had already, in my own life, come to realize ‘Isn’t’ a Derogatory Term in its ‘Purist’ Sense…
It basically has something to do with an ‘Individual’s’ Sense of Self, and Self Worth I believe.
That said, Ayn Rand’s use of the Word, I believe, has more to do with its ‘True’ Meaning, not what we, or at least I, have been most often exposed to.
And this is True with many Words. It’s funny how Words so often Mean One Thing to one person, and something Completely Different to another. I think this is even more evident, when the people speaking are each from different countries. But that’s just my opinion.
My Overall Opinion of The Book;
In the end, something in addition to the Fundamental Message in the Book, which is basically the ‘Importance Of The ‘I”, and the Potentially Destructive/Devastating Nature of the ‘We’ way of thinking…
At least what I found Truly Fascinating, was the Process that the Main Character goes through in ‘Breaking’ down one Philosophy (Which he’s known all of his life), and basically ‘Creating/Building’ a Whole New Philosophy, and Way of Being/Living, pretty much wholly based on a Human’s Innate Primal Instincts, in all respects… Be it Love, Survival, Time Alone, Internal Thoughts Etc.
I think if I had been brought up in a ‘Less’ Freedom of Speech/Thought Etc. kind of Environment, this Book would have had an even More Profound Impact one me.
But because I was not, what it did for me is 1) Gave Me Further Appreciation For Ayn Rand, A Writer/Person Who Literally Breeds The Importance of “Free Will” 2) Reminded me of the Simplicities of Life, that we often take for granted, often by no fault of our own… 3) A Sense of Appreciation of, like I say, The Breaking Down of One Belief System, and Building, From Scratch, of Another 4) As a Writer, it also Reminded me of some of the Fundamental Essences of ‘Sci-Fi’ Writing, that you can find in such Films as “Logan’s Run”, “Planet Of The Apes” (The old one’s), and even “Journey To The Center Of The Earth”… Touching on such Fundamental (And I’m using this word a lot)… Lets switch up to ‘Rudimentary’… Primal, Basic things, that really Give One’s Insides a Tussle… So to speak, Lol
It’s a Good Book… Very Basic (Meaning Simplistic In Form)… Very Primal… Very, yes here I go again, ‘Fundamental’… And I feel, Very Important… And I Highly Recommend it.
Keep in mind, if you’re like me, or even if you’re not… It’s only 105 Pages (At least in this Edition).
And it gets you thinking… And it gets you wanting to Write Your Own Stuff… And it might even Inspire you to Read More of other People’s Stuff, which it has for me.
Nuff Said
Thanks For Listening/Reading
Would Love to Hear Your Thoughts
DarkJade-

DarkJade September 2012 Update

Posted in Book Review, Bookstore, Chess With Agatha, Comic Book, Comic Script, Dark Rider, DarkJade Update, Ebook, Fiction, I Died Once, Kickstarter, Line Editing, Novel, Novella, Self Publishing on September 24, 2012 by darkjade68

DarkJade September 2012 Update

My Goals during the Month of September were as follows…

1) Self Publish My Novella “I Died Once” – Which I did towards the end of August, and Beginning of September

2) Market “I Died Once” – Which I have, via Posts, and Tweets

3) Get “I Died Once” Read and Reviewed by several people, which I did

4) Get a sample of “I Died Once” to my Local Bookstore, which also carries My Poetry Book, “Winter, Lust, And Wonder” – As it turns out, she told me that I didn’t need to get her a sample, and that they’d carry the book. This is awesome, because I really feel that I’ve developed a relationship with the Store, and Manager, which was my hope by putting My Poetry Book in there

* 5) Something that I had actually planned on doing in October, or November, was Make “I Died Once” into a Ebook… But I decided after marketing the Printed version for a Week or so, that Our Market so much Includes Ebooks, that I probably shouldn’t wait any longer. So it is now available For Your PC, or Kindle Reading Device now

6) Ship Copies of “I Died Once” out to the Kickstarter Contributors that helped to Fund My “Editor Funding” Project – I’m in the process of sending them out as we speak. I’m also sending copies to the Editors, Cover Artist, and Cover Layout Co-Designer

7) Get The First Draft of My Fantasy Novel “Chess With Agatha” Read, Reviewed, and Line Edited… Prior to actually Editing it, which will more than likely occur in November-December, 2012, depending – It’s been Read, and Reviewed… And I will be determining if I need to make some Changes in the Writing of it. The Line Editing is being done as we speak

8) Look for an Artist for the Book Cover of My Fantasy Novel “Chess With Agatha“, which I hope to Self Publish in Dec, 2012-Jan, 2013 – I’ve been looking, but most of the Artists are either too busy to be hired, and or don’t reply to E-mails, Lol So I have a long way to go still here.

Something that I’m still curious about, is turning My Blog Series “Dark Rider” and/or “Tales of The Dark Rider” into a Comic Book.

But I want to Find an Artist for this before I start dedicating time into Converting the Blog Posts, into actual “Comic Book Script”.

My Nephew, who I’d like to be the Artist for the Comic Book, was actually in town this weekend, and I gave him a Printed Copy of “Dark Rider“, and part of “Tales of The Dark Rider“… So I’m hoping that he takes the time to Read It, and maybe gets inspired enough to start Drawing some more Drawing Samples.

That’s all for now, Thanks for your Continued Support

DarkJade-

Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword – 6 Opinions Of My Novella “I Died Once”

Posted in Book Review, Editorial, Fiction, I Died Once, Novella, Writing with tags on September 8, 2012 by darkjade68

Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword (Or Pen, As It Were) 6 Opinions Of My Novella “I Died Once”

Yes, My Baby is only 5 Days Old (Self Published That Is, I Actually Wrote It Back In Sep-Nov, 2011)

And so far I’ve had 2 People that Loved it, 3 That Liked it, and 1 Who found it wasn’t their Thing…

Back in January, 2011, when I Self Published My Poetry Book “Winter, Lust, And Wonder“, I asked some 5 or 6 People if they’d Read, and Write a Review about it…

Knowing full well that at least a couple of the people I asked, weren’t really into Poetry.

As it turned out, several Loved it, and Several Liked it.

And so I got off Easy, Lol

I had Planned on Reblogging an Amazing Review of “I Died Once” (My First Review Actually) by My Friend Lorna over @ Lorna’s Voice  onto this Site This Morning (Here’s The Review if you’d Like to Take A Look “I’m Blown Away… Figuratively by Something Literary“)… But by the end of the day, I Received My 2nd Review Via E-mail, and it kind of knocked the wind out of my Sails, Lol

The Writer of the Review was someone I don’t really know, but they are an Avid Follower of My “Dark Globe“, “The Written Word” and “Author” Blogs… And I thought it would be good to get an opinion from someone that I don’t really know, but who has shown some interest in me as a Writer.

Sadly, though she felt I have Talent as a Writer, “I Died Once” wasn’t quite what she expected. I will not go into detail about the Review, as she’s decided not to Post it… But I will say one thing and that is that she thought it was going to be a “Fantasy” Novella, and indeed it is not. Fiction, yes… Fantasy, not really.

Enough said about all that, Lol

I Appreciated her Efforts and Time none the less, and as I told her, definitely didn’t feel that every person that read it would find it was for them.

Fortunately, Lorna had the complete opposite reaction, and praised me a bit more than I had expected, Lol

And thus, you “Live By The Sword/Pen, And You Die By The Sword/Pen”…

I decided to Write this Post for a Couple reasons… One, I suspect that one of the reasons that some people never actually get any of their work Published, is because of the Fear of the “Dreaded Bad Review”…

Having now Lived through a Review that did not Favor The Book, I will simply tell you, it is well worth putting yourself out there for when you do find people that enjoy the Book…

And though the unsatisfied Reader might be the one I think about as I go to sleep, and wake the next morning… The gratified reader is the one I think about the whole rest of the day.

That is all… I shall now take my Bruised Ego, and shuffle away into a corner, where I shall eat Doritos, and Fried Chicken (Not really, but I Wish), my Comfort Food of Choice… Watch a bit of College Football, and especially My Yankees this Afternoon… And then get back to Marketing My Book ASAP… Because the More People that Read It, the More I will know how it is Received Etc. Etc. Etc.

If You Haven’t Had a Chance To Pick Up Your Copy Head Here  “I Died Once” @ CreateSpace and make sure to use My New $3.00 OFF DISCOUNT CODE JNQ4P3W9, which Reduces the Price to $5.95

Also Available @ “I Died Once” @ Amazon.com – For $8.95 But There’s No DISCOUNT CODE on Amazon

Thank You To My Readers, Thank You To My Reviewers, And Thank You To My Comrades In Ink

Nuff Said

DarkJade/James-

A Lovely Review Of My Poetry Book From My Friend

Posted in Book Review, Editorial, Poetry, Scribblings, Winter Lust And Wonder with tags on June 1, 2012 by darkjade68

A Lovely Review of My Poetry Book From My Friend Heloise @PureNrgy

“Winter, Lust, And Wonder”

ENGLISH Posts, Livres / Books / Movies

by PureNrgy

I know some of you understand or even speak English and also I know some of you, English speakers, read me in the background, so this post is for you ;-) « Winter, Lust, And Wonder » is a beautiful book of poems written by James Mahoney who is not only a talented writer but also a fellow blogger and a dear friend of mine.Now, James has written many stories and shared so many more thoughts on his different blogs (like his multi-writers blog The Dark Globe) but this is first self-published book and if you’re passionate about words as I am, I’d love for you to check it out.

What can you expect?

« Winter, Lust, And Wonder » is a small book, very easy to read, it’s poems and thoughts, simple but oh beautifully written. The kind of book that inspires you! The style and the words invite to see trough the writer’s eyes. Sometimes it’s magical, sometimes down to earth, and if you read in the « space » between the words, you get the depth of the message. I enjoyed especially A Grip on the Darkness, I Walk Through Thee, Utopia, Moon, and felt very touched by « ~Japan – Compassion~ »… James Mahoney is all about Truth and you can feel it trough his words. It’s refreshing!
I expected a number of poems to be almost identical but their words, like in most books, but here, instead the style changes, the tone, the ideas, … A very surprising and beautiful discovery.

As I wrote on Amazon: « I’m sure the author would do great in a novel or a fiction book, looking forward to more! » And guess what? He does! I started reading his story « Allure » and it’s amazing, I just love it and if you love fiction (especially Vampires) you will love this one too. But shush… that is another story, for another time… ;-)

Now place to « Winter, Lust, And Wonder » which you can buy on Amazon.com either in the Kindle format for just 1.99$ or in a special black version paperback for just 5$. (For France/Belgium: 1.56€ at Amazon.fr: direct link to Winter, Lust, And Wonder )

And please make sure you leave a review afterwards on Amazon, it’s always nice for the Author to hear what his readers thought of his writing :-) I know I do!

Thank You!

Héloïse

*The Review Link “Winter, Lust, And Wonder” by James Mahoney

Winter, Lust, And Wonder – Now Available On Kindle

Posted in Book Review, Entertainment, Life, News, Poetry, Scribblings, Self Publishing, Winter Lust And Wonder with tags , on March 9, 2012 by darkjade68

Winter, Lust, And Wonder – Now Available On Kindle

Moving Beyond My Online Site, and Beyond The Local Book Store that is now Carrying My Book, I’ve been meaning to do more Research in ebook Publishing.

Mostly because it appears to have become a Huge Part of the Writer’s, and Reader’s World, and Basically Makes The Book a Little Bit More Accessible.

Good News Though, You Don’t Need A Kindle To Download Kindle Books

Which is Good, because I don’t have a Kindle, lol

I’m Using what is Called a “Kindle Reading App”, in which there are several, but I am using the Windows PC App (There is No Charge for the App, it just makes Kindle Books Readable/Orderable for People who don’t have a Kindle).

You Can Find This Free App and Several Others Right Here Free Kindle Reading Apps

The Book is $1.99 On Kindle if you’d like to Pick One Up You Can Go Here Winter, Lust, And Wonder (Kindle Version)

Or if you Prefer The Printed Version You Can Check out The Links to All 6 Available Colors Here Winter, Lust, And Wonder (Printed Version).

These ebooks should be “Loanable” as far as I understand it, so if you Read it and Like it, you can share it with the People You Love… Or even The People You Just Like, ha

If you’d like to Check Out Some Reviews on The Book, you can Go Here

Book Review: Winter, Lust, And Wonder– by Quill Wielder

Winter, Lust, And Wonder – The Review – by VeeChira

Book Review – Winter, Lust, and Wonder – by Ana Silva

Thanks for all of your Support

DarkJade-

 

 

Book Review: Winter, Lust and Wonder

Posted in Book Review, Editorial, Entertainment, Life, News, Poetry, Scribblings, Self Publishing, Winter Lust And Wonder, Writing on February 1, 2012 by darkjade68

My Friend Laura Pfundt over at Quill Wielder, whose also one of my Senior Writers over at The Dark Globe, Agreed to Read and Review my “Winter, Lust, And Wonder” Poetry Book… I thought she would be a good one to Review it, as she’s not really that into Poetry, but she’s definitely a Creative Talent, and an Honest and Earnest person.

Laura Catherine

This is the first book of poetry I’ve reviewed and I was excited to do so because this book was written by my good friend James Mahoney over at The Written Word. He’s having a go at self-publishing this collection of poetry and I was lucky enough to get to see it in advance.

I’m the first to admit that poetry isn’t my first choice of reading material, though I am a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe.

I read through the 38 page book in about an hour and found that I was unable to put it down. Every poem is so different, with different emotions driving them. For me, every poem was a new adventure, anew way of looking at something and thinking ‘yeah, I can relate to that’ or ‘I understand how this feels’.

My particular favourites were Dragon Blood, Sweet Embrace, Some Place I Go, and

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