Pablo’s Apprentice

PABLO’s Apprentice, Where Revenge Meets Romance, assumed published, copyright and written by Richard A. DeVall.

The book open with a quote from Pablo Escobar: “Geniuses are always branded as crazy” and follows the life and escapades of psychopathic killer Rose Alvara who idolized his thoughts and actions, and how it affected her and the people her life touched. The story opens with the death of David Turner, a California police helicopter pilot and several other police officers at the expense of Rose and her lover and former cell mate, Little Bee as they escape a somewhat botched bank robbery. The reader then is introduced to Brandy Bednarz, David’s utterly devastated love which begins a second thread to follow in this lengthy novel of revenge. She is utterly despondent and moves east to live with her parents where she finally recovers enough to obtain a job and sentimentally begins training to become a recreational helicopter pilot. On her final instructor-accompanied flight, their flight plan takes them by fate over an area where Rose and Little Bee have just pulled another bank robbery and have evaded the police. However, Brandy and her instructor catch the police report, spot the escapees and give directions to the pursuers. Rose and Bee come close to downing their plane with long range rifles, but they escape. The two psychopaths continue their flight but Little Bee is killed and Rose decides to ‘make Brandy suffer’. The story continues on a complicated and hugely Karma influenced path leading eventually to foreign lands and ends in a most interesting manner.

Discussion: This is a fascinating, albeit chilling story depending upon development of a series of fate-influenced actions that severely nudge credibility. It consists of the development of a somewhat sadistic, unusually intelligent narcissistic psychopathic killer, and her resulting activities. It also presents the evolution of a second protagonist who is confused and greatly depressed from the series of fateful actions that she has encountered and eventually sees a psychiatrist. She also has acquired a new romantic attachment who is as confused a person as she is. The two, as a result of her being the recipient of Rose’s hatred, the ineffectual police activity, and being gradually nudged by the selected psychiatrist who also seems to have been psychologically injured, eventually evolve into thinking in a vengeful manner. The characters are well-presented but the action is slowed repeatedly by rather voluminous descriptions of the individuals during their introspective or soul-searching periods. Fortunately, most is mitigated by the fast-moving tempo so the reader’s interest is retained at a sufficient level to want to continue to read to the end.

Summary: A somewhat irregularly paced novel about interrelationships among several psychologically disturbed individuals with some performing particularly vicious activity. Regrettably from this reader’s perspective, judicious editing would have provided some reduction in the plot’s overly heavy dependence upon the influence of fate. The characters are well-portrayed and their indulgence in frequent periods of self-analysis are believable, relevant and well-justified, but again judicious handling could do much to enhance the pace

3* 5* Fascinating albeit unpleasant tale rated for reasons presented.

 

Do Good to Lead Well

DO GOOD to LEAD WELL ISBN: 9781946633026. ForbesBooks, copyright and written by Craig Bowden, PhD.

Subtitled, The Science and Practice of Positive Leadership, the book opens with a quite extensive list of persons acknowledged to be helpful in the author’s journey followed by an admission that he always has been “fascinated by how people related to one another and how that differed so much from person to person, even when faced with the same situation”. Resultantly he majored in psychology “to learn more about the perceptual and emotional elements of human behavior”. An introduction to industrial-organizational psychology resonated particularly well because “Although people have personalities that are fascinating and diverse, organizations also have personalities (i.e. cultures) that are just as complex.” Studying the two simultaneously presented an irresistible challenge that led to extensive study and culminated in his eventual establishment of “a firm focused on supporting clients in achieving leadership and organizational excellence by leveraging the science of peak performance.” The substance of this volume provides the basics upon which he believes this achievement of excellence rests. Specifically, 6 Pillars – Self-Awareness, Civility, Humility, Focus on the Positive, Meaning and Purpose, and Empathy – each of which he discusses at length with supporting evidence gained from numerous scientifically designed and validated tests. An Appendix provides valuable assessment details of the meaning of scores obtained on selected tests; then an extensive list of references follows and the book concludes with a few notes About the Author.

Discussion: The author has published another in the increasing number of books to provide help to companies, their CEO’s and their various team members as they attempt to stay abreast of their fast moving and rapidly changing work environment. Many have provided valuable material. This particular volume would appear to provide a much greater quantity of helpful material than the others, however, simply because it is not based on one person’s discoveries. Instead the lessons provided here are based on well-designed tests repeatedly given and re-analyzed until results could definitely be validated. On a personal note, two features discussed here were most interestingly presented – the fact that Empathy can be learned and that the Golden Rule might be re-examined from a different perspective; viz. Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you might not be compatible with what they believe is what they might want. One example provided was a manager who thrived on recognition might not be providing a thoughtful ‘award’ by bringing a person who preferred to be more reclusive to a prominent stage to receive the ‘award’.

5* Important must read for every ‘thinking’ person.