What the Fire Ignited

What the FIRE Ignited, ISBN: 9781642250275, Advantage Media Group, a motivational e-book Copyright and written by Shay Eskew,

This is the true story of a man whose remarkable journey began when as an eight-year-old child an accident caused him to be enveloped in flames that burned 65 % of his body. Thus as a child, he was forced either to die or find the mental toughness, grit and tenacity of purpose to survive the excruciating pain of an almost endless succession of treatments for this life threatening accident that even during the ensuing years has requiring more surgeries and therapy and other setbacks too numerous to mention. He not only has survived but has become a successful businessman, married to a beautiful and understanding woman with whom he has five children he simply adores and has reached incredible heights in several sports (after having been informed he never again would be able to participate). Perhaps the most astonishing of the physical feats he has accomplished is repeatedly finishing high in IRONMAN competitions as well as never having failed to complete any and all such competitions he has entered. (For the uninitiated such competitions consist of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, followed immediately by a 26.2 mile marathon.) His survival and actual ability to attain these highs combined with his simultaneous ability to carve out a most enjoyable and successful life he attributes to discoveries actually forced upon him. Out of necessity he was able “to train his brain to believe when faced with a death situation, he will survive so the brain automatically starts focusing on survival techniques and a solution.” Similarly “you can block out all distractions in life that deter you from achieving your goals.” He admonishes people – “Don’t subscribe to the victim mentality. Life is not fair and bad things happen to good people. Once you accept it, life is pretty simple. When something bad happens, know that someone has been through something worse and not only survived, but thrived.” That “Obstacles are opportunities in disguise” and “Our greatest disappointments in life are preparing us for our greatest blessings. We just have to keep the faith and continue doing what we know will make us successful, even if we’re not seeing immediate results.” It is necessary to have “Faith in God and the belief that success doesn’t happen overnight.” The story contains many more observations with respect to his life including humorous incidents resulting from adjustments he has made as well as poignant incidents and ruminations.

Discussion: This utterly engrossing true story proceeds to offer a massive amount of material that every person, in any position in life, physically compromised or not, can find helpful, if not literally ‘life saving’ in many ways.

5* A book EVERYONE can profit by reading.

 

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.