HYPNOSIS, Return to the Past

HYPNOSIS, A return to the Past, ISBN: 9781912145645, I AM Publishing, an e-book translated by Lino Galveias, published, copyright and written by Maria Inês Rebelo.

Plot: Basically the author appears to wish to offer “A metaphor for life”: “wisdom is the human virtue that enables us to reach fullness, to discover the pure through the unclean and to find the path to happiness.” It centers on the interrelationship among a number of characters both in the present and through several centuries. Principally, the story follows two therapeutic hypnotists Marcus Belling, a very popular, charismatic man who easily establishes empathy with his patients and Joseph Salvatora, a somewhat withdrawn, autocratic individual. The two constantly are at odds over the manner of providing aid to patients as well as their position in the ‘official’ Hypnosis Society. The professional lives of both of these men are drastically changed by a young woman, Anne Pauline Roux, who decides to attempt to discover the cause of the incessantly disturbing dreams that have bothered her for years. While in a hypnotic trance she discovers that the strange man who has been disturbing her dreams all of these years actually is Belling from an earlier time. Resentful, she makes a pact with Salvatora to recount everything she learns during her sessions with Belling, something she hides from him. Of great importance is the fact that she is one of the few people who can change history by acts she performs during these hypnotic sessions. The involved and rather convoluted plot continues eventually leading her to find a fulfilling life and finding a resolution for the confrontational lives of Joseph and Marcus.

Discussion: Fundamentally the author has presented a quite well translated, intriguing tale that many readers should enjoy. Regrettably, along with this enjoyment, they may find several features of the presentation disturbing if not disappointing. The detail and descriptions provide excellent help in character development as well as placement of specifics. However, there is considerable redundancy, as well as repetition, that good editing would have eliminated. Additionally, the presentation somehow brings to mind the complex imagery Herbert, John Donne and other metaphysical poets of 17th Century presented. Specifically, at least for this reader, there was an inability to comfortably settle the tale into any particular time and/or place. To explain: First, Belling’s training was supposed to be particularly effective because he had received most of his training in America. The greatest advances made in hypnosis generally have been attributed to European proponents. More especially perhaps, centered first on the work of Franz Anton Mesmer in the late 1700’s and then those following. (An interesting aside, Belling’s professional life seems to follow Mesmer’s who was quite a popular showman but not well received by the Medical Profession of the day.) Second, the story is replete with a fortune teller, a forbidden island, soothsayers, clairvoyants and other components of the occult. Belling appeared on television, the ease of automobile transportation and other factors appears to lead one to expect the story’s time to be relatively recent. Yet, the strong position of the occult, although still existent today in small pockets, seems to make the time/place to be in the past (or perhaps a relatively isolated part of Europe peopled by unsophisticated, even quite provincial, individuals.) Thus, this reviewer’s discomfort in attempting to place a time and position for the story.

Summary: An intriguing story for readers who enjoy the occult and can overlook the problems that concerned this reader.

3* 4* for some readers; 2* for those similar to this reviewer.

Electric Order

Electric Order ISBN: 9788494878718 Kwill Books, First Electronic Edition by Armani Martel.

Plot: Set in a dystopia of the future where the pattern is slanted toward ‘those who have’ controlling literally all of life while ‘the have-nots’ in the worst scenario, sign a Guaranteed Living Income Agreement that provides the absolute minimal of everything for existence. Here the reader is introduced to a constantly soul-searching Angolan born, Portugal raised Paulo Suarez, a detective in the elite department of Criminal Corporate Investigations stationed in Canada. (Most of what the reader learns about him is not forthcoming until quite late in the book.) His virtual partner in a department that does not have a partner system per se, is Nadine. Ana is head of the department and his love. His moral inclinations cause him to prepare a revealing report on a powerful Chinese corporation and he must be demoted. He is moved to Homicide where he acquires a new partner, Lula Majumdar about whom we hear little. They are assigned to find and apprehend Daniel Bremmer, who reportedly has killed several people. Daniel is the son of Richard Bremmer, now incarcerated for publishing ‘unacceptable’ articles. The story describes in some detail Daniel’s life and activities and the story proceeds as the apparently streetwise but otherwise not too bright, greatly mentally disturbed youth manages to escape capture through quite a number of escapades. A number of additional characters of varying roles of importance are introduced and an epilogue somewhat provides ‘a wrap’.

Discussion: This addendum is provided because upon finishing my review, I perused those provided by others and discovered that we were monstrously far apart. Many reasons for this dichotomy exist, probably most prominently a notable difference in what one believes makes good reading. Only the reader can decide. However, to provide this viewer’s viewpoint, the author has presented a very good portrait of a chaotically degenerative world, but unfortunately peopled by poorly delineated characters with whom it is difficult to empathize, in a rather confusing plot that would benefit from editing and proofreading. Additionally, it is not for the reader who prefers to avoid recurring descriptions, some regrettably disgusting, of the decadent conditions to be found in such a degenerative society. Granted, the author has depicted an excellent realistic portrayal, but not pleasant reading. For example, (some of the even less delicate words and/or descriptions are removed) “Lucy is wearing a blouse cut just below the waist line and above the belly button. She is strung on a pole with her two arms holding on for dear life. Her right knee resting on the shoulder of a mid-thirties, fat, red haired and bearded bloke. Sweat drips from the tiny slits in his eyes, pours down his dry skin follicles and on mustard colored stains blotched about his neck. His trousers are wrapped around his boots. His filthy…. an old man and a young whore cum for one another…. See Joe drink a fifth of Jack and cum on to a brunette with lice and blood clots in his hair. He moves from the scene so as to follow the scent of food….The old boys and ladies too old for …. (and) washing white stockings in a wooden barrel. A drunk vomiting while screaming obscenities to the winter goddess. Just past this and he can treat himself to the wonders of uncontrolled and unregulated nouvelle cuisine,”

Summary: I fully realize and accept the fact that basic, raw descriptions are commonly accepted in today’s literature and enjoyed by many of today’s readers who thirst for unvarnished reality. Regrettably, after having witnessed the results of similar events, this reviewer prefers reading less disgustingly descriptive scenes and prefers actually an eclectic choice of fiction/non-fiction that is enjoyable and/or instructive. My review more specifically is a caveat for similar readers and my apologies to the author and to readers who have an interest in books such as provided by this author. However, I should think even here readers would like to have a better edited and proofread book with more ‘compete’ characters.

2* 4* for description of a dystrophic state; 1* or less, reasons described.