Official Review: Opaciphobia and Other Inner Reflections

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MsH2k
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Official Review: Opaciphobia and Other Inner Reflections

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[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Opaciphobia and Other Inner Reflections" by Paul Giangrasso.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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You will not find the word opaciphobia in the dictionary or in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This is a term Dr. Paul Giangrasso coined to describe a burdensome fear that has been a part of his life since childhood. In his own words, it is “the fear of an unclear identity. On top of the fear of not only being unclear but the fear of being obscure and insignificant.” He first recognized this feeling when he looked out his grandparents’ semi-opaque window. He could not see clearly what was outside the window, nor could he be seen clearly by those on the outside looking in. His book, Opaciphobia and Other Inner Reflections, is a compilation of poetry, prose, and canvas paintings that describe living with this fear.

This 177-page book comprises three sections. Each section begins with a display of Dr. Giangrasso’s canvas artwork, followed by twenty-seven poems and their accompanying reflections. In the first section, the author reflects on his biggest fears, annoyances, and issues. The second section goes deeper into his struggles in the past, while the last section shares the author’s approach for the future.

Except for an occasional question mark, the poetry contains no punctuation. The title of each poem is its sequential number in the book, written in all caps. This interesting naming convention allows the reader to experience each poem without the preconceived expectations a title might elicit. Initially, I was afraid I would be overwhelmed tracking my progress with each passing poem, drowning somewhere around “SIXTY-FIVE.” Thankfully, after the first few pages, I settled into the format.

Dr. Giangrasso’s poems flow effortlessly. He not only transfers the meaning but also the emotion of his experiences. This was the aspect of the book I enjoyed most. Perhaps the author’s chronic diplopia and bipolar disorder caused him to experience his fears more intensely, but it was his skillful writing that allowed him to share his feelings so well.

Several poems convey the author’s frustration of feeling lectured to instead of being a valued participant in conversations. While reading this book, I felt as if we had many meaningful conversations. I would reflect on each poem before moving on to its commentary. Even if we did not share the same experience, I could relate to the underlying emotion.

An example was when I read “SEVEN.”
It begins:

“I am someone’s son
Please don’t kill me
My son needs his father
My daughter needs me as well”

These words resonated with me. I thought about the growing number of innocent men in the United States—walking, jogging, or eating ice cream in their living room—unexpectedly killed because of someone’s reaction to the color of their skin. “SEVEN” was the first of three poems dealing with the author’s fear of terrorists. Although experiencing these words from distinct vantage points, the author and I met at the same place in the frailty of this plight.

Section three was my least favorite part of the book. In this forward-looking section, the author includes his spiritual approach for healing and growth. He intentionally keeps this section generic to reach a wide audience. For example, he uses the term “the source” instead of “God” because he acknowledges one person’s God may not be the same as another’s. As a Christian, I did not expect or need to agree with his spiritual approach, but I didn’t connect with a few reflections in this section because they were too generic. I couldn’t understand enough of his position to agree or disagree with his reasoning. These few instances did not diminish my enjoyment of this book.

I rate Opaciphobia and Other Inner Reflections 4 out of 4 stars. Dr. Giangrasso effectively communicates the rawness of his emotions without overwhelming his audience. He is always conscious of his interaction with the reader and includes a thoughtful surprise in “SEVENTY-EIGHT.” This book does not contain erotic content or profanity, and it has been edited well. There were only a few very minor errors. I recommend this beautifully constructed collection to anyone who appreciates the need to address healing from hurts and fears. It is best suited for young adults and adults because they could relate to the life experiences covered best.

******
Opaciphobia and Other Inner Reflections
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Sunday diamond
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Post by Sunday diamond »

Informative review!
Though, this is not a book that will interest me - being poetry.

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Post by Splendour0606 »

I love the authors use of a spiritual approach for healing and growth, even though he intentionally avoided the word "God".I love your review, but this is not my type of genre. Thanks.

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Post by Frances019 »

This sounds interesting but I'm not into poetry either.

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Post by Zee_Zee »

Hmmm. The word "Opaciphobia" could as well be added to the English dictionary. This sounds like an awesome book and your review is exquisite. But I'll pass on this one as I'm not into poetry.😔

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Post by HusainNecklace52 »

Seems very intriguing.
Your review makes the book sound like a must-read. I'll surely check it out!

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Post by Winnie Babe »

Sounds Macabre, and very sad. The review does give it a provocative draw card, perhaps....

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MsH2k
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Post by MsH2k »

Sunday diamond wrote:
16 May 2020, 05:19
Informative review!
Though, this is not a book that will interest me - being poetry.
I understand. Poetry is not everyone’s cup of tea. I appreciate your visit!

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MsH2k
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Post by MsH2k »

Splendour0606 wrote:
16 May 2020, 05:45
I love the authors use of a spiritual approach for healing and growth, even though he intentionally avoided the word "God".I love your review, but this is not my type of genre. Thanks.
Thank you for stoping by and leaving a comment.

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MsH2k
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Post by MsH2k »

Frances019 wrote:
16 May 2020, 12:23
This sounds interesting but I'm not into poetry either.
Thank you for your visit!

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MsH2k
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Post by MsH2k »

Zee_Zee wrote:
16 May 2020, 17:38
Hmmm. The word "Opaciphobia" could as well be added to the English dictionary. This sounds like an awesome book and your review is exquisite. But I'll pass on this one as I'm not into poetry.😔
It’s funny—I didn’t really think of them as poems even though they are in the poetry format. The author communicates very clearly in his reflections. If the book interests you, I invite you to check out the sample and see what I mean about the poems that don’t really seem like poems. :reading-2: Thank you for your comment!

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MsH2k
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Post by MsH2k »

HusainNecklace52 wrote:
17 May 2020, 06:42
Seems very intriguing.
Your review makes the book sound like a must-read. I'll surely check it out!
I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by.

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Post by booksandmagicshop »

I would love to read this book. I think it's exceptionally brave that the author would share such experiences with us and I find it extremely intriguing that it includes multiple formats (prose, poetry, paintings). I'd love to see more of this view.
“The magical time is coming. Come to the Magic Shop.
Now, take off your mask and open your eyes.”

- BTS

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MsH2k
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Post by MsH2k »

Winnie Babe wrote:
17 May 2020, 15:40
Sounds Macabre, and very sad. The review does give it a provocative draw card, perhaps....
Life can be sad sometimes. I found the author’s reflections to be authentic. He feels deeply and expresses his feelings well. He also has a great attitude towards having a full and healthy life. Thank you for your visit and for leaving a comment.

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MsH2k
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Post by MsH2k »

booksandmagicshop wrote:
17 May 2020, 21:49
I would love to read this book. I think it's exceptionally brave that the author would share such experiences with us and I find it extremely intriguing that it includes multiple formats (prose, poetry, paintings). I'd love to see more of this view.
The author is very talented, and he really did share himself openly with the reader. I was surprised to find his canvas art included. I particularly liked the first one, entitled Be Sure to Clean Your Soap. The title gave me a chuckle, too. I hope you check out this book. It is a work of art.
Thanks for stopping by!

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