Official Review: Paradise Mislaid by Francis Boggs

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.
Forum rules
While in the forum's younger and less active days this used to be the one and only forum for "reviews and discussions about specific books", this is now just the subforum "other fiction" in a more well-organized "reviews and discussions about specific books" section with subforums for each genre. Check it out! :) Remember, the forums in the reviews section (including this forum) are for posting about a single book or series in topic, and the topic title should include the book's title. If you are creating a new topic, please try to post it in one of the other genres rather than posting it here in the "other fiction" section. This is only for books that do not fit in any of the other genre categories we have listed.
Post Reply
User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 739
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 186
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Creation Abomination by Alan W. Thompson

Official Review: Paradise Mislaid by Francis Boggs

Post by joshfee77 » 11 Jun 2019, 03:19

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Paradise Mislaid" by Francis Boggs.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Paradise Mislaid is a thought-provoking short novel by Francis M. Boggs that questions the current state of the world, especially the entrenched belief systems of established religions. His novel effectively asks the question: Is there a better way? In my opinion, looking at today's world, there is. The story begins with Professor Hugh Norris and his friend, Bishop Bede Murray, catching up for dinner together in London. Hugh has pursued a career in science after leaving the church many years ago. As he says to Bede: "To question everything in pursuit of logic." During their dinner, Bede confesses his soul and mind have been "sorely troubled" lately and his faith tested. What he doesn't know is that it's about to face the greatest test of all. Hugh tells Bede of a theory he's been developing, a revolutionary idea which will challenge the world's religions and potentially usher in a vital new order to bring peace to the planet...

The author, now retired, was born in 1935, which would make him 84 this year. Clearly, he has a wealth of accumulated wisdom and life experience as well as any research he conducted for this book, which lent definite credence and weight to his tale. He included factual background information about the Catholic church and the Pope, among other things, which added realism to the story. He also featured a relevant quote to begin each chapter from various sources including Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton. I found these quotes useful and thought-provoking, prompting me to ponder the philosophical issues of the novel in greater depth.

The story was enjoyable, featuring some great friendships and fun banter between the characters as they discussed the important issues and spent leisure time together. At around 170 pages in total, it moved along at a decent pace, skipping irrelevant details and sticking to the main plot. I felt this was a good story length for this idea, as a regular novel of 300 pages would likely have stagnated and seemed a little slow if exploring the same theme. Hugh Norris's ground-breaking central idea was intriguing and thought-provoking; I thought it had definite validity, offering plenty of value to the human race going forward to improve our world from its current state.

Paradise Mislaid did need further editing, however. There were many examples of missing punctuation and other minor errors. One example of incorrect comma placement was: "'I will see you and Jewel at dinner,' he said smilingly, 'and don't dress, formally will you?'" The comma should have been after "formally," not "dress." Instead, it sounded like Hugh was asking his friend not to get dressed! Minor errors like this took me out of the story as I had to stop and think about what the author really meant. Also, I felt there would have been more resistance to the change Hugh suggested, especially from the Catholic Church, which is extremely rich. Like electric power competing against fossil fuels, I felt Hugh's idea might have taken a far greater fight to set up, even though he did have the scientific proof of his claims.

The dialogue didn't sound natural in some places, either. For example, from Mark: "'God!' he said, 'I wish that I had never embarked on this Cyborg project. I had visions of it being a boon to civilisation in so many sedentary occupations, but as you know we disbanded it but preserved records...'" This seemed too formal, more like explaining the plot than just speaking naturally. Jewel's reply of "Oh, dear me" also seemed a bit too old-fashioned from a young woman. There were plenty of other examples of somewhat stilted-sounding dialogue from which contractions were noticeably absent, such as: "Yes, that is what Hugh said. By the way, what is it that you have there?" The dialogue attribution also often included adverbs like "smilingly." It might have been better to say "said Hugh, smiling" or even "joked Hugh." Overall, there were far too many uses of "smilingly" and "laughingly" throughout the book.

I found Paradise Mislaid an enjoyable and thought-provoking short novel which just needed further editing. Were half-stars possible, I would rate it 2-and-a-half, but I'm giving it 3 out of 4 stars because I don't believe any of its issues were too major. Those who are open to having their existing ideas and beliefs questioned would enjoy this book; however, it does present a strong challenge to accepted religious doctrine, so if your faith is particularly strong, you might not appreciate what Professor Hugh Norris has to say.

******
Paradise Mislaid
View: on Bookshelves

Like joshfee77's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Letora
Posts: 446
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
2019 Reading Goal: 90
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 43
Favorite Book: The Turn
Currently Reading: Grey sister
Bookshelf Size: 130
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: The Engine Woman's Light by Laurel Anne Hill

Post by Letora » 14 Jun 2019, 07:25

Right away your opening few sentences made me want to read this book. Books that explore the inner workings of religion and its purpose fascinate me. It's a shame the editing wasn't up to par, but I'd still give this one a try. Thank you for reviewing :)
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 8215
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 42
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: Scorched
Bookshelf Size: 277
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Dragon Sky by Laurie Woodward

Post by kandscreeley » 14 Jun 2019, 09:52

I appreciate short novels, as sometimes I just don't have time to read something longer. Still, I'm not sure I would appreciate the spiritual aspects of the book. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy it, and I hope the author fixes some of the editing issues. Thanks.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
briellejee
Posts: 1161
Joined: 25 Aug 2017, 23:40
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 12
2018 Reading Goal: 120
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 80
2017 Reading Goal: 15
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 249
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-briellejee.html
Latest Review: The Last Bush Pilots by Eric Auxier

Post by briellejee » 14 Jun 2019, 19:28

Glad that you somehow enjoyed this book. I might not be reading this though because of the spiritual aspects, but at tge same time, I am interested to what the author has to say. I agreed that the examples of dialogues you put in the review is somehow too formal to be considered as dialogues. Thanks for this review!
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost"

kdstrack
Posts: 2971
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 56
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: The Engine Woman's Light
Bookshelf Size: 239
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: An Unexpected Mess by Marie Washtag

Post by kdstrack » 15 Jun 2019, 17:47

The author's premise is interesting, even though it sounds like he is proposing chaos to arrive at utopia. The grammar problems wouldn't be that bothersome with a story line makes you think and reflect. Another great review! Thanks.

User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 739
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 186
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Creation Abomination by Alan W. Thompson

Post by joshfee77 » 18 Jun 2019, 00:12

Letora wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 07:25
Right away your opening few sentences made me want to read this book. Books that explore the inner workings of religion and its purpose fascinate me. It's a shame the editing wasn't up to par, but I'd still give this one a try. Thank you for reviewing :)
Thanks! This one is definitely worth a read. Very thought-provoking.

User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 739
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 186
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Creation Abomination by Alan W. Thompson

Post by joshfee77 » 18 Jun 2019, 00:14

kandscreeley wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 09:52
I appreciate short novels, as sometimes I just don't have time to read something longer. Still, I'm not sure I would appreciate the spiritual aspects of the book. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy it, and I hope the author fixes some of the editing issues. Thanks.
Thanks. The author's central idea is certainly not for everyone. Anyone with strong religious beliefs might find it a bit confronting and controversial. However, an interesting read nonetheless.

User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 739
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 186
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Creation Abomination by Alan W. Thompson

Post by joshfee77 » 18 Jun 2019, 00:16

briellejee wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 19:28
Glad that you somehow enjoyed this book. I might not be reading this though because of the spiritual aspects, but at tge same time, I am interested to what the author has to say. I agreed that the examples of dialogues you put in the review is somehow too formal to be considered as dialogues. Thanks for this review!
Yeah, the dialogue struck me as a bit wooden and stilted. Dialogue is one of those things you don't really take too much notice of if it's good! But it does stand out when it's not quite right. Thanks!

User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 739
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 186
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Creation Abomination by Alan W. Thompson

Post by joshfee77 » 18 Jun 2019, 00:20

kdstrack wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 17:47
The author's premise is interesting, even though it sounds like he is proposing chaos to arrive at utopia. The grammar problems wouldn't be that bothersome with a story line makes you think and reflect. Another great review! Thanks.
As much as I liked the author's idea, I feel it would be very tough to implement with plenty of opposition to it. Established religions are unlikely to be willing to look at alternatives to their long-established beliefs and traditions. Thanks!

Post Reply

Return to “Other Fiction Forum”