2 out of 4 stars
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Solitary Eyes on Fire and Other Stories is a collection of 15 short stories aimed at giving the reader a glimpse into the deep moral decay and depravity in the world today. Aldous Huxley’s words sum it up thus: “Maybe this planet is another planet’s hell.”
Solitary Eyes on Fire tells the story of Todd Benjamin, a psychotic addict, and his gradual descent into schizophrenia. In his delirium, he believes he can see the Apostle John, mentioned in the Bible book of Revelations, on his girlfriend’s TV. The story shows him having irrational thoughts and carrying out actions typical of an insane person. Another short story is centered on domestic violence and tells of a woman with three kids who marries a man she has only known for three months. He traumatizes the entire family, and she eventually runs away with her kids. However, her son is determined to one day find his stepfather and make him pay. Some other stories in the book have themes like illicit sex, alcoholism, and rape.
In most of the different stories in this book, the author, John David Wells, gives the viewpoint of the people directly affected by the problems being addressed. An example is Dean, whose ex-wife Karen tries to explain her adulterous behavior as resulting from OCD. Expectedly, he does not believe that. Another example is Danny and Jackie who have to take responsibility for their sister Monica, a junkie addicted to heroin. It is glaringly obvious that moral depravity of all kinds can disrupt the lives of not just the people involved, but those of their loved ones as well.
Please note that this book is not for the sensitive or prudish reader. It contains a lot of swear words and other offensive vocabularies. The author has decided to be as explicit as possible and does not gloss over the sensitive parts of these stories. Sex scenes and orgies are described in detail, and there are also scenes depicting violence, even against children. However, these stories serve as eye-openers into the level of depravity in the world today. They also give a glimpse into the likely end results of making irresponsible decisions in the course of living for pleasure.
Sadly, I am unable to award this book more than 2 out of 4 stars. This is due to the awful formatting and grammar errors. Inconsistent font type and size were used all through the book. The paragraphs were also not properly aligned in some places. Then it had quite a number of missing words. Nevertheless, if you are not easily offended, you are likely to find this book rather interesting.
Solitary Eyes on Fire and Other Stories
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