Review by Brianna14 -- There and Back There Again

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Review by Brianna14 -- There and Back There Again

Post by Brianna14 »

[Following is a volunteer review of "There and Back There Again" by Andrew Alsup.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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In his book There and Back There Again, Andrew (Andy) Alsup writes about the voice people in his head who talk to him. These voices, or “Chipmunk” as Andy calls them, take form as seemingly real people, either individuals who have a personal connection to Andy, or an entity such as the Government which is impersonal but authoritative. Privacy and Mental Illness are two main components of this work which get challenged by the writer through the existence of the voices in his head. Throughout the chapters there are many repetitions of the same thoughts and ideas. The bonus material at the end of the book is disjointed from the book in that it’s difficult to determine how it correlates with the subject matter other than in a very broad way.

What I liked most about this book was the barrage of threats from the voices found on pages 23-24. There were so many, and though there weren’t any periods (making it a long paragraph of insults separated only by commas) it worked. It's believable and as the reader, I was better able to grasp what the constancy of having harmful voices in one’s head can feel like.

What I disliked most about the book was the confusing usage of “you” I wasn’t sure if it was referring to the reader, the voices, people in the author’s life, the author, or someone else. There were times in which I was reading that I had to go back and re-read a section just to see if I could understand who the "you" was referring to. And even then, I was still confused!

I give this book a 2 out of 4. I wouldn’t give it a one, just because the ideas, words, and writing are quite good. It doesn’t seem to be edited by a professional which is why I wouldn’t give it more than a 3, and there were too many inconsistencies in the writing such as using lines to shorten a word for the first few pages and then writing the word out the rest of the book, as well as missing apostrophes. Also, in the author’s synopsis, it says that there are certain subjects discussed in the book, however, I could only find a mention of certain subjects in the bonus material and I didn’t feel that it was in-depth enough to deserve a subject dedicated to it on the synopsis.

There and Back There Again would most likely appeal to readers who are either dealing with or know others dealing with Schizophrenia. It opens the reader’s eyes as to what it is like to have destructive voices in one’s head all the time. I would recommend it not be read by those who dislike strong language as there is quite a bit used throughout. Also, readers who like a linear and concise layout would find this book confusing as it jumps from story to story and then poetry at the end, often repeating the same points without much progression in the story line.

There and Back There Again
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