4 out of 4 stars
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One of the central preoccupations of Breathe Free: One Man's Struggle for Life Against All Odds is love. Rich Kenzie is ardent in his love for whatever thing he does. His passion for England, his family, and his God can be seen throughout the pages of this book. The latter is what forms the central place in most parts of this narrative. The author leaves England for Canada with his parents after World War I. Although he is not happy to watch his homeland fade away as they depart, he acclimates to Canada by default. How he navigated life in this newfound reality is detailed in this book.
Although an account of the author's life, one can hardly decide whether this book is fictional or not. This is due to Kenzie's artistic prowess at weaving words with amazing sceneries. It is thrilling how the events in England and Canada are dressed to engage the reader's thoughts. The creative description of the incidents surrounding Kenzie's birth and the myths of Rosia's stone (Royston) leaves the reader in a depth of imagination. This is why Derrida believes that poetry (literature) and nature share things in common.
Kenzie aesthetically plays with the thoughts of the reader. The narrator's name is made a bit obscure that one has to read with the anticipation of meeting with the character. Of course, the pleasure of a text comes from the character-reader relationship. This literary craft gives credit to Breathe Free: One Man's Struggle for Life Against All Odds.
Similarly, Kenzie does not undermine the pertinence of literary elements in his art. The use of repetitions on page 20 heightens the importance attached to 'talking.' Paradox on page 80 is another intriguing figure of speech employed to make this book literary. This is not to overlook the effect of the artistic arrangement of the chapters with their catchy titles.
However, the excessive use of foreshadowing in the narration foils this text to an extent. Informing the reader that Joe is still his friend even after the surgery is a big spoiler to the suspense intended. Of course, the reader already knows he will make it out of the theatre and has no cause to be tense anymore. That is a spoiler that should be avoided. I also don't intend to spoil the book for you. Of course, if the author didn't make it through the surgery, he wouldn't have written this book.
Interestingly, the editing of Breathe Free: One Man's Struggle for Life Against All Odds was good; I only found one minor error throughout the book. Regardless of the trivial issue raised in the paragraph preceding this one, I'd rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
I, therefore, employ every lover of beauty and creativity in literature to find this work useful, as long as the religious undertone is not a problem to such a person.
Breathe Free: One Man's Struggle for Life Against All Odds
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