Monday, October 29, 2007


Linda Benninghoff’s departures (March Street Press, North Carolina, 2004) is a chapbook of 19 poems, along with some images, that are themed on the feelings connected with the act of ‘leaving’. Some of the poems address those who are no more but whose memories still ache in the heart and mind of the poet. Other poems focus on people, places, things, and animals that have been part of a lasting memory but that have left the author behind, or have been left behind the by author, and are now being missed since life has moved on.

The most inspiring quality of all the poems in departures is the respect with which the poet treats her referents. Not only people but also pets, places, and simple and seemingly unimportant objects are held as something worth loving. Since one has to move on as a necessity of life, holding things and people in respect allows leaving with good memories. This positive way of looking at things is a great attribute that we need to improve in our lives; departures achieves it in only 39 pages.

The smooth and unaffected poetic style of departures carries well-known eternal codes of hope, fear, memories, family, love, friendship, and above all-respect. The mode is dominantly nostalgic and an aching sweetness caresses the reader’s heart in several sets of lines. In There Is No Stillness, we read:

‘You said then
you once made
A vow to be silent
till the world changed
and only broke it,
When you came up with a better idea.’

ISBN: 1-59661-011-5


Author Bio

Friday, October 19, 2007

E-Mails From Hell

The Internet is our day’s most precious technological gift, both for communication and for wasting our precious time. David Earthman’s latest humor book E-Mails From Hell (Synergy Book, Texas, 2007) takes up the latter aspect of online communication via e-mail. Through a series of biting e-mails and their replies, Earthman’s book makes a light-hearted spoof on the abuse of Internet correspondence for commercial purposes.

The subtitle of Earthman’s book ‘The Wrath of William Wyndell’ points to the book’s central e-mail bugger William Wyndell whose first messages start with greetings and final ones with abuse. This guy is a nutty Internet user who has nothing better to do than pestering others of his kind. So this craziness turns out to be fun!

The language of the E-Mails From Hell goes adult at a few places but doesn’t reach extremes of obscenity. Not all the 11 chapters sound equally witty; a few are really hilarious and some rather dull. The book as a whole is not very disappointing and for fans of humor books with a satirical tone, E-Mails From Hell can be an enjoyable read.

ISBN: 1-933538-45-7


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sleep Before Evening

In her debut novel Sleep Before Evening (Bewrite Books, United Kingdom, 2007), Magdalena Ball probes into the psychic maze of teenage delinquency. The book shows the angst of the heroine Marianne Cotton, a 17-year old girl of artistic aptitude, who grapples with the emptiness of life by resorting to drugs and ends up close to death. From the death of her affectionate grandfather to the nearly fatal drug overdose, Marianne’s life instantiates the pattern of disrupted attachment that underlies most (if not all) cases of juvenile delinquency. It is a fictional but thoroughly investigative case study of the tenderest age of life and the elements that render its disintegration.

Set in the year 1982, Sleep Before Evening is a an engaging character-driven narrative, focusing on the images, speech, feelings, and dreams of Marianne, turning the inside of her mind out for the readers to explore. The emerging talent of her artistic spirit is checked by the death of her mentor-her grandfather-and her mother’s failure to provide the necessary love and care. Soon Marianne’s quest for peace and human attachment begins, carrying her astray like a detached leaf in a wild wind. The author’s control of the story is masterly; her insight combining with her exceptional narrative skills to write a story that presents the case of millions of young drug addicts, right here amidst us.

Sleep Before Evening is certainly more than a novel. It is an honest piece of commentary on familial and societal elements that tear apart the tender fabric of innocence off youngsters’ lives. Marianne comes to the readers as the true picture of loneliness, her survival resting on the development of a human connection. Yet, her failure to find one in a crowded city because people are insecurely and frantically looking for career, fame, and money, is a thought-provoking tragedy. Whether or not she comes out these tempestuous waters is a separate issue; the need to understand her, look for her in our homes and lives, and help her out of her throes is crucial to our own survival as humans on this planet.

ISBN-10: 1904492967
ISBN-13: 978-1904492962


Author Website:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mindful of Madness

Ida-Rose Mead’s humorous fantasy Mindful of Madness (Outskirts Press, Colorado, 2007) has all the idiosyncrasies of a literary work that results from out-of-the-box thinking of a creative writer. In both language and thought, Mead exhibits her highly developed creative imagination.

Mindful of Madness is the unusual story of Conrad Buncombe whose continual dream about a sapphire-eyed beauty leads him into an egoistic quest for finding the means to master his desire. While he takes to tapping and encounters a number of fantastic characters, his desire for tapping turns out to be a self-defeating quirk. The author’s fancy is on high grounds here!

With all its novelty of thought and freshness of language, Mindful of Madness does not have a grand plot to offer and will best suit readers who enjoy ‘the moment’ in humorous readings. It is a different sort of comedy, very unconventional, with a heavy bent on figurative characterization. Mead’s book is for the readers who are ready to experiment with reading. For one quality, though, it is highly recommended: thinking beyond the usual limits of imagination.

ISBN-10: 1598001590
ISBN-13: 978-1598001594