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review 2017-08-08 23:50
I feel like I just spent time with a friend.
Foy: On the Road to Lost - Gordon Atkinson

This is one of those books that would certainly have passed me by if I hadn't requested it for review from Audiobook Boom. The bright orange cover is appealing but I don't think the content would have been able to compete against the huge publicity machine that is today's book industry.

Fortunately it caught my eye as a freebie and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the ruminations of Foy on everything from his childhood as the son of a Baptist Minister, to his following in his father's footsteps, to his questioning what he does and does not actually believe - and leaving the ministry.
It's not at all preachy and has a very genuine, human feel to it. Foy is generous hearted and considerate and I particularly liked the episode where he spent time with a man who was dying of aids.

By the time the audio was finished I felt as if I was losing a friend and I hope I shall be able to follow this with more excerpts from Foy's life in the future.
An interesting comment caught my eye in the acknowledgements - only his wife knows how close, or otherwise, Foy's character is to the author's.

Talking of acknowledgements, I should make a mention of the excellent narration by Karl Miller.
Thank you to Audiobook Boom, the publisher, Material Media and Audible for my free copy in return for an honest review.

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text 2017-08-05 01:35
I feel like I just spent time with a friend.
Foy: On the Road to Lost - Gordon Atkinson

This is one of those books that would certainly have passed me by if I hadn't requested it for review from Audiobook Boom. The bright orange cover is appealing but I don't think the content would have been able to compete against the huge publicity machine that is today's book industry.

 

Fortunately it caught my eye as a freebie and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the ruminations of Foy on everything from his childhood as the son of a Baptist Minister, to his following in his father's footsteps, to his questioning what he does and does not actually believe - and leaving the ministry.

It's not at all preachy and has a very genuine, human feel to it. Foy is generous hearted and considerate and I particularly liked the episode where he spent time  with a man who was dying of aids.

 

By the time the audio was finished I felt as if I was losing a friend and I hope I shall be able to follow this with more excerpts from Foy's life in the future.

An interesting comment caught my eye in the acknowledgements - only his wife knows how close, or otherwise, Foy's character is to the author's.

 

Talking of acknowledgements, I should make a mention of the excellent narration by Karl Miller.

Thank you to Audiobook Boom, the publisher, Material Media and Audible for my free copy in return for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-06-05 20:07
Unique suggestions
Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis

 

 

A wonderful collection of resources and inspiration for any traveler,
this book has a lot of good, solid advice for anyone planning a trip.

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review 2017-02-26 00:00
Foy: On the Road to Lost
Foy: On the Road to Lost - Gordon Atkinson To me, Gordon Atkinson will always be the Real Live Preacher (RLP). Even though he no longer holds a position as a church pastor, he is still preaching the word, to me at least. This book, Foy: On the Road to Lost, is yet another example of his still preaching.

I first got to know Gordon Atkinson (aka RLP, as I'll call him during the rest of this self-indulgent excuse of a "review") when I discovered his web site back sometime around 2005 or 2006. I had a lot of dead time in the lab waiting for things to happen (I was slowly heating things up until they exploded) and so, I spent some of that "waiting" time surfing the web. I believe he began the site in 2004, so I got on board, so to speak a year or two after he began that site. At the time Gordon was the pastor of a small (I think) Baptist church in Texas.

I didn't know much about Baptists then, although some of my Kansas cousins on my maternal grandfather's side were Baptists. He and my mother's people were Methodists. Anyway, what I thought I knew of Baptists was the most obvious, and odious, form of them, the Southern Baptists. If rank-and-file Southern Baptists are anything like their more prominent "leaders"—e.g. Al Mohler, Robert Jeffress, Richard Land, Franklin Graham, etc.—they would be a more ignorant and bigoted group of people than you could ever hope to meet. An object lesson of all that's opposed to the Jesus' "good news". My guess is Southern Baptists are, by and large, wonderful people who just got stuck with the dregs of humanity populating their leadership ranks. [sorry for the digression; on to RLP]

But RLP, as I'll refer to Gordon—I hope he'll forgive me—was clearly cut from different cloth. He, like my other favorite Baptist, Fred Clark (a.k.a. Slacktivist), was a thinker and questioner. RLP (and Slactivist), understood that the human condition was complex, that the questions about what came first and what comes last were not straightforward. In short, RLP was one of the most honest thinkers of the human condition I had yet encountered.

So, anyway, RLP would post various musings about life and spirituality, musings that resonated with me, a lowly UCC (pronounced uhck; allegedly it stands for United Church of Christ; sometimes people refer to UCC as "Unitarians considering Christ", or occasionally, to our "old" New England name, Congregationalists). Along with his musings about this and that, RLP also posted stories about a guy named Foy Davis. That is the genesis of this book. It seems that RLP has written some 41 stories about Foy, although I'm not sure they were all posted on RLP.com back in the day. He's still writing/revising them. He has collected 25 of them into this volume. Another volume is to come out later in the year. There may be more to follow, it's not completely clear. RLP is being coy, but does promise a finale of sorts.

What we have here are a series of vignettes in the life of Foy Davis. His life from beginning to end is to be sketched out in these vignettes, although not chronologically. When we're done, after another volume or two, we'll find out that Foy, like most of us, was an authentic person who had his failings all the while trying to be a good person. Something like that.

Atkinson is a gifted writer. He is very good at helping us see into the mind of his character, by relating universal, albeit trivial, instances in day-to-day living. I was blessed with an advanced copy of this book, and I can't wait for the next.

Normally, I read on Kindle, so am not generally exposed to decent typography. But, I read the dead-tree version of this book, and one of its great features was the typography. The typography in this book is better than you find in most dead-tree books, and certainly way above anything one could reproduce on a Kindle. I think the type face was something like Caslon Antique. Whatever, it gave a particularly graceful look to the telling of Foy's life. So, even if you aren't interested in reading about the all-too-common struggles of Foy's attempts to find meaning in his life, read this book for its presentation.
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review 2017-02-04 11:35
Myths, Supernatural and Japanese Monsters
The Monster on the Road Is Me - JP Romney

I love Japanese culture and myths. Especially when it comes to the supernatural. Adding weirdness and you have a whole lot of interesting story about demonic monsters and trolls that haunts a small town. The Monster on the Road Is Me is a story of a fifteen year old boy name Koda Okita, a son of a shiitake (mushroom) farmer who happens to be a narcoleptic that he needs to wear a big helmet to protect himself whenever he gets an attack. It begins with the crows and slowly, his classmates starts to die mysteriously as a suicide. When he meets a girl name Moya, he had stumble upon century old war between monsters and humans. What he never expect is that he is an unwilling protagonist that has a power as well - stealing memories by a single touch. With the town in trouble of supernatural force, Koda (without a choice) must do what he can to understand who he is in order to save Kusaka Town.

 

While I was reading this, I felt there is a little bit of Satoshi Kons' weirdness involve. Its like Paranoia Agent that comes along with many weird acceptance of lunacy that can be some thing new. Its Japanese culture that is a norm to do who understands it, especially when it comes to myths and legends. Surprisingly, it is also written well with so many reference to Japanese that anyone who understands the culture can relate. Its not exactly original but then its an enjoyable and fun read. I just love how the weirdness can be a norm to all the characters and this is one that intrigues me from beginning to the end. Its a fast read too might I add.

 

The title has its interesting meaning (which I will not review) but I do recommend people should read this. Yes, there is some Japanese dialogue spoken in romaji but its not exactly that hard not to understand. Its just a beauty of making this a really Japanese custom and written by someone whom used to stayed and taught in Japan, I am surprise J.P. Romney had done a great job of being politically correct when it comes to writing. If you love Nihongo culture, pick this book up. If you love mythology, beliefs and supernatural + weirdness, read it. I had great fun enjoying this book.

 

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