Book Spotlight: Double Barrel Horror

Welcome to the blog tour for Double Barrel Horror Volume #3, a collection of thrills and chills by six amazing authors! Hold onto your pants folks!

double barrel

Double Barrel (Volume 3)

Publication Date: March 22nd, 2020

Genre: Anthology/ Horror/ Suspense

Brace yourself for another two-barrel blast of unrelenting horror and suspense. Volume 3 of the ‘Double Barrel Horror’ anthology series delivers two chilling tales from each of six talented authors for a 12-story onslaught that will blow you out of your sneakers. This time around, your fate lies in the hands of Christine Morgan, Mark Matthews, Theresa Braun, Calvin Demmer, Glenn Rolfe, and Robert Essig.

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Excerpt

Highway Hunger by Calvin Demmer

It couldn’t be alive?

It was.

Dudley Ellington couldn’t see the animal’s face, but based on the tufts of bloody fur, he thought it might be a rat or a squirrel. He stepped closer, and the creature’s legs shook as if it were attempting to kick-start its body back to life.

Its movements ceased.

Dudley looked around, and all he saw was the long, empty stretch of highway. Why was there never a good stick lying around when you needed one? He tapped his boot on the animal, hoping for a response. He got nothing. Were his eyes playing tricks? He thought its legs moved a moment ago.

He tapped the animal again.

This time, one of its arms stretched out and then down, as if it were trying to push the button to answer a question on a game show. Dudley stepped back—not out of fear, as he assured himself, but to get a better view.

The paw jiggled.

“Yo, Felipe. Come check this out.” Dudley ran his hand over his slicked-back hair. He looked to the white pickup when he got no reply from his coworker.

Felipe sat in the front seat with his orange helmet covering his eyes.

“Felipe, wake up.”

Felipe groaned, slowly pushing open the driver-side door. “What’s it now, Dud? I told you we can always take an extra thirty minutes for lunch. I was just about to get some rest. No one will give a shit.”

“There’s something on the road. I was gonna scoop it up, but it must be alive.”

Felipe’s eyes widened. He climbed out of the vehicle and marched to Dudley.

“Get back,” he said as he passed Dudley.

Dudley did as instructed, oddly reassured by the sudden authority in his coworker’s voice. Felipe would surely help the critter, maybe take it somewhere for injured animals. He was still new to the job and wasn’t sure of the correct protocol.

Felipe hovered over the creature. “It’s a squirrel. At least, it was. Half its body has been smashed.”

“Damn.”

“Yeah, it’s a bummer for sure. But there’s nothing we can do. Best leave it be and let it die in peace.”

“Leave it be? It’s in pain.”

“That’s right. We leave it. It’s not dead, and we only collect the dead.”

Dudley stepped forward. “What about the injured animals? Where do you take them?”

“Injured animals.” Felipe scoffed, staring at the road. “Dud. Now isn’t the time for this. Let it go.”

The squirrel twitched, and Dudley imagined it hearing them talk about how they would simply desert it. That was nonsense, of course, as squirrels couldn’t understand humans, but still, he couldn’t allow it to suffer. He would have to put it out of its misery.

Dudley raised his boot, telling himself this was the most merciful thing he could do.

“No!” Felipe shouted, tackling him to the ground.

“What the fuck, man?” Dudley pushed Felipe off before getting to his feet and dusting his pants, not sure how much good it would do as they already had a stain or two from the takeaway burger he’d devoured for lunch. “Why would—”

“Dud. You need to listen to me.” Felipe glanced around. “We need to get going. I can explain everything once we’re on the move.”

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DoubleBarrel

Blog Tour Schedule

May 11th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Kim Knight (Spotlight) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

Literary Dust (Review) https://literarydust.wordpress.com/

May 12th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

The Scary Reviews (Review) https://thescaryreviews.com

Cats Luv Coffee (Spotlight) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com

May 13th

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

May 14th

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Books Teacup & Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

May 15th

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

Authors:

Matthew Weber 

Christine Morgan

Mark Matthews 

Theresa Braun 

Calvin Demmer

Glenn Rolfe

Robert Essig 

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I’m a little late getting to my April Wrap Up but here it is! The Magical Readathon was a lot of fun and these are all the books I read for it. Let me know if you have read any of them and what you thought! Check out the video below:

Book Review: The Only Child

I have been craving a thriller lately so I ended up picking up The Only Child by Mi-ae Seo and it ended up being a pretty good read.

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Synopsis: Criminal psychologist Seonkyeong receives an unexpected call one day. Yi Byeongdo, a serial killer whose gruesome murders shook the world, wants to be interviewed. Yi Byeongdo, who has refused to speak to anyone until now, asks specifically for her. Seonkyeong agrees out of curiosity.

That same day Hayeong, her husband’s eleven-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, shows up at their door after her grandparents, with whom she lived after her mother passed away, die in a sudden fire. Seonkyeong wants her to feel at home, but is gradually unnerved as the young girl says very little and acts strangely.

At work and at home, Seonkyeong starts to unravel the pasts of the two new arrivals in her life and begins to see startling similarities. Hayeong looks at her the same way Yi Byeongdo does when he recounts the abuse he experienced as a child; Hayeong’s serene expression masks a temper that she can’t control. Plus, the story she tells about her grandparents’ death, and her mother’s before that, deeply troubles Seonkyeong. So much so that Yi Byeongdo picks up on it and starts giving her advice.

This book was what I was looking for in a thriller. It was super creepy (anything to do with creepy kids always gets to me) and I was here for it. I really enjoyed how it was told from multiple perspectives because it gave you insight into both sides of the story and helped with the deductions being made as to what you think the ending will entail.

I will say that I found it to be a little bit predictable but that did not take away from the thrilling factor of it. Even still thinking about it now, I bumped it up to a 4 star rating instead of 3 because it creeps me out knowing how it played out.

There were so many aspects of this book that I found I was cringing at (in a good way) because of how obviously creepy they were and I really liked that. I honestly can’t say much more about the book without giving away anything.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to feel thrilled and to be trying to piece together the plot as you go.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in physical ARC format by Harper Collins to read and give an honest review.


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I am all settled into the new house and am getting back into the swing of things. Here is my TBR for the Bookemon Readathon! Check out the video below:

Book Review: Confessions Of An Old Man

This book seemed like a very interesting read and Chris gave us his perspective on it. This one was called Confessions of an Old Man: How Millennials are Being Robbed by Munir Moon.

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Confessions of an Old Man is about how the next generation is being robbed of their future and what can they do about it. The goal of the book is to get Millennials angry enough to actively engage with the American political system and take control of their destiny instead of their future being decided by rich old white men. It is a statement of collective guilt that places the responsibility on my generation, the baby boomers, for dealing a bad card to their children and grandchildren. My generation controls the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the presidency, so we cannot shirk from the responsibility.

Millennials and the iGeneration combined are called the MI generation in this book. They are defined as those who were born between 1980 and 2018, and they represent about 150 million Americans or 32% of eligible voters.

I enjoyed this book, and found many of his arguments familiar (his reference section shows we have read the same material).

Munir Moon is a boomer who doesn’t use lazy stereotypes about the MI generation. He doesn’t blame them for not buying houses because they’ve spent too much money on things like “avocado toast” (That was an actual argument).

Moon knows his generation drove up the cost of education so that it has outstripped inflation and wages. He knows young professionals today are saddled with student debt decades longer than the boomer generation. He knows house prices have sky-rocketed and many Millennials can’t afford to buy houses because of school debt, stagnating wages, and vanishing permanent jobs in favor of free-lance non-benefit jobs. He knows that the system his generation built is being used to siphon money from lower and middle classes to the very rich because of the magical belief that money from the rich will trickle down to everyone else.

He has some good suggestions for fixing this. For example, if student loans are forgiven it could potentially pump trillions of dollars into the economy as 44 million graduating students would now have more income to use in the economy, to buy houses, to raise families earlier. He says there should be a third party that represents the silent majority aka the Independents. A third party makes good sense and is already working in multiple countries (this means the US probably won’t try it—and I’m only half-joking). And he tells the MI’s to go into politics to change the system.

In his book, he tries not to assign blame to one particular party. He uses generic both-sides-at-fault comments. However, nearly all his specifics of why the system is rigged point at Republicans. He lists their bills, their legislation, their tax cuts that favored the top 1%, and their resistance to enacting legislation that recognizes equality for everyone. Women are about half the population but are only 20% of House/Senate and only 5% of them are Republicans. That 5% is now lower because after the 2018 election the number of women in the Republican party went from 23 (in Moon’s book) to a record low of 13.

His generic both-sides-at-fault often fall into the “false equivalence” category. For example, he equates the Republican tax cut where 82% of the benefits go to the top 1% with Obama’s automaker bailout in 2008. But, the automakers repaid their obligations ahead of schedule, and even the conservative Forbes magazine later praised Obama as his initiative added 640,000 auto industry jobs, resulted in 1.55 million workers paying taxes on good jobs, and fueled economic growth of their communities. By contrast, an investigation into the top Fortune 500 companies showed 80% of the increased revenue from the Trump tax cut going to investors through buybacks and dividends rather than to their employees.

An amusing example is when he says elements in both parties are moving to the extremes in their respective parties. We already know what extreme right looks like, but what does extreme left look like? Turns out “extreme” left is pretty much what all other developed countries have. Since all those countries rank far above the US in every quality of life index perhaps the US should adopt those “extreme” policies? And no, those extreme policies are not “socialism”. Politicians bring up that Cold War boogeyman to fight against progressive policies that provide safety nets. Ironically, even Canadian politicians use the socialism scare tactic unaware that the policies we already have are what the US calls socialism when Bernie Sanders suggests them for the US.

A third example of trying “both-sides” was even more amusing. He calls Hilary Clinton’s election a colossal failure and that she won’t go away. Clinton received 2.9 million more votes than Trump. That’s 48.2% of the vote to Trump’s 46.1%. Not a colossal failure by any definition. Also, the only reason she kept appearing in the news was because Fox and Trump were “but her emails” despite several investigations and exonerations.

I think there are a few flaws in Moon’s section on US healthcare system reform (caveat: I’m Canadian so I’m not fully informed on how the US system actually works—thank God—so I could be wrong about flaws). His suggestion on fixing US healthcare is to take the existing free-market approach and try a different type of free-market approach.

It is the free-market approach that makes the US system a disaster. A different free-market system just means a different type of disaster. It’s rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Why not adopt one of the many successful models other countries use?

I also thought his logic defending his new market system was flawed.

We procrastinate in getting regular health checkups, wait until a medical incident occurs, and then end up in the emergency room

It’s not procrastination if you’re making the difficult decision between medical care and food or rent, something no other developed country worries about.

He continues,

However, Americans are incentivized to procrastinate in maintaining a healthy lifestyle because they know that they can always go to the emergency room and be taken care of.

There are many documented reasons why people don’t maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is not one of them. If they can’t afford a trip to the doctor, they know they can’t afford an exorbitant trip to the emergency room.

Another flaw in his new free-market approach is when he says each person should shop to find the best price for the best procedure. He needed an MRI for his back. He was in too much pain to wait two weeks so he phoned around, found a place in suburb of LA, and got in the next day for $350 instead of $450.

Many people can’t afford even the “cheap” payment of $350. Many do not have cars. Public transport can be an hours long affair with numerous connections so you may need babysitters or take time off work (more expense; also imagine doing public transport while in constant pain).

Many people wouldn’t have an idea of where to start to get a good deal. People have enough difficulty finding decent car insurance rates, and decent healthcare insurance. And, many people may not even have the internet so they’d have to do a trip to a local library or café (again, while in pain or not feeling well) so they can work out all the necessary steps required. Stress and anxiety also make it harder to cope with complex interactions. People who are on the spectrum may also have difficulty doing any of the above.

In short, the people who need healthcare the most (the poor, those with mental health issues, the vulnerable, the neurodiverse) are the ones who will again fall through the free-market system cracks just as they do the old system.

Regardless, Moon’s book is refreshing as it shows even the older generations see things need to change, and that the MI generation is already changing society (Black Lives Matter, Me Too, Climate, Equality, LGBTQ, Women marches). His book could be seen as a depressing litany of things that are wrong in the US system, but instead leaves you feeling optimistic about the future.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in an ebook format by the author to read and give our honest review.


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon! Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I am all settled in to the new house and am getting back into the swing of things. Here is my TBR for the Bookemon Readathon! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Of Steel & Steam

Of Steel and Steam:
A Limited Edition Steampunk Anthology
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With stories from:
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J. A. Cummings
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
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a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out Sean Carlson’s brand new novel called Road To Emmaus: The New Deal which is available now on Amazon!

Here is a synopsis of the book: In the midst of the Great Depression, newly elected US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt offers a new deal for the American people. An advisory team, coined the ‘brains trust’ build the foundation of his government’s policies which will impact American families for generations to come. But can human intervention and a new alignment of ‘truths’ resurrect a shared hope powerful enough to save a nation from itself?The dusty road of human history cuts through the heart of every soul. Our search for truth is not easy travel as the deadly allures of myth and deceit call us by name, presiding behind altars of ruin. The illusion is set. And lost in the forgotten timelines of a world under seige, an ancient promise remains.All of recorded history is an understanding of the pieces of ourselves that have come before and the road that remains. This journey is both and ’embarking on’ and a ‘leaving of.’The history of yourself precedes you – going back to the beginning. No piece of history in the cosmos or on earth is exclusive of you. From an exiled apostle imprisoned in the heart of the Roman Empire to Cambodia’s killing fields and South America’s secret horrors. You wear the scars. From a litany of underground movements and failed revolutions, to the fabled utopian kingdom of Camelot, the claim for truth has worn many faces.The long cold war between the icy dominion of Kalashnikov and a succession of presiders struggling to raise the chalice to the parched lips of the world continues. The battle remains yours to fight.You were a part of the old deal and are an even bigger part of the new deal. The dead hand of the past is no longer the end of us. Our history is not confined to the past nor is it bound to the laws of earthly dimension. It is as timeless and free as you. The road awaits…

roadtoemmaus-SC-3D

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0995270295/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_ixPHEb9GMG63M



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Anyone miss concerts? I know it has been a while since I have been to one and miss the sound of live music. Here is a video of me using concert prompts to talk about some books! Check out the video below:

Book Review: When Life is Full of It

I may have been moving to a new house but our guy Chris has been keeping the reviews coming while I am away from the office. This time, he reviewed When Life Is Full Of It: Antidote for your Mind by Stan Belyshev.

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Warning, this book is not intended to tickle your selfish ego with more motivational encouragements, give you an essential oil massage or to give you simple principles on changing your attitude so you can claim your participation trophy at the end. Heck no! My goal is to slap you with a reality check of common sense by throwing you into the boot camp called LIFE! And with that said, life can be defined in a short sentence: It’s not what happens; it’s what you do with it.”

This is a motivational book that uses aphorisms along with inspirational profiles from people who changed the world. For me, the biggest inspiration is that Stan Belyshev, tired of his life’s direction, sat in a hotel room to write this book. As far as I can tell he had no background in any motivational-related studies when he started writing. He’s gone on to be an entrepreneur and motivational speaker.

In the book, there are biographies of people who changed the world, or who demonstrated the power of courage and forgiveness. Among them are the financially successful. Biographies of those people aren’t really inspirational. Many of them amassed their wealth by exploiting workers, and the ones left alive continue to fight against giving workers a living wage or benefits.

Another reason why biographies, in general, aren’t always inspirational is because motivational biographies rely on a cognitive bias called survivorship bias. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

E.g., During WWII planes were returning from missions with bullet holes in the wings, tail, and belly. The air force decided to armour those parts. A mathematician stopped them. He said the planes survived despite bullet holes so those parts of the plane weren’t as crucial. He said they needed to discover what happened to the planes that didn’t return. Those planes had holes in the cockpit and engine areas. These areas were more crucial to survival so those areas needed reinforcement. This saved lives and more planes returned. If they had just relied on the information from the survivors all their reinforcements on the belly and tail wouldn’t reduce causalities.

Motivational books that derive advice from the successes are putting “armour on belly and tail”. Successful people say they are successful because of their habits, attitudes, and strategies. However, for every successful or inspirational person who did these things, there are another 1000 people who did exactly the same things yet failed.

We’d learn more about success by examining why people failed despite doing everything the successful did. Incidentally, the biggest predictor of financial success is being born into a rich family with highly placed connections. You can ignore all the inspirational strategies and still be financially successful.

Mixed in with biographies are aphorisms in bullet form, most of which will be familiar. Aphorisms without context, though, are as enlightening as a fortune cookie.

An improvement would be to have chapters devoted to one aphorism, and then demonstrate how to evaluate it for practicality in your circumstances. For example, “Never give up no matter how many times you are rejected”. Detail the types of rejection (you, your work, your ideas, your strategies). Add information from counselling and psychology that review the nuances of not giving up vs altering strategies vs yes, you really need to give up. Look into how cognitive biases and logical fallacies keep us “putting good money after bad” (to use an aphorism). Explain when to persist, when to stop, when to move diagonal, when to jag. (Cop Land: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nifWUdAZRcY)

For example, I didn’t achieve my dream of being a marine biologist. So, I “gave up” and became a terrestrial biologist. That led me to teach invertebrate zoology, which includes a great deal of marine biology. It led to work in the Arctic, in the mountains, on the tundra, in deserts, AND in marine environments. I obtained a broader range of experiences and still ended up doing marine work as a terrestrial biologist. I gave up (or “went diagonal”), but found more than expected on the new path. In the words of cowboy philosopher Kenny Rogers, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em…”

Cognitive psychology and counselling fields explore the ways we make bad decisions; they suggest strategies to minimize errors in our thinking, and how to avoid cognitive pitfalls. Experts like Richard Wiseman and his Quirkology bring this information to the viewers in entertaining ways. Cognitive psychologists like Stephen Lewandowsky work with scientists to aid them in communicating their findings with the general public so there’s less misunderstanding on important science issues. Incorporate the work of these and many other experts.

In a small sideline, Belyshev falls into the confirmation bias trap. Confirmation bias occurs when you notice things that support what you already believe, and disregard the things that contradict what you already believe.

He writes he’s worried for the future, Because we are witnessing a fragile generation which cannot handle a little heat, called reality. That’s why so many people call them “snowflakes.”

So “many” (citation needed) people call them snowflakes because that’s a lazy stereotype that relies on confirmation bias. You can point to every single generation in existence and find some examples who are “snowflakes”. Anti-war protestors in the 60s and 70s had their hardiness questioned too.

The two generations born since the 1980s (Millennials and Generation Z) are fighting to fix a broken political system and an ailing earth that they’ve inherited. They are driven to change things for themselves and their children.

I’m not from those generations. However, I know how resilient, informed, and hard-working they are because they’ve been my classmates when I’ve returned to school. They’ve been my students when I was a professor (five different universities and colleges). They’ve been my coworkers at consulting firms. They understand issues on both global and local scales; they coordinate with people in countries around the world to enact change. They’re more politically involved than any other generation including the 70s generation, and many countries have elected their “youngest ever” politicians. Look at the social change they’re forcing with Climate Marches, Equality Marches, Black Lives Matter, and Me Too protests. Now that’s inspirational.

A 52-year old Navy Seal who went to Yale thinking his classmates would be sheltered snowflakes came to respect them as well. https://gen.medium.com/my-semester-with-the-snowflakes-888285f0e662

He’s also optimistic about the younger generation.

Let me assure you, I have not met one kid who fits that description [snowflake]. None of the kids I’ve met seems to think that they are “special” any more than any other 18–22-year-old. …

If this place is peopled by “snowflakes” I’m proudly one of them. I’m a snowflake with a purple heart.

While Belyshev’s motivation to write his book is inspirational, the book itself lacks the depth, research, and context that would make it a thought-provoking read. Perhaps a younger reader may see it differently.

Book Rating: 2/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give our honest review.


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

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You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Anyone miss concerts? I know it has been awhile since I have been to one and miss the sound of live music. Here is a video of me using concert prompts to talk about some books! Check out the video below:

Book Review: The Cretin Gene

Our external reviewer Chris is making up the most of these reviews as I get ready to move into a new home and I am super grateful for that. This time, he read a book called The Cretin Gene by Brendan Hall.

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Synopsis:
Al Horowitz, ageing cartoonist and self-styled ninja, is catapulted from peaceful dotage to national notoriety when a dissident’s assassin disguises himself as a benign Horowitz vegetable character. Reviled in the press and hunted as a murderous agent of North Korean dictator Boh Gi Mon, Horowitz is soon on the run with his nephew ‘The Kid’, a reclusive arch-nerd geneticist, battling a plot to cretinise the populace through customised junk food additives and media programming. As the zombified masses rise in effigy-burning rage against Horowitz and his supposed fifth-columnist cadre, young lab colleague ‘Technicia’ joins the fight to save intelligent life in the UK while also juggling two male egos and her own secret of the heart.

It made me laugh many times. It was also clever. What a treat!

Each chapter is told from the viewpoints of one of the two main characters: Al and The Kid aka Dr. Grossman. In each of their narratives, they cast themselves as the hero while casting the other in a lesser or even bumbling role. Reading their respective versions of the same events, and of how they perceive themselves vs how the others perceived them, was amusing.

Chapters by The Kid, who is nerdish in the extreme and can quote pi to a thousand places (probably more but I wanted to work in a Weird Al reference), are written with sesquipedalian loquaciousness; that is, lots of big words in long sentences reminiscent of a Victorian writer who was trapped in their house by the plague with only a thesaurus for company. To write as The Kid would be a lot of work. Indeed, later chapters by The Kid are considerably less loquacious than the first few chapters, but still notable.

Another thing that made the book a good read were the many cryptic and not-so-cryptic references to poetry, to history, to chess, to books, to songs, to old war ditties and to movies. There were references to Stephen King works, veggie-tales, the Benedict Cumberbatch alternate name game, “1000 Years of Annoying the French” (maybe), a Spanish insult I haven’t heard since my high school days, original Batman tv show, and references to Victorian poems including two I mentioned in my review of The Frightful Verses. https://breakevenbooks.com/2020/04/17/book-review-frightful-verses/

Al Horowitz’s name is shared by a deceased real-life US International Master who was a prolific chess author in the middle of the last century (there’s a chess game at the end). For a long time, Horowitz’s chess books were the only easily available English language chess books.

A Cool Hand Luke (also Smokey and the Bandit) reference could have applied to my initial reading. “What we have here is a failure to prognosticate”. I hadn’t read the synopsis—just jumped in. I didn’t understand why everyone was rioting over the murder of a cartoon character. I didn’t understand why a science-based novel about a plague could get key terms wrong—it’s a gene, not a genome! For some unknown reason, I have a plague on my mind.

Then CLICK, I realized I was reading a Douglas Adams-type novel where serious and ludicrous work together for humorous effect. For example, people who have been “cretinized” have severe reactions to books. Books that rile them up to even higher levels of aggression and cretinization include self-help manuals, romance, and teenage vampire novels (lol!). Other books, from encyclopedias to Chaucer, result in lethargy to outright extermination (if you’ve attempted Chaucer potential extermination is an understandable outcome). Quoted poetry was like Vogon-inspired torture to the cretins. https://hitchhikers.fandom.com/wiki/Vogon_poetry.

A side chapter satirizes some of political extremism seen in politics today. Tabloid journalism, shock jocks are spoofed along with their attendant racism, bigotry, and anti-intellectualism. Modern day culture takes a hit too.

We… we see cretins. All the time. They’re everywhere. Walking around. Shouting. Taking selfies. They don’t even see each other, they just press the buttons. They only think what they’re told to think, Dr. Grossmann. Then they share it on MeFace in phonetic spelling and caps lock. You see, they don’t know that they’re cretins…” (movie reference alert).

At the final confrontation, the evil genius responsible for the mayhem, and good genius Dr. Grossman play a game of high stakes chess. Given all the references in this book, I thought there may be a hidden reference (see position below). Nope, or I missed it.

If your reading preferences include books by Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett you’ll probably enjoy this book. Some good chuckles, an enjoyable diversion, and clever.

Bonus material for chess fans (White to move)

chess

Opening is B44, Sicilian Defence. Based on a 2.5 million game database the first time this position arose was in 1983 by chess prodigy and UK Grandmaster, Nigel Short, who won with White. Short’s game was only recently found and put online in March 2020 so the book isn’t referencing a fellow countryman.

After that, the next games to reach this position started in 1998. From then to March 2020 there are 994 games. White wins 30%, Black wins 33%, Draws 37%. That’s a respectable win ratio for Black, which is the side The Kid was playing.

Deep Rybka (an analysis engine) assesses the position game as equal.

The real Horowitz doesn’t appear to have reached this position in any of his games.

Book Rating: 5/5 stars

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

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You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

If you have read the Hunger Games series or watched tho movies then you will be able to understand! I did a tiered ranking of all the characters and how I felt about them. Check out the video below:

Book Review: The Book of Songs

Our digital bookshelf is getting a lot smaller as we read all these books on our ebook TBR. Chris has sent in another review for a book called The Book of Songs by Louice Svedin.

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Synopsis: Anne has led a privileged life: she is a weaver, a magic user, in a world ruled by the extraordinary. Yet one day it all changes. She is deemed too powerful by the aristocracy and is sent to a monastery for life. To avoid this fate she embarks on a journey, driven by a prophecy she doesn’t want to fulfill. But will she have any choice in the end?

Anne is also a thoroughly unlikable character with the temperament, emotional maturity and intelligence of an impulsive spoiled 13-year old. Maybe by book’s end she matures, but once I hit the 50% mark in the book I’d had enough.

This book has numerous problems. It reads like it was written by a 14-year old. It still has elements of the way a child tells a tale. This happened. Then this. Then that went away. Then this happened. Then something magic. And a big bird appeared. It’s like reading a description of a child’s dream. Events sometimes don’t make sense, they jump around.

Some of the issues are due to translating from Swedish to English. Characters groan in agony, except they’re not in any pain. Another one fainted with a disdained groan, but it was exhaustion, or possibly disappointment, not disdain. Other characters leer, but context indicates they’re not leering. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means” (easy cultural reference).

Then there were the adverbs. A short cut to spotting adverbs is that many end in “-ly”. We have “He sighed dramatically”, “smiled sardonically”, “hissed condescendingly”, “said tiredly”, “said annoyedly”. Adverbs were legion enough to drown a herd of pigs (difficult cultural reference). Stephen King, in his excellent readable book On Writing, says this about adverbs in dialogue:

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs,… they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late.” ….

Attribution verbs are also many: “Anne scoffed in annoyance”, “growled in frustration”, “growled in anger”, “groaned in agony”. King covers that too.

Some writers try to evade the no-adverb rule by shooting the attribution verb full of steroids. The result is familiar to any reader of pulp fiction or paperback originals:”

 “Put the gun down, Utterson!” Jekyll grated.

“Never stop kissing me!” Shayna gasped.

“You damned tease!” Bill jerked out.

 The best form of dialogue attribution is said, as in he said, she said, Bill said, Monica said.

Not that King always took his own advice, but before you break the rules you first have to know them.

However, the story itself fails in any language. There doesn’t seem to be any consistent rules for how the magic works. If moving the plot forward requires magic then there’s magic. If it requires no magic then there’s no magic, even though there’s no reason why magic couldn’t be used. Deus ex Machina.

Too many events are unbelievable even in a world where magic exists. Anne escapes by impulsively (ach, an adverb!) stepping out of a flying airplane, telepathically contacts a giant bird (she’s not telepathic, but the bird is—not that we even know about the bird yet) for a rescue. It catches her on its back before she hits the ground. There was no reason for the bird to be anywhere near the airplane much less keep up with it. The most probable outcome of Anne’s impulsive act is her eyes widen greatly as she growls in frustration just before she makes a new hole in the forest floor.

Why not call for the bird telepathically while still inside the plane; if it’s close (highly unlikely) let it get into position, and then Anne could step out. That way the poor bird doesn’t need to catch Anne at the last second of a 9.81 m/s2 free-fall (that’s 32 feet/s2 in antediluvian units) where Anne’s kinetic energy transforms them both into a jellied mess and an even bigger hole in the forest floor.

It seems each new page brings a myriad of questions and story problems. In the first page Anne disarms three weavers who attacked her (no explanation as to why or even how they attacked) by slowly taking out her flute and capturing them in a spell. They helpfully stand in place and let her.

Yet later in the book she tries to quickly grab her flute during a battle, but it is knocked out of her hands and she is captured.

Why didn’t the weavers tackle her while she slowly drew her flute? They had fired something at her back (magic, rock, big stick, gun?), but managed to miss while being just a few paces away. Did they just have one shot? Anne even slowly turned around to face them. Lots of time to tackle her while her back is turned—there’s three of them. Still lots of time to tackle her as she slowly pulls out her flute.

Or, soon as they missed their dangerous target then run for cover before she slowly turned around and before she slowly drew her flute.

Which raises another question regarding Anne—if someone fired something at your back and missed wouldn’t you spin fast to ensure they weren’t taking a better aimed shot, or doing a group tackle, or preparing to brain you with a big stick?

And what are weavers anyway? In the confrontation Anne threatens to remove their claws, but later they seem to look like humans or are they are humans, but also look the same as Anne who is, as we learn, is also a weaver or a songweaver or a human or all of the previous? And the whole school is a school for weavers so was it her own classmates trying to attack her? It’s as if the author had different ideas what weavers were, but instead of choosing one idea she incorporated them all into the story regardless of internal consistency.

And being a songweaver is something Anne wants to keep secret, but she weaves and uses flute magic quite openly, hence it is not a Sherlockian leap to deduct she’s a songweaver. Hardly a secret then.

I admire people who can sit down and write a book so I admire Louice for writing her book.

But please—and this is for all would-be authors—run your first draft by some friends or people whose opinion you trust. If they say “It has issues” (that’s polite talk for “It sucks”) then DO. NOT. PUBLISH. YOUR. BOOK! You do NOT want your name associated with a poorly written and poorly planned book that turns readers—and publishers—off anything you later write. Your next books could be good, but no-one will be willing to read them because your first book had multiple “issues”.

Book Rating: 1/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in e-book format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

IMG_0595

You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Ever heard of Book Snobbery? Well, I did the Book Snob Book Tag and answered some questions regarding the topic. Check out the video below:

Book Review: Frightful Verses

Chris is hammering these books out of the park and spending his time in quarantine helping me out from a distance. This time he read The Frightful Verses: A Collection of Fearful Poems by Francisco a Ojeda.

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Synopsis: A collection of one hundred poems meant to entice the curious and frighten them in many different ways. From the classical and gothic to modern and contemporary, these poems address different subjects seen from the poet’s unique perspective. Aspects of horror, terror, science, religion, politics, philosophy, and even humor fill these pages.

Earlier this year a rather one-sided Twitter debate started when an established author said new authors should read contemporary books if they want to write their own book. A small minority objected saying they could study all they needed from the old classics because those authors knew how to write.

Numerous others pointed out that reading contemporary books help you know which tropes and clichés you should avoid in your own writing. It doesn’t matter if you can write like an old master if you’re writing something that people have seen a hundred times before.

For example, I was reading a science fiction novel written by someone who probably hadn’t read any science fiction novel since the 1970s. It had all the datedness of Heinlein’s bad writing and sexist language without any of the high points of his writing. It didn’t matter that it was well-written. It read like a spoof of bad science fiction tropes from the 1970s.

So, potential authors should read modern books in the genre they wish to write.

That is the advice I would give to the author of The Frightful Verses. In fact, I would advise the author to also study the classics in addition to the modern verses. Nearly every one of the poems (I counted 101) in The Frightful Verses would get at best a C+ mark in a Grade 9 or 10 high school class.

There were 70 poems with four-line stanzas with a rhyming sequence of 2 and 4 (2nd sentence rhymes with the 4th sentence). There were over a dozen with rhymes 1 and 2, then 3 and 4. Sometimes they’re broken up into two-line stanzas and once into six-line stanzas, but they still use similar rhyming patterns and similar metronomy. You could jump from one poem to another and not notice you were now reading a different poem.

For example, see the poem below.

On those rainy gray days

From under the cover, I stay

To keep me warm

And protect me from harm

In a broken mansion

With all the cracks and creaks

You stepped through doors

Not opened in days and weeks

In the long past

A myth had grown

As memories seem to last

A chest was left alone

In a caverned home

Off stagnant Adam’s ale

With pillars shaded gray

And curtains of pale

Entering into the lab

And looking around to see

She was surely ready to stab

Whatever it could be

Neighbors outside their homes

And pointing to the skies

To watch a smoky trail

Behind the thing that flies

That’s actually not one poem. It is composed of the first stanza from six consecutive poems. I could have made it 20 stanzas long from 20 consecutive poems, but six stanzas provide enough example to show the similarity in patterns that is found in nearly every one of the poems. One poem in that style is interesting: seventy to eighty of the same style is tiring.

The other major failing of these poems is that they lack ambiguity in their meanings. Metaphors are mostly absent; the poems are fairly literal and don’t leave much room for altering interpretations. Compare that to T.S. Eliot’s The Wastelands, or The Second Coming (below), which are rife with enough symbolism to fill weeks worth of poetry class discussions.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Or The Hollow Men, also by Eliot.

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams

In death’s dream kingdom

These do not appear:

There, the eyes are

Sunlight on a broken column

There, is a tree swinging

And voices are

In the wind’s singing

More distant and more solemn

Than a fading star.

Even many contemporary songs use ambiguity and symbolism to good effect: Hotel California (Eagles), Demons (Imagine Dragons), Ophelia (Natalie Merchant), Mad World (Gary Jules), Behind Blue Eyes (Limp Bizkit).

Good poets know how to tell a story just in meter and rhythm. They know when to stick to a pattern, they know when to suddenly change it; they know when to use the rules and know when to break the rules. While Francisco does sometimes change his rhyming pattern in mid-poem (as is good), he often forces a rhyme when it would be better to also break it. He used “clichés” to rhyme with “away”. And my favourite example,

It slithers over the sand

Grains stick to its skin

Hoping to gather a meal

Digests all by ptyalin

There are several dozen other rhyming “skin” words that could be used instead of “ptyalin”. However, kudos for getting the word “ptyalin” into a poem: I’ve never seen “ptyalin” used outside of my biology books. It’s an amylase enzyme found in saliva that digests starch. A loaf of bread is fair game for the slithering “it”, but proteins, keratin, lipids, and calcium (muscle, skin, fat, bone) or even cellulose (plants) will be safe—saliva-soggy perhaps, but safely undigested.

If you’re going to write poems you need to read poems. You need to google how to write poems. You should read a book on writing poems. You should really take a class in writing poems. This book of poems, unfortunately, seems to have been written by someone who has done none of the above—and that is a shame because there are some rough gems hidden within the poems. They just need a more knowledgeable, experienced, and craftier hand to make them shine.

Book Rating: 1/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

IMG_0595

You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Ever heard of Book Snobbery? Well, I did the Book Snob Book Tag and answered some questions regarding the topic. Check out the video below:

Book Review: 3 Hour Dad

Chris has been pumping out the reviews and reading these books at the speed of light! This time, he read 3 Hour Dad by Adam T. Hourlution.

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Synopsis: One day Adam, just your average, typical guy receives a call from his mother-in-law (to be !) summoning him to the hospital following his girlfriend being rushed in with suspected appendicitis only to discover that she is in fact having contractions and has been admitted to the labour ward.

This heart-warming and true story invites readers to step into Adam’s shoes and experience what it is like to be a 3 Hour Dad.

A portion of sales are donated to a random act of kindness project. For more information please read the about me section at the end of the book.

A charming little novella, providing you’re not going through these events yourself. Endearing. Personal. Touching.

Most parents have a few months to plan for a newborn, but not Adam and Lyndsay. Neither of them knew she was pregnant. They went from being blissfully unaware of pending parenthood to being parents in three hours. Most parents have time to prepare for a new arrival. Three hours in a state of mild panic in a hospital is not adequate preparatory time, to dramatically understate it. I don’t blame him for writing his story. I’d want to try and make sense of it too, and writing is therapeutic.

The novella makes a nice break from our current pandemic and social distancing situation although it did intrude at one point when Adam talks about being in the hospital getting hugs and handshakes from everyone; my first reaction was one of mild horror as people ignore social distancing especially in a hospital. Adam’s writing, though, describes events from 2015. It made me wonder if the days of casual handshakes are over till this generation ends and a new one that never knew the pandemic takes over.

Another nice thing about the novella, aside from its personal tone, is that a portion of the sale of his book goes to a “random act of kindness fund that is used to surprise others”—and that’s not “hey, you’re going to be a parent” type of surprise. It is because they were touched by the kindness of others who provided last minute gifts and items for their new baby girl, and now they want to give something back. He was, or is, working on a website that would highlight these acts of kindness for others.

I was curious to see what has happened since he published in 2018 about his 2015 journey from “lad to dad”. I checked the social media links in his book. Adam’s Instagram account has not been updated since 2018, his blog link no longer works, and his Facebook account’s last post that I can see is from May 30, 2018.

I was getting a bit concerned for their well-being—Adam’s story made me feel a bit of a connection to him—but with a bit more searching I did locate him and Lyndsay together with their daughter in a nice family photo. They recently tied the knot and are soon coming up on their one-year anniversary.

Happy soon-to-be anniversary, you two. I hope you’re all doing well in these troubled times. I wish you much safety and health. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life in this novella.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find this book on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format to read and give an honest review.


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

IMG_0595

You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Interested in a giant book haul? Here are all the books I collected over the past 2 months!

Book Review: The White

Our external reviewer Chris is back with a review for us. He has been a little MIA traveling the world but alas we are all stuck at home now so he had some time to do some reading. This one was called The White: The Tensurrealist Play by Lepota L. Cosmo.

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A short summary of The White:

‘Twas brillig, and the worpy twerbs did grye and gimble on the lage.

A longer summary:

In 1996, physics professor Alan Sokal submitted a paper to the academic journal Social Text, which published papers in postmodern cultural studies. Sokal’s paper, titled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”, proposed that quantum gravity is a social and linguistic construct. His paper was accepted and published.

Three weeks later Sokal revealed that the article was a hoax. He had made a “word salad” by taking the most often used words in post-modernist writings and stringing them together to make full sentences. Everything he wrote was nonsense yet it had been published in a post-modernist journal because it sounded good to the editors, and flattered their ideological preconceptions. There is now a Sokal Hoax Generator that generates nonsense that sounds like it might mean something. See http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/.

A real poor version of the Sokal generator is the “Word Salad Generator”, which takes the poem lines “There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold” and turns them into “WERE YALE ARRANGE WRINGS ANNE AH APE MIDNIGHT BUG BUG WE BED ZOO BAIL WORD BOND”. http://cadrpear.tx0.org/wordsalad/salad.html

The White reads like it was produced by the word salad generator that has English as a second language. Lest you think I exaggerate see the screen captures.

Some of the words aren’t recognizable as words although admittedly they’d make perfectly cromulent words that would embiggen your vocabulary at the next cocktail party as you casually say, “Please pass me some of the frapant fruit”. And there are some phrases that would make for some good band, blog, or book names: flowers of abomination, ornamental collectivism, blood of conteiner [sic], and dogs smashed mirrors.

Capitalization and punctuation are used or not used rather randomly. At times, parts almost seem to make sense (spelling errors in the original):

(Speakers emphise the words. Every word is energy,

gesture, phenomenon. extension of sense imposed by

previous speaker. Talk between words,

not between statements, the dialogue of notions. One word. One man. One concept. Which fits, in sense of others. There is cohesion, coherence of words. Words in divergent communion. Divergence.)

before lapsing into a column of seemingly unassociated words and phrases.

Other parts have a common theme although they still don’t make sense, and have strange spelling errors that may be intentional or accidental: “Theatre of inarticulated signs. Theatre of articlulation” (bold added). That last word could be a clever combination of “articulation” and “ululation” similarly to the words Lewis Carroll uses in his nonsense poem Jabberwocky that still convey meaning despite being made up. , “’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;”

However, it is unclear whether bits of brilliance like this are intentional or were random accidents similar to the analogy of a room of monkeys banging on keyboards might accidentally produce a line of Shakespeare.

It could be that this work is far beyond what my brain can grasp without an altered consciousness experience. Maybe someone else would read it and find illumination, discover understanding, and go beyond the boundaries of their mind. Maybe if read in a beat poem rhythm listeners would gain enlightenment.

But, for most of us we wouldn’t find any value in reading it.

Book Rating: 1/5 stars.

You can find this book on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format by the author to read and give an honest review.


Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

What did you read in March? Here are all the books I read and what I thought about them!