FLY: Have Magic in your Life ISBN: 978965506648, ContentoNow (International Distributor) an e-book by Ted Barr.
The author, after never considering painting, studied at Israeli’s prestigious Avni Institute of Art and has provided here numerous examples of his most unusual abstracts pertinent to, and accompanied by, a series of ruminations on numerous areas of life and its vicissitudes. The chapters have titles such as: The Human Quest, Life and Death. From Void to Void, Deciphering Death, Cycles of Creation, 807, this chapter is accompanied (as are several) by an opening explanatory phrase; e.g. 807 Months of Repentance (Jewish Day of Repentance) causing rumination on the fact that “The average life span of human beings nowadays is 807 months and 73 days. It is later than we think.”
Discussion: This is a most unusual book with respect to content as well as presentation. With respect to content, it perhaps may best be described as lengthy ruminations by a onetime rather heavily mentally traumatized individual, as he introspectively attempts to find a meaning and direction for his, and for life in general. Support for this statement are the author’s words both early in the book: “If I survive this war, I promise to live my life in a constant search for its meaning,” and later with his statement when interviewed by art curators Josh Ryder and Melissa C. Hilborn, for Peripheral ARTeriesas when they provide a discussion, evaluation and explanation of the author’s art. “I am an Israeli and as such spent 8 years of my life in the army. I fought in wars and saw young men dying near me. This experience engraved in my soul the understanding that nothing is guaranteed. What exists today might disappear tomorrow. The only time that exists is NOW. Life is too valuable to spend without meaning. This in brief is the core essence of the ’Cycles of Life’ painting series.” With respect to presentation, there are several factors. When a reader attempts to download an e-book version, an unusual statement appears: “Due to large file size, this book may take longer to download”. Here this reviewer encountered what may have been an individual problem, but one of which prospective readers should be aware. A list of e-book readers most acceptable for downloading also is offered. I found it necessary to try several in my possession before ultimately ‘paper light’ offered the best resolution for the written material. The verbalization was mostly in a very small font, appearing to be an 11 at most, and for some strange reason did not respond to increase in font size without shifting the entire largely double column/pages to an unreadable position. Thus the ‘paper light’ version was easiest to read. I also learned from a correspondent the Kindle Fire, which I do NOT have, offers a better read. One other factor is the quality of the abstract paintings. They probably are quite colorful if able to be seen in color. Again, unfortunately my Kindle does not exhibit color.
Conclusion: Introspective ruminations with respect to the ‘meaning of life’ by an individual severely affected by his wartime experiences.
3* 5* content for persons enjoying life/death ruminations; 1* for presentation.