1 out of 4 stars
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There and Back There Again by Andrew Alsup is an oddball of a book. Sometimes you almost get a glimpse of a method to this madness and then it escapes from your grasp again.
I don’t know exactly what mental problems have been diagnosed in his case, but the author seems to almost constantly hear voices in his head, which he in his own words believes to be real people having a psychic connection with him. Auditory hallucinations are no picnic to live with, and he tries his best, even when it all gets to be beyond frustrating.
This behind-the-scenes information gave me very mixed emotions during the reading. In no way, I want to belittle someone’s experience with these problems and at the same time reading essays or texts that mostly make sense only to the writer of them, is very confusing and tiring. It’s just an overwhelming flood of words that have somehow ended up forming sentences. Author himself states that his writing is unique and truly his own, as it reflects his thoughts, exactly as they are. And I am not very sure that that is a good thing.
There is a lot written about his harassment by invisible malignant forces, voices that feed his paranoia and delusions. Lots of swearing and f-words flying around, sometimes censored and sometimes not. You also get a bundle of government conspiracy and privacy issues that make no sense. The reader is also diverted to his fundraising page through the given links where you can donate money to his causes.
I rate this book 1 out of 4 stars because honestly, right now it’s a mess. There is so much that needs proper editing and revising. You can find the text changing color suddenly from darker black to grey. The bonus material on David, Goliath, and Race with bible quotes and religious texts feels copy-pasted in. There are a couple of pages where the same text is repeated. It slaps you in the face with Matthew and Corinthians religious text snippets and after that moves on to talk shortly about authors appreciation for porn. Then continues from there with a poem about mothers funeral. And as pièce de résistance you get 5 pages worth of stories about his dogs. Which might have been my favorite part of the book. At least those stories had a straightforward comprehensible timeline and content.
I recommend this book to those want to understand the concept of auditory hallucinations a bit better from the grassroots level. And for those who love weird and challenging books that you can interpret any way you like.
There and Back There Again
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