Official Review: True-Life Walter by Steven Romain

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: True-Life Walter by Steven Romain

Post by Cecilia_L » 03 Sep 2019, 07:25

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "True-Life Walter" by Steven Romain.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Walter Sabukwana is contemplating a decision that may result in life-altering consequences. For years he has struggled with severe anxiety; medications haven't helped, and his wife is considering divorce. When his neurologist contacts him about performing a risky brain surgery, Walter confides his dilemma to a colleague, John Legrand. Previously, their conversations have only been of a casual nature, but Walter senses that John is kind and a good listener. Walter's transparency and the severity of the decision before him affect John dramatically. Steven Romain’s True-Life Walter chronicles the results of Walter's decision and the deepening friendship that ensues between the two men.

Set in South Africa, this 110-page fictional narrative addresses themes such as anxiety, friendship, race, free choice, classism, and identity. However, Romain seamlessly weaves the more serious issues throughout the relationship-driven plot, maintaining balance in the story. For instance, John is a professor and mentions his pet project, a live "performance of personal poetry focused on feelings about and visions of apartheid." Later in the book, John arranges for Walter to visit a Rudyard Kipling library. Walter is deeply affected by Kipling's stories and helps a troubled young woman by orchestrating an impromptu demonstration of the concepts presented in the Water Truce from "How Fear Came."

The book is somewhat unique in the sense that the first-person narrative is written from John's perspective about Walter. It is well written, professionally edited, and quite thought-provoking. Romain effectively conveys the changes that John witnesses in Walter, both those he wants to emulate and those that arouse concern for his friend's well-being.

I particularly liked Romain's prose-like writing style, which was laden with imagery and laced with humor. Some passages begged to be read more than once, such as "...there was just enough beauty and softness and harmony in the environment to comfort our hearts for the journey home." I also enjoyed the descriptions of Walter's uninhibited dancing.

I am unable to highlight any areas for improvement or name any dislikes. The book is free from profanity and sexual content, but sensitive readers should be warned there is an instance of drug use.

I'm pleased to rate this evocative read 4 out of 4 stars. There is a popular meme based on a quote from Kurt Vonnegut. "Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things." With that in mind, I recommend the book to readers who enjoy relationship-driven plots and stories that inspire you to ponder the little things.

******
True-Life Walter
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Kathleen Wolfe
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Post by Kathleen Wolfe » 06 Sep 2019, 10:44

I agree with that meme. Although this book is out of my usual scope of interest I feel like this would be an interesting read. I look forward to reading it. Thank you for a wonderful review. Have a nice day. :D

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Post by Cecilia_L » 06 Sep 2019, 12:18

Kathleen Wolfe wrote:
06 Sep 2019, 10:44
I agree with that meme. Although this book is out of my usual scope of interest I feel like this would be an interesting read. I look forward to reading it. Thank you for a wonderful review. Have a nice day. :D
Thanks for your kind words, Kathleen. Hope you enjoy the book!

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Post by esp1975 » 06 Sep 2019, 13:50

This sounds like a really interesting book. I am wondering when the book is set. Was it during apartheid? Or after, and people are reflecting on it (and the long term consequences)? I love character driven, slice of live stories, and this sounds like an excellent one.

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Post by Rachel Lea » 06 Sep 2019, 17:07

I love that quote from Kurt Vonnegut that you included. This book sounds like an interesting and eye-opening read. Thank you for your review!
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies... The man who never reads lives only one." -- George R.R. Martin :techie-studyingbrown:

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Post by V 1 5 » 06 Sep 2019, 17:49

I just recently read a book with the same theme but on a different setting. It's great how these books can enlighten people to be able to help out others. I'm interested with the writing style as you have pointed out. Thanks for this review!

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Post by Miller56 » 06 Sep 2019, 19:22

Thanks for the review. This sounds like an interesting book that I will put on my list to read. It sounds like there are a lot of emotions tied to the story that makes the reader do some self-evaluation.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 06 Sep 2019, 22:44

Rachel Lea wrote:
06 Sep 2019, 17:07
I love that quote from Kurt Vonnegut that you included. This book sounds like an interesting and eye-opening read. Thank you for your review!
Thank you. :tiphat:

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Post by Cecilia_L » 06 Sep 2019, 22:45

V 1 5 wrote:
06 Sep 2019, 17:49
I just recently read a book with the same theme but on a different setting. It's great how these books can enlighten people to be able to help out others. I'm interested with the writing style as you have pointed out. Thanks for this review!
Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 06 Sep 2019, 22:46

:)
Miller56 wrote:
06 Sep 2019, 19:22
Thanks for the review. This sounds like an interesting book that I will put on my list to read. It sounds like there are a lot of emotions tied to the story that makes the reader do some self-evaluation.
You're welcome. Hope you enjoy the book.

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Post by Nizar Ali Shah » 10 Sep 2019, 02:57

" True -Life Walter," by Steven Romain. Walter is considering a decision that may result and benefit in changing his life from this state of affairs.All his previous medications have failed. Romain effectively communicated the changes that John witnesses in in Walter.
Romain has an interesting prose writing style is replete with humor.
The book helps to improve relationships between human in their difficulties.Besides this, there is a lesson that one should do a personal assessment of oneself.It also throws light on emotions that cannot be underestimated

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Post by kdstrack » 10 Sep 2019, 11:18

I enjoyed the quote from the book that you included in the review. This example of the author's writing is quite motivating. It is also good to see that the author has included humor in the book. This looks interesting. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 11 Sep 2019, 13:52

kdstrack wrote:
10 Sep 2019, 11:18
I enjoyed the quote from the book that you included in the review. This example of the author's writing is quite motivating. It is also good to see that the author has included humor in the book. This looks interesting. Thanks for the recommendation!
Thank you. :tiphat:

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