Friday, March 5, 2010

Review of “A Far Country” by Daniel Mason

Nietzsche wrote, "In our sleep and in our dreams we pass through the whole thought of early humanity. I mean in the same way that man reasons in his dreams, he reasoned when in the waking state many thousands of years… the dreams carries us back into earlier states of human culture, and affords us a means of understanding it better."(Friedrich Nietzsche, Human all too Human Vol I.13)

The main character Isabel goes to the Modern City in search of her brother Isaias. Isabel brings with her the trappings of shamanistic culture and Santeria traditions. Her abilities are not matched well for the Urban Space she has decided to journey to.

The reader sees the differences between people's negative capabilities and their visible capabilities. A Far Country serves as a good study on the battle between past self and future self. The reader also comes away with a better understanding of what Joseph Campbell meant when he said; there is a power in ceremony.

The mythic space of A Far Country written by Daniel Mason is perfect for reflection. The book is a journey juxtaposed in a study of contrasts. The reflection takes us to look at the effects of others, especially the effect we have on the people we often overlook.

Where is the setting? Mason does not make this clear. He wants us to look at all points in between; all the points of overlooked people who are often displaced by "Modern Progress."

A great read and it encouraged me to check out his book The Piano Tuner.

Check out BSI Lakeland's Review of the Book.
Criteria is on Next Page...

Topic Description Pts Given Pts Possible
1. Character Development Authentic, real people. 5 5
  The author has an ear for dialogue,
does not sound stilted
5 5
  Actions believable
Could see why the actors did what they did.
5 5
2. Flow  The author keeps you going and motivates you to
 keep reading 
5 5
Sublimity  our soul is filled with delight and exultion, as if it had given birth to the very thing it has heard. 5 5
3.  Setting Enough details to activate your four senses. 5 5
  You are interestested in going to the place. 5 5
4.  Continuity  Historical Accuracy:  Tools from time period 5 5
  No break in accepted truth
(If Magnum PI drives a Corvette
 he does not go and buy a 68 Impala)
5 5
5.  Cultural Integrity Social Boundaries are shown,  5 5
6. Authors Notes Author Notes contriube to the overall reading.
Author outlines the evidence collected in telling
the tale.
0 5
7.  Word Choice Good Mix Of eight grade vocabulary with
 collegiate level vocabulary
5 5
  Dialogue was not stilted and sounded real enough. 5 5
8.  Novel Follows the form of the novel.  Long complex plot
Showing the human experience through a series
of connected events
5 5
9.  Sparking Interest in Research Author gets you interested in researching the subject
presented in the book
(eg. Tudor England, Bird Collecting etc)
5 5
Sparking interest in Reading more from Author     5
10.  Desire to share with others The book is rewarding enough to share with a friend without fear, embarrasment, or a need to explain yourself. 5 5
11. Memorable The book can be recalled easily
a month later
2 5
77 90

Search This Blog