Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

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MarisaRose
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Official Review: Heaven Hell and Magical Soup

Post by MarisaRose » 18 Sep 2017, 09:04

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Heaven Hell and Magical Soup" by Joseph R Williams.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Heaven, Hell and Magical Soup: A Tapestry of Words & Songs by Joe Williams is a unique collection of poetry woven together by various themes. The author tells his story through ‘ragmen.’ These ragmen are representative of various icons and emotions. For example, there is a ragman named Petty, and another named Buddha; some others are named Joyous, Christ, and Angry. These ragmen use ‘rags,’ or poetry, to discuss various emotions, religious beliefs, current events, and more. The author performs these poems as songs but has chosen to capture them in written word for all to experience.

The messages emphasized throughout this work may not be unique; however, the author’s use of clever poetic devices enhanced the work and made his words standout. The author consistently uses homophones to stress a point. Namely, the definition of the characters as ragmen. This title suggests an implicit image of those less fortunate; however, their name is also descriptive of the enlightening and thought-provoking rags, or stories, poems, etc. that each ragman (and one ragwoman) imparts on the reader. Though some rags were more successful in conveying the author’s message than others, the overall story the author weaves is encouraging.

Unfortunately, there were some detractors to the author’s message. The formatting in Heaven, Hell and Magical Soup is quite lacking. First off, the table of contents does not include page numbers for each poem listed. To find a specific poem one has to scroll through the book in hopes of stopping on the correct page. Additionally, it was difficult to tell when the narration stopped and a rag began. The titles of the poems are not highlighted in anyway; many times poems start in the middle of a page, and, typically, there wasn’t even an additional space to separate the poem's title from the paragraph above it or from the poem starting below it. Occasionally, titles appeared in all caps, but this was rare. Further, there are quite a few random line breaks in the middle of a sentence in the narration (not the poetry) which made reading confusing in places.

In addition to the inefficient formatting, there were a few grammatical errors that gave me pause. For example, in one instance, a ragman’s attire is described as ‘rough and course;’ clearly the word ‘coarse’ was intended. Another instance is when ‘ore’ is used as an abbreviation of ‘over’ in place of ‘o’re.’ Without the apostrophe to indicate the shortened version of ‘over’ this word has a completely different meaning and gives the poetry an amateurish appearance.

Though the premise of Heaven, Hell and Magical Soup was unique and the overall message the author touts was engaging at times, the poor formatting significantly distracted from my reading enjoyment. Clearer organization and additional proofreading would improve the clarity of this work. In its current state, I rate Heaven, Hell and Magical Soup 2 out of 4 stars. Readers who enjoy poetry and are looking for something a little unusual may find merit in this work; however, if you aren’t impressed by poetry or are a stickler for straightforward formatting, this one may not be for you.

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Heaven Hell and Magical Soup
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Post by 0719672189 » 18 Sep 2017, 23:19

I love the title of the book,so catchy.Thanks for the great review Marisa.
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Post by Sabina G » 19 Sep 2017, 00:40

It sounds like this book could be perfect with the right formatting. This type of books needs to be thoroughly formatted. Otherwise, it gets very distracting and unpleasant to the reader.
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Post by MarisaRose » 19 Sep 2017, 06:53

0719672189 wrote:I love the title of the book,so catchy.Thanks for the great review Marisa.
The title was what initially drew me to this one! Thanks for commenting :)

-- 19 Sep 2017, 06:54 --
Sabina G wrote:It sounds like this book could be perfect with the right formatting. This type of books needs to be thoroughly formatted. Otherwise, it gets very distracting and unpleasant to the reader.
When it comes to poetry, formatting can be just as important as the written words. Many times the formatting effects the flow and tempo of the writing, so it can quickly become off putting!
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Post by kandscreeley » 19 Sep 2017, 07:23

It definitely does sound like an interesting premise. It's too bad it wasn't executed well. Hopefully they'll be another edition that will make some changes. Thanks!
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Post by Zelinda » 19 Sep 2017, 17:45

Ok, good review. I'm wondering if the author didn't do all the grammatical/typo stuff on purpose. Like, to goof on us? I don't know, but it just seemedtoo bizarre. One minor question - the "over" thing. Is it not "oer"? Or is it "o'er"? I'm in a twist o'er this.
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Post by MarisaRose » 19 Sep 2017, 19:00

Zelinda wrote:Ok, good review. I'm wondering if the author didn't do all the grammatical/typo stuff on purpose. Like, to goof on us? I don't know, but it just seemedtoo bizarre. One minor question - the "over" thing. Is it not "oer"? Or is it "o'er"? I'm in a twist o'er this.
Interesting perspective - but I think they errors were unintentional. If it was meant as a 'goof' they would occur more often and have some type of hidden meaning the reader would be able to discern. Thanks for commenting.

-- 19 Sep 2017, 19:00 --
kandscreeley wrote:It definitely does sound like an interesting premise. It's too bad it wasn't executed well. Hopefully they'll be another edition that will make some changes. Thanks!
Thanks for reading! I also hope another edition is published - I think the author has an interesting tale/perspective and it would be great to read in a better organized narrative :)
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Post by ReviewerDiksha » 20 Sep 2017, 08:00

Well-written review. But poetry is not really my scene, so I am gonna give this book a pass.

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Post by dragonet07 » 20 Sep 2017, 15:39

The concept certainly catches my attention, so it's too bad about the formatting. These formatting variations, based on your review, don't seem to be a stylistic choice, and so they may bother me too much for me to enjoy the writing. Hopefully a revised version with improved formatting and proofreading will surface soon. In the meantime, I'll probably pass on this. Thank you for the insightful and detailed review, Marisa. It really helps.
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Post by Quinto » 22 Sep 2017, 07:21

A good review. The book has potential, just some effort on the editing needed.

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I think I'll read it after the second editing, it sounds promising. Thanks for the good review.
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Post by wisecorper55 » 04 Oct 2017, 00:45

Nice one.... I really love this book

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Post by chrismary » 07 Oct 2017, 12:08

Once you see the topic you will be moved to read it, the topic is adorable so try that the next one will be better. Thanks

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 10 Oct 2017, 14:07

Well written review... The title of the book makes me wish I had a copy.
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Post by Salsabila » 10 Oct 2017, 14:35

Hail the poets! I really love poetry therefore am glad I can try out this book.

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