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Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Use this section to discuss drama books and poetry books. Drama includes plays but not novels. This includes work by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Miller etc. Poetry anthologies can also go here.

Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#1 by MsTri
» 15 Oct 2017, 23:16

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Heaven Hell and Magical Soup" by Joseph R Williams.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by MsTri
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Heaven, Hell and Magical Soup: A Tapestry of Words & Song is no mere collection of poems. Author Joe Williams - “Appalachian Ragman” - fills his book with words of beauty, love, acceptance, and togetherness. Using various personalities in the form of ragmen to bring forth these lessons, Mr. Williams ties a series of vignettes together in a fun and brilliant way.

Meeting together in a tavern at the start of the book, each ragperson reads one “rag” for their compatriots before taking off to parts unknown. We then separately follow each poet for a portion of their journey, where they meet with other people, both dispensing and receiving words of wisdom in poetic form.

The ragmen that the author uses to wax philosophical include Joyous, Buddha, Christ, Petty, Angry, Crazy Old Man, and Ragwoman, each character generally embodying their proclaimed personalities. Each ragperson also speaks with a different voice, some speaking in rhyme, others speaking in a less stringent manner.

I thought this was a brilliant book and the concept ingenious. Using the different personalities, the author was able to convey similar ideas throughout but from different angles based off the character currently in the driver's seat. Joyous, for example, talks about being grateful in a much different manner than Petty. I also liked the interplay between the characters. During the tavern scene, they applaud each other and assist their brethren when needed. Outside of the tavern, they run into each other and exchange more rags. Even though they'd seem undesirable, my favorite ragmen are Angry and Crazy Old Man, who are neither as angry or crazy as their stage names would have you believe.

The poetry itself was also phenomenal. As noted above, various forms were used, some using a rhyming scheme, some not. All of the poems, however, made me think. Two of my favorite rags were Ragwoman's Our Long Journey Home, a poem she shares with her dog, Duke, as they make their way to their next destination, and A Raggedy Rag, which Joyous shares with a little boy as a kind of 'getting to know you' verse. Other highlights for me included Buddha's Something and Nothing, a fun play on words, Petty's heartfelt Another Card Fell, a ditty about life's hardships, and Crazy Old Man's Change, a rag about accepting changes in life. There were many more treasures in this tome, but I'll leave them to you to find.

The Heaven and Hell of the title are sprinkled throughout the book but don't play major roles in any of the poems, so I wouldn't say the book is based on any specific belief system. The author does include a brief paragraph on his feelings about these places in the Introduction but isn't overly preachy.

I believe this book was professionally edited, as I was hard-pressed to find any errors. The formatting and separations of sections also made sense and added to the enjoyment of this tome.

It is my honor to give Hell, Heaven and Magical Soup 4 out of 4 stars. I imagine I'll read it time and again, as there's something new to be gained with each reading. I recommend this book for poetry and music lovers as well as readers who are into philosophy.

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Heaven Hell and Magical Soup
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#2 by Mark Valmoria Pojas
» 16 Oct 2017, 09:02

Heaven, Hell and Magical Soup its kind of title that apart in a story and it cannot easily to combine the body of messages in order that readers easily to link the version of this story.
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#3 by Cloe101
» 16 Oct 2017, 13:17

I like the poems and poets the way you have displayed them, nice review. I've just added this on my bookshelf.
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#4 by Ekpenyong David
» 16 Oct 2017, 16:18

The poems and poets is really ridiculous,nice review
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#5 by kandscreeley
» 16 Oct 2017, 17:54

You've made this book sound quite appealing. I'm not normally into poetry, but I kind of like what you have to say about this. Thanks for a nice review.
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#6 by kislany
» 17 Oct 2017, 01:20

Poetry is really not my thing. At all. However, your review made me curious about the book, which is strange, because normally I wouldn't give it a second look. So, good job, MsTri.
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#7 by Sarah Immanuel
» 17 Oct 2017, 02:59

The book title got me thinking there would be a description or let's say revelation of Hell and Heaven. Magical soup, I don't know.
I am a little disappointed this is not what I thought it would be. Thanks for the review though.
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#8 by prrrmohan
» 17 Oct 2017, 03:14

I like the poems and poets the way you have displayed them, nice.
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#9 by MarisaRose
» 17 Oct 2017, 05:22

I also read this collection of poetry, but it didn't speak as well to me. Glad you found so many positives about it.
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#10 by Jr Artemis
» 17 Oct 2017, 13:35

Heaven Hell and Magical Soup, I interest after reading the title.,with ur perfect additional review make me to read this book.Thanks
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#11 by MsTri
» 17 Oct 2017, 19:04

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I'm normally not into poetry, either, but its description on Amazon pulled me in and I'm glad I read it. Still, I know it's not for everyone.
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#12 by FizztIzzy
» 26 Oct 2017, 12:45

I like your review. Your descriptions of the characters and their words of wisdom make me want to read this book myself. Thank-you for your review.
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#13 by VanessaAisel
» 28 Oct 2017, 13:25

From your review of this book it sounds like this author has found a way to get readers who normally stray away from books about poetry and pulled them in with a compelling story line! Sounds like a must read!!
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#14 by Madlyn
» 28 Oct 2017, 13:59

Browsing the review page, I chose this one because of the title of the book. After reading your review, I am even more drawn to it. I am making a note to get the book and read it when I can. The mixture of characters and poetry and the whole idea sounds fresh and inviting. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
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Re: Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post Number:#15 by Arushi Singh
» 29 Oct 2017, 01:30

What a beautiful review! I am absolutely reading this.
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