Official Review: Beyond Absolute by S R Gurney

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.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 2216
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Divided We Stand by William de Berg

Official Review: Beyond Absolute by S R Gurney

Post by gen_g » 18 Dec 2018, 10:55

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Beyond Absolute" by S R Gurney.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


S.R. Gurney’s Beyond Absolute is a compilation of 46 creative writing ficlets in 6 sections. Each ficlet is only about a page long, with an accompanying picture of nature at the bottom to help stimulate the reader’s mind. In addition, each ficlet ends with a Latin phrase relevant to the topic discussed. There is also an English translation of the Latin phrases included at the back of the book. These ficlets cover a wide range of topics, from the various processes of nature, to love, to the physical world, and to psychological state of mind. However, all of these ficlets have a single theme in common: what is beyond absolute?

Put simply, Gurney’s ficlets, for the most part, focus on the inner workings of the mind in between moments of time. For example, I particularly enjoyed “Advocacy or Superiority”, where the narrator’s consciousness is focused on the various scenes around him, such as the little girl crossing the road, rather than on what the narrator is doing. I found this fascinating, as this helped me, personally, to learn to be more aware of the things that happen around me.

Moreover, Gurney possesses a good command of language, which allows the reader to fully experience the feelings that he is trying to get across, and this in turn helps to create the optimal atmosphere for the reader’s full immersion.

However, the fact that most pieces in Beyond Absolute focus on the same theme acts as a double-edged sword – reading the ficlets one after another gets repetitive after a while due to the same theme being utilised over and over again, only with a few changes.

More importantly, although the theme of the book is “beyond absolute”, I do think that Gurney’s inclusion of a short paragraph of his definition(s) of absolute would help much in way of clarification, as his notions of absolute change from ficlet to ficlet.

Additionally, the inserted photos and Latin phrases, for me personally, were more jarring rather than an effective tool for the reader’s immersion. Photos of nature are, by nature, rather ambiguous; therefore, when coupled with the ficlet, it does generate a sense of confusion, a feeling of “What am I supposed to feel?” Then again, this could be the author’s aim when including said photos. Also, as the ficlets are generally only a page long, the reader has to constantly flip to the back to look for the English translation of the phrase. It would be easier if the English translation was included on the same page.

There are also a couple of grammar and punctuation errors present, but they were minor ones, which did not detract much from the reading flow. The formatting of the novel could also be done in a more professional manner; for example, fonts in the book should be standardised. Therefore, I rate S.R. Gurney’s Beyond Absolute 2 out of 4 stars due to said reasons given above. I would recommend this to people who are interested in exploring the notions of time, psychology, and the inner workings of the mind.

******
Beyond Absolute
View: on Bookshelves

Like gen_g's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 9383
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 81
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 311
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Crystal Mesh by Alicia Mundy with Jennifer Banmiller

Post by kandscreeley » 21 Dec 2018, 08:43

I'm pretty sure this would not be to my liking. It just sounds a bit over my head. The Latin phrases would confuse me, though, at least I could look at the pictures. :) I think I'll pass, but thanks for the information.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 2216
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Divided We Stand by William de Berg

Post by gen_g » 21 Dec 2018, 10:37

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
21 Dec 2018, 08:43
I'm pretty sure this would not be to my liking. It just sounds a bit over my head. The Latin phrases would confuse me, though, at least I could look at the pictures. :) I think I'll pass, but thanks for the information.
It was really kind of abstract. Thank you for stopping by nonetheless!

User avatar
Ice dragon
Posts: 78
Joined: 20 Sep 2018, 14:04
Currently Reading: The last oracle
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ice-dragon.html
Latest Review: Gringo by Dan "Tito" Davis

Post by Ice dragon » 21 Dec 2018, 14:11

Sounds like it could have included a couple of different authors as a collaborated work, to add some diversity and avoid the repetition.
It's an interesting concept.

User avatar
kislany
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1106
Joined: 16 Aug 2014, 06:17
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 404
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kislany.html
Latest Review: A Gastronomic Vade Mecum by John Warwick Montgomery

Post by kislany » 21 Dec 2018, 15:59

Not really sure it's my type of book, to be honest. I did enjoy your review, however.

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 2216
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Divided We Stand by William de Berg

Post by gen_g » 22 Dec 2018, 00:52

Ice dragon wrote: ↑
21 Dec 2018, 14:11
Sounds like it could have included a couple of different authors as a collaborated work, to add some diversity and avoid the repetition.
It's an interesting concept.
That sounds like a great idea to increase diversity. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment!

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 2216
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Divided We Stand by William de Berg

Post by gen_g » 22 Dec 2018, 00:53

kislany wrote: ↑
21 Dec 2018, 15:59
Not really sure it's my type of book, to be honest. I did enjoy your review, however.
Thank you for stopping by, Kislany! I appreciate it.

Alicia09
Posts: 385
Joined: 10 Jul 2018, 12:29
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Currently Reading: The Cartel Crusher
Bookshelf Size: 270
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alicia09.html
Latest Review: Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula by R.F. Kristi

Post by Alicia09 » 22 Dec 2018, 20:21

I would love to read some of the poem's in this book, simply for the creative writing style and the topic. I would also be curious to see how distracting the Latin phrases are, since the translations were not included on the same page as the phrases. Thanks for the honest review!
:character-ariel:

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 2216
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Divided We Stand by William de Berg

Post by gen_g » 23 Dec 2018, 01:28

Alicia09 wrote: ↑
22 Dec 2018, 20:21
I would love to read some of the poem's in this book, simply for the creative writing style and the topic. I would also be curious to see how distracting the Latin phrases are, since the translations were not included on the same page as the phrases. Thanks for the honest review!
I would love to hear your thoughts on it when you pick it up. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment!

Kajori50
Posts: 1269
Joined: 10 Aug 2018, 15:10
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 194
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kajori50.html
Latest Review: Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R.F. Kristi

Post by Kajori50 » 23 Dec 2018, 13:25

This seems like an abstract piece of literature. The inner workings of the mind do hold a certain allure for me. It's a pity that the book was not properly formatted.

Thank you for the lovely review.

User avatar
Bianka Walter
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1730
Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 15:22
2019 Reading Goal: 45
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 82
2018 Reading Goal: 40
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 127
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Old Man and the Sea
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 360
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bianka-walter.html
Latest Review: Pepperoni Pizza Pinching chimps by Tracey C Ayres
Reading Device: B06XD5YCKX

Post by Bianka Walter » 23 Dec 2018, 14:08

The fact that the themes carry through the ficlets is a little annoying.
Loved your review!
You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.
- Dr. Seuss

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 2216
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Divided We Stand by William de Berg

Post by gen_g » 23 Dec 2018, 22:03

Kajori50 wrote: ↑
23 Dec 2018, 13:25
This seems like an abstract piece of literature. The inner workings of the mind do hold a certain allure for me. It's a pity that the book was not properly formatted.

Thank you for the lovely review.
Thank you for stopping by always, I appreciate it!

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 2216
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Divided We Stand by William de Berg

Post by gen_g » 23 Dec 2018, 22:04

Bianka Walter wrote: ↑
23 Dec 2018, 14:08
The fact that the themes carry through the ficlets is a little annoying.
Loved your review!
It was a little over-the-top at times indeed. Thanks for stopping by always, Bianka, I appreciate it!

User avatar
Jagiine
Posts: 117
Joined: 06 Dec 2018, 17:08
2019 Reading Goal: 30
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 10
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 26
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jagiine.html
Latest Review: End of the Last Great Kingdom by Victor Rose

Post by Jagiine » 25 Dec 2018, 04:11

Great review, gen_g. I had never heard the term "ficlet" before reading your review, so you just taught me something new! Based on your point about repetitiveness, I think I would prefer to own this book and read 1-2 of the ficlets whenever the mood struck.

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 2216
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Divided We Stand by William de Berg

Post by gen_g » 25 Dec 2018, 04:17

Jagiine wrote: ↑
25 Dec 2018, 04:11
Great review, gen_g. I had never heard the term "ficlet" before reading your review, so you just taught me something new! Based on your point about repetitiveness, I think I would prefer to own this book and read 1-2 of the ficlets whenever the mood struck.
Well, to be honest, it's a new word popping up, and I thought the term fit the kind of stories found in Beyond Absolute perfectly! If you do decide to pick it up, do let me know what you feel about it. Thanks stopping by to leave a comment, Jagiine, I do appreciate it. :D

Post Reply

Return to “Drama and Poetry Books”