Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Abyssal Plain book review

In many ways, The Abyssal Plain is an apoplectic novel. It tells a very imaginative tale of what might happen if never ending wars break the bank of the United States and the result is the deterioration of essential services, the erosion of the infrastructure that supports commerce and the loss of law and order.
Almost sounds contemporary and almost is. The novel begins in the year 2020.
As noted in the prologue: “The cities erupted into riots, into frenzies of self-destruction, and every passing day, the TVs and radios that still worked brought worse and worse news.”
But this is not a story that focuses upon gang warfare in the streets of the major cities. Instead it focus on a limited number of characters, two young women for the most part, who manage to avoid the worst aspects of a society falling apart by being “chosen” to find their way to an elaborate shelter tunneled deep into a mountain in West Virginia.
Chosen - who knows how or why? - by the wealthy genius who had this amazing underground world created for just such an apoplectic event.
I found this to be a well written tale that brought me along as I became more and more interested in these two young women whose paths met, separated, to meet again in an ending that surprised me and will certainly surprise you.
This is a novel for those who love to imagine and exercise their brains.
About the author
Born in Decatur, Georgia, Sim has lived in Baton Rouge, Dallas, and New York City although most of his growing years was in Northern Virginia, where he graduated from George Mason University in 1972. He got a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1997. Now teaching at Louisiana Tech University, Sim looks forward to eventual retirement with a rather large extended family in the New Orleans area.
Other books include: Pleasant Hurricanes, Basilisk, Krewe of Hecate and Yarilo’s Dance.
Summary: Highly Recommended, especially for those who love to imagine what the future might hold if we don’t get our act together.
Reviewer: Peter Klein Allbooks Reviews.

Title: The Abyssal Plain
Author: Sim Shattuck
Publisher: Dream Catcher Publishing, Inc.

Pages: 284


Saving Faith book review

Saving Faith is of novel of chance encounters that entwines the fate of both its main and minor characters. Not exactly the same, but for movie buffs, you might find yourself being reminded of the 2002 movie, Changing Lanes, starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson.
The story begins when Jack Fenien, a never adopted orphan who has been out of a Catholic orphanage for two years and now works as a repossessor for a used car dealer and who begins the story when he reposes the wrong car.
The story evolves as one chance encounter leads to another, starting with Ev Sorin, a disgraced journalist looking to get his career back on track and the man whose car Jack accidently reposed. Sorin, minus his car for a few days, hires Jack as his driver.
More and more characters are added along the way but the character that unites all of the character turns out to be Faith Powers, a comatose patient in a hospital whose true identity is unknown.
The story is told in the first person with Jack as the narrator. Although he tries to be objective and disinterested, he finds himself trying to help solve the mystery of what happened to Faith and along the way falls in love with a young woman, Clare, who is not a nurse but has an obsession of caring for Faith.
One murder leads to more as the characters come closer to discovering the how and why of Faith’s comatose condition. All of the characters have all too human flaws and none can be pegged as either the good guys or the bad guys.
It is the reality of these flawed characters that draw you to an ultimate conclusion you never saw coming.
About the author
Patrick M. Garry is a professor of law at the University of South Dakota. Garry has written a number of other books both fiction and nonfiction, including the fiction titles The Prisoner, Suicidal Tendencies and A Bomb Shelter Romance.
Summary: Highly Recommended, especially for those who love trying to sort truth from lies and discover who is guilty of what, if guilty of anything but being human.

Reviewer: Peter Klein Allbooks Reviews.
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Title: Saving Faith
Author: Patrick M. Garry
Publisher: Kenric Books
Pages – 304
Retail - $16.16
ISBN-10: 0983370311

ISBN-13: 978-0983370314

One Man in His Time book review

One Man in His Time by William C. Prentiss is pretty much a timeline of the author’s life from his earliest days when growing up in Sterling, Illinois, born in 1932, to the recent present.
Prentiss says in his Forward, “I have only my own memory to rely upon, although it is supported by a wealth of letters and other documents I have kept over the years.”
I would say he has a very good memory and although he is about ten years my senior, I can vouch for the accuracy of some of the writer’s memory.
He writes about catching nightcrawlers to go fishing, which I clearly remember doing.
I smiled when he talked about needing to strip, take a shower and be inspected before going swimming and I can do him one better by remembering or adding that we needed to bend over and spread our cheeks before entering the pool to go swimming.
Anyone under the age of 50 might be shocked by his recollections of discipline in high school and they might be grateful for having grown up when things that were acceptable and normal in the past became prohibited and even illegal. Some of the initiations he went through were barbaric.
I found this a very interesting read. He is a good writer, a good and caring person who has been blessed with a good education and a very supportive wife.
Prentiss takes you through his early school days, college, time in the Air Force ROTC, college professor and time spent helping young boys avoid or transition out of the criminal justice system.
His time spent helping troubled youth resulted in him being the recipient of President Reagan’s Volunteer Action Award and the 1972 presidential campaign of George McGovern was an interesting read of politics at the grassroots level.
Summary: The author’s attention to his life’s details might cause you to want to skip ahead but don’t. He is a good writer and your perseverance through those details will provide you with a deeper understanding of the not too distant past. Reading his book might cause you to wish you had a relative like him to tell you what things were like, things not mentioned in history books.
In sum, I really liked his story and can highly recommend it to all from teenage on up.
About the author

William C. Prentiss spent ten years as Dean of the Florida Military School and later taught Adolescent Psychology and Juvenile Delinquency at the college level. In 1976, he founded an outstanding program for youths referred by the Juvenile Court in Orange County, Florida. This program, called Operation Comeback, was s selected by President Reagan in 1988 to receive his converted Volunteer Action Award which was presented at a White House Luncheon. Dr. Prentiss and his wife, Sallie, raised their three children and also opened their home at various times to seven troubled adolescent boys who lived with them for periods of time from four months to three years.

Doors to Perdition book review by Pete Klein

Doors to Perdition is a collection of short stories from the dark side. No monsters except for your everyday common variety of humans. The tales might have you thinking of stories by Rod Sirling or Alfred Hitchcock. These are tales of comeuppance - what goes around, comes around and bad karma.
Bergstad goes deep into his characters mind and soul, and graphically shows how they struggle with their bad decisions. You might find yourself feeling sorry for some and their ultimate fate. Others you will cause you to say, “Well they got what they deserve.”
Bergstad writing will have you guessing as he expertly weaves you through the plots and the minds of his characters.
I don’t want to give out the particulars of any of the stories because this would take away your fun in trying to figure out the endings before you get to the endings.
I will say this though. When you reach the conclusion of each and every story, you will agree Bergstad knows how to plot a story because the endings are logical and no one comes to save anyone from the fate Bergstad planned for them.
I highly recommend this book of short stories for all who enjoy a good puzzle and don’t mind going into the minds of people you wouldn’t want to know.
Author: J B Bergstad work has appeared in the Jimson Journal, Midwest Literary Magazine, The Quill, Indie Searchlight, Scissors and Spackle, Pedigru Review, The Monarch Review and The Feathered Flounder to name a few. His collection of short stories, Screwing the Pooch, first published in 2009 to excellent reviews, won the Reader's Choice Gold Medal Award for Best Fiction of the year.
Reviewer: Peter Klein, Allbooks Reviews.
Available at: and other online retailers.

Title: Doors to Perdition
Author: J. B. Bergstad
Publisher: Woodside Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780988806825
Pages: 120 pages
Price: $2.99
Kindle: $2.99

Date: June 29, 2013