1 out of 4 stars
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I chose to read There and Back There Again by Andrew Alsup because the description piqued my interest. It mentioned the proposal of a new constitutional amendment and I was quite curious to find out what that might be. However, as I began reading the book it was extremely difficult to follow. The actual proposed Amendment to the Constitution was not in any way feasible or based in reality.
It is mostly a written stream of consciousness by an apparently schizophrenic man. The majority of the book is him talking about him hearing conversations in his head from real people he knows. He’s nicknamed these voices he hears, Chipmunk. He talks about the voices using lies and subterfuge to control him. The conspiracy seems to go up through all levels and branches of government. In addition to the government conspiracy and psychic intrusion there are also numerous references to his having an attorney, attempts to have him committed, or have his children taken away.
There was quite a bit of profanity in the book. I have no aversion to profanity in itself, however, I felt that it was generally unnecessary and didn’t add anything to what was being said. I think this is what I disliked most about the book. While the story is quite difficult to follow, it does come through the writing that the author is an intelligent, well educated individual. It’s certainly not a professionally edited book by any means.
In addition to the main story of the book, there are several essays including one from Edgar Allen Poe, a discourse on Post Modernism, several poems and more. They don’t seem to really relate to the main body of work, I don’t know why they were included, but some of the poems were the most enjoyable parts of the book for me.
I give this book 1 out of 4 stars. It was very difficult to read and follow and I almost didn’t finish it. I kept reading because I was thinking that at some point that fog would lift and it would turn into a coherent, cohesive work. After a certain point I kept reading out of shear stubbornness not to quit. I can’t recommend this book to others to read. The only people who I could think that would have an interest in this particular work would be those with an interest in schizophrenia. I do, however, say that with great caution as I feel reading this book could be triggering for some people. It was actually making me feel somewhat anxious while reading it.
There and Back There Again
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