Book Jacket

 

rank 120
word count 21134
date submitted 28.07.2009
date updated 20.05.2011
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction
classification: universal
incomplete

The Somnambulist

Zan McD

Rooted in Carib mythology and dream interpretation, two people are haunted by similar recurring nightmares. Fate brings them together where their lives unravel tragically.

 

In Trinidad a Carib-Amerindian boy has a recurring nightmare of being hacked to death. A Hindu priest recommends a change of scenery so he goes to Barbados. There he accidentally meets a female English student from Cambridge who suffers the very same nightmare although neither realises this. They are drawn to each other and fall in love. Before long, two visitors, one from each of their homelands, unexpectedly show up and misunderstanding results in murder by the very means envisioned in their respective dreams.


Through prose and poetry this tale celebrates and mourns a dying, marginalised Amerindian tribe in the Caribbean. It reflects in part the culture of the Caribbean and its attitude towards the spirit world.


The mythological Maboya of the Caribs guides the protagonist and the reader through a magical and sometimes terrifying world.


The Barbados Advocate Newspaper - Review
The Somnambulist is a book "to be bought, mulled over and shared."
"Spiritualists will find it interesting, classic romantics may encompass it with the bitter sweet, and students-of-life will embrace it readily."


Cover: photograph of author's original oil on canvas.
Manuscript complete at approximately 35,000 words.

 
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tags

amerindian, carib, dreams. interpretation of dreams. romance. amerindian culture. tragedy., history. spiritualism. religion, love. tragedy. murder. po...

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580 comments

 

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greeneyes1660 wrote 1494 days ago

Zan, This has it all. Its creative, orginal, powerful and meaningful .Your dream sequences and the dialogue between each character and their spirits is beautifully written.As a poet I love the way the poems are so important to the story.Your imagery and history of the culture is amazing...You feel the intensity of fear with them as easily as you experience the calm. I love this story and I have no doubt that this will be picked up and do exceptionally well. I can not wait to get back and read it to its completion.....You are a gifted and creative person it must be wonderful to be able to express yourself with a paintbrush as well as with a pen..I can't draw stick people with a ruler...I've always wanted to be able to paint what I am able to create with my pen..BACKED with confidence Patricia aka Columbia layers of the Heart :)

maryinflorida wrote 1712 days ago

Zan,
Your “Somnambulist” opens with Nirhan chasing a terrorized boy with a cutlass as known onlookers – parents, neighbors, teachers - cheer the murderer on, all this a nightmare, from which his father awakens him “to milk the cows.” His Maboya, an individual’s protector spirit guide, speaks to him and he thinks the spirit might be what saves him from being killed in the nightmare. Most people lack the ability to hear their Maboya because they are disconnected from the spirit world, “…the point of living as a physical being first, was that of learning and preparation for the spiritual world….lesson in humility…” He fears speaking of the dream, due to the superstitions associated with seeing death in a dream. He’s had enough education that he doubts the meaning, but he’s conflicted, as he still fears what will happen if Nirhan, his best friend in real life, ever succeeds. He wet the bed during the dream, and thinks of tourists. His Maboya sings to him of their emptiness. He tries to avoid conversation with the Maboya as the Hindus and others who occupy Trinidad will think him crazy. As he milks the cows his spirit tells him many things. He rests and recalls that being half Carib is a badge of dishonor; he’s experienced much prejudice and rejection due to it.

His beloved and kind father agrees to take him crab hunting, as the boy thinks eating crabmeat will give him happy dreams. Nirhan catches a ride on the truck and senses the boy’s distance. As they ride up the mountain, he notices the expensive homes and swimming pools and “the extremes of wealth and poverty became a philosophical fixation for him….” The boys have two hours to hunt for crabs and are told to return to the truck for the ride down to the seashore. He pretends to be a hunter like his ancestors and his “Maboya directed him to where the biggest and juiciest crabs were to be found.”

I can see that your writing style is gentle with lyrical poetry that comforts the reader as much as it does the boy. This has the feel of folklore and the location of the story adds a unique element. Certainly, I look forward to finishing this wonderful piece, but for now, I’ll move it to my bookshelf.
Mary

At last I've been blessed with enough time to finish reading the entirety of this wonderful story. A girl on the other side of the globe has a similar nightmare, as her fiance chases her, as her friends and relatives cheer the would-be murderer onward. She too withdraws emotionally from her beloved, as the boy in Trinidad withdraws from his friend Nirhan. Both the boy and the girl take advice: a change in scenery will chase away that recurring nightmare. The boy uses his hard-earned milk money to travel from Trinidad to Barbados where he can stay with friends-of-friends. The girl spots a too-good-to-pass-by deal on a flight and hotel to Barbados. Sure enough, the pair meet on a bus. She's studying the history of indiginous peoples and thinks it lucky indeed to have encountered a Carib Indian on the bus. He's enchanted with her and soon forgets that Deya, the girl for whom Nirhan longs, has a crush on him back home. Their relationship begins with a professional tone as she tapes a four-hour interview with him on the history of his family. Of course, the pair become entangled. With juicy foreshadowing - mention of the book "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," stalagtites impossibly trying to meet stalagmites in a cave, the heart-breaking story of Mr. Dinesh a lonely schoolteacher - you build suspense while leading the reader toward one inevitable conclusion (which I won't reveal here). Suffice it say, that their mutual nightmare is nothing compared to the real nightmare in which they find themselves by story's end.

Your writing style is hypnotizing with its gentle lilt of Carribean heat and lulling waves. The tropical setting imbues every line (except for the wintery days in Cambridge while the girl plots her next move). The Maboya's poetry strikes a subconscious chord with its esoteric, mystical rhythm. Certainly, one of the best books on this site.
Mary

Phyllis Burton wrote 1568 days ago

Hello Zan, You have a unique story here: well written, lyrical and almost magical. I also like the way that you have woven poetry into the story. Your prose is truly excellent. I knew it would be, because I was rather taken by your original start to the Longest Poem on the Forum. (This is a really good idea and I will return to add to it later). Well done on every count. SHELVED with pleasure.

Phyllis Burton
A Passing Storm (I should be grateful if you would look at this for me please).

gillyflower wrote 1614 days ago

A powerful and poetically written book. The initial dream sequence plunges us straight in, and arouses our interest, so that we are willing to then spend some time at a slower pace learning more about the boy, and later the girl. The interspersion of the poetry adds so much to the overall composition. You are certainly a poet, and this ability in using words is also obvious in your prose writing. This book seizes our attention, and the final tragic outcome, the deaths of Nirhan and Nicolas and the arrest of the boy and the girl, is devastating.
Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls.

Seringapatam wrote 409 days ago

Zan, This is a very good read. I like how you have made this so active and creative for the reader. It is so well written and the way it attracts the reader. I couldnt put it down when I started. Great flow to it with magical descriptions too. I loved this and will be scoring it high..
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you??
Many thanks? Sean

Seringapatam wrote 409 days ago

Zan, This is a very good read. I like how you have made this so active and creative for the reader. It is so well written and the way it attracts the reader. I couldnt put it down when I started. Great flow to it with magical descriptions too. I loved this and will be scoring it high..
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you??
Many thanks? Sean

Anna1 wrote 532 days ago

Amazing book dear Zan!!!

Sanchez Lovers wrote 570 days ago

Dear Zan,
Unique, well written, creative, beautiful, enjoyable story.
The cover is more than perfect to me.
I am deep impressed by your work!
I would love to recommend everyone to find a moment to read this wonderful book, it will be definitely blessed moment.
Thank you for sharing your work and I wish you best luck with it.
Sending it with six stars up to editor´s desk.

Abby Vandiver wrote 576 days ago

Well, it seems that I differ than the other comments here, so possibly just ignore my comment . . .

I think that there is just too much narrative. The description just goes on too long. In the first chapter it's about the boy and in the second chapter about the girl ( woman). I like that you show the similarities in the dreams but there is a lot to it. I think more dialogue explaining things would make it an easier read nd hold the attention of you reader better.

Abby

Sanchez Lovers wrote 584 days ago

Dear Zan,
You made me speechless!
Your book has everything I love; beautiful poetry, touching story, creativity and dreams!
I absolutely love your work!
Thank you for sharing and I have to have it on our bookshelf and rate as much as I can.
Best lusck with it!

Keith Gilbey wrote 653 days ago

Love it! Still reading - but just my kind of book. Real heart and tradition with a gripping story. Well done! High stars and on my watch list.

Keith Gilbey
Peppermint

Adam Thurstman wrote 662 days ago

Dear How to Fail Supporter,

Here at the How to Fail support team we have been greatly encouraged by the developing lack in failure of our book’s progress, thanks to the ongoing support of all our members. You’re support too has not gone unnoticed. Please let us make you fully aware of our gratitude and thanks for all your kind efforts and everything you have done in continuing to partner with us.

It’s is our hope, dream and wish that soon everyone will be able to know how to fail, in a way that they have never known before; so that others will only be able to look on in awe at what a complete mess they have made of their lives.

Yours faithfully,
The team

Adam Thurstman wrote 666 days ago

What about me, everyone I know has just died and I've only got seconds to live, please back me!!!
Only kidding, everything’s fine; relax!

I saw you comment on 'How to fail' and wondered if you wanted to help me back it again, it's so funny. If so it's on my book shelf.

Adam

Perry Whitt wrote 705 days ago

Hard to break the top, but this deserves it.

rosaparker wrote 705 days ago

When will this get the recognition and respect it deserves?

JamieStuart wrote 790 days ago

Staying around 100 keeps you in the running.

open mind wrote 822 days ago

Interesting read. I like your style. It seems couple of short stories dealing with dreams. Absense of interaction yet I like it.

Neville wrote 830 days ago

Have read and backed your book a while back.
It's an excellent read from the first chapter, even if it's a dream.
Your descriptive talent is stamped all over it, a compelling read.
Very worthwhile in my opinion.
I've updated the star rating to show this.
Will shelve again when I can, it's on my list.

Kind regards,

Neville The Secrets of the Forest - The Time Zone.

Su Dan wrote 832 days ago

l feel l've read this, but didn't rate it- this is certainly good enough to re-back, which l will do.
read SEASONS...

baughmama wrote 997 days ago

Well written and edited. Good imagery. Very origianl and creative. The only thing that I noticed was,
..."Time for chores, young man."
"Soon be there, Papa," he shouted.
The commas were left out of these sentences. There should always be a comma when someone is being addressed. I came across a few more instances of this. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck with this!

God bless,
Trista



PCreturned wrote 1057 days ago

Awww you were 1 of my best backers and you said in a previous message I'd stay on your shelf for the duration. There are only 5 days left in my race. :(

Oh well, I guess there's nothing I can do now. Thank you for the promise of emergency help if I get in trouble. I really might need that. The number 1 spot is a poisoned chalice. Every day now, 5-10 people dump my book because they think I'm safe and prospective backers refuse to put me on their shelves for the same reason. All this time, the spammers are gaining large amounts of backings and closing the gap. At this rate, there's a good chance I might slip out of the top 5 in these last few days.

I'm working v hard and hoping I can cling on for these last 5 days, though. We'll see. :)

Thanks for the 8 days you gave me + thanks for letting me know you were removing my book. That was unusually kind. Most people just dump me and don't say a word.

Good luck with your writing too. I'd love to see you become a great success. :)

Best wishes,

Pete x

PCreturned wrote 1065 days ago

Thank you so much. And thank you, especially, for being willing to keep me on your shelf for these last 12 and a bit days of the race. I really appreciate your help a lot. :)

Pete x

PCreturned wrote 1066 days ago

Thank you so much for the kind comment on my book. I'm glad you seemed to enjoy it. :)

I just entered the last 2 weeks of my race on here. Scary times. The competition's getting fierce. is there any chance at all you could slot me onto your shelf for this last 2 weeks? I desperately need all the help I can get to stay in the top 5 until May 31st. Several people dump me from their shelves every day, assuming I'm safe at number 1. At this rate, I might start sliding downhill soon. And this late in the race, it may be impossible to stop such a disaster.

Yours hopefully,

Pete x

Bill Carrigan wrote 1067 days ago

Zan, as one of the authors who admired and backed your extraordinary "The Somnambulist," I'm writing to ask you to read my revised "The Doctor of Summitville" and, if you find it publishable, to kindly give it some shelf time. While most reviews have been highly complimentary, backing has lagged. --All the best, Bill

PCreturned wrote 1078 days ago

Thank you v much for getting back to me. :)

Now I just need to pray you'll think my humble book's good enough for your shelf when you peek at it. There are heavy spammers behind me in the charts who are gaining backings worryingly fast :(. I think I'll need all the support I can gather to stay in the top 5.

Thanks again :)

Pete x

ps thanks too for the offer of emergency help if I really start sliding. You could be a real lifesaver. :)

PCreturned wrote 1080 days ago

Hi Zan,

I just spotted this book. The unusual title caught my eye, and the description sounded interesting, so here I am to read and comment. :)

I'll comment as I read since I find that the easiest way to keep track.

(Sorry in advance for any typos, but my keyboard’s a bit knackered :()

Chapter 1:

Wow dramatic start. What's the boy running from? A demon, it seems. I can really feel his terror. And why are bystanders cheering on the pursuer? Weird. Something v odd is going on here, I think. It's as if the entire world hates the boy. Uh oh, the boy falls. Nirhan's right there, raising his sword. Will this be the end for the boy? ...

Phew his father wakes him up. It was all a dream. I'm relieved. This would have been a v short story otherwise ;). I wonder if there's a reason the boy's having these terrifying recurring nightmares, though. Was he traumatised by a past experience? Are the dreams his subconscious interpretation of some current situation? Or do the dreams have some mystical meaning? Fascinating. And who/what's this Maboya? There are so many intriguing questions here. I have to read on ;) ...

Ahhhh I see. The Maboya's a sort of guardian spirit. A voice in his head. Does it really exist? Or is the boy crazy? Who can say? All I so know so far is that nightmare seemed oddly strange and vivid. I suspect there's more going on than just random bad dreams ;). Aha it seems there may indeed be some substance to these spirits. The boy's seen many others apparently talking to them.

Interesting musings from the boy about Maboyas and his cultural/spiritual heritage. I guess the Maboya's really are no crazier than any other culture’s stories/superstitions. We all grow up around such things, in a sense. I like the way the boy also thinks in scientific terms at 1 point. The contrast of the modern science and the ancient superstition is fascinating to me. Ah and the Maboyas seem there to ultimately protect and prepare the spirit rather than the physical. What will happen if the boy's life is threatened, though?

Hmmm no wonder the boy's reluctant to bring up his nightmares with his people. What would they make of such dark dreams? Maybe they'd see him as evil/corrupted. Worrying. Will his people disown him if they ever find out?

Beautiful calming song, by the way. I can almost feel it soothe his spirit as he sings it.

The father's impatient, though. Grrr why can't he let the boy rest? :(

Oh when he goes out and covers himself from the cold with rice sacks, I really get a taste for this family's poverty. I suddenly pity the boy. Childhood should be a carefree time, but his life must be so hard :(. I was shocked to learn his best friend was Nirhan, the chaser from the dream. How strange that his friend should take such a dream form. Is the dream a hint of conflict to come?

Hmmm interesting that his Maboya seems to contact him in songs/poems. Does it take the form of a sort of muse? Is the Maboya just the boy's creativity at work after all?

I was surprised the boy's content milking the cows. Most kids his age would be impatient and greedy, always wanting more, wanting to escape. He must be an unusually stable and rooted sort. He seems more or less content. Ah but then we learn he does want to travel after all. Good for him. I'm glad to see there's a bit of a spark in him.

Oh the memory from when he was 7 was unpleasant. Children can be remarkably cruel, can't they? No wonder he still remembers the incident. Who could ever forget such a thing? I really do sympathise with him now. He's so young, and yet he's had a v tough life in so many ways.

Back in the shack, his father seems kind, even if he may be a bit of a drunk. The chocolate drink clearly shows he loves his boy. + he's willing to take his boy hunting for crabs even though he may be in a bit of a delicate condition this day. ;)

Awkward scene when get to Nirhan's. His friend obviously can tell something's up. Not good. He's probably wondering at the reason for this strange distance. It could cause a rift in their friendship. Good to see on the drive the boys still get on OK for now, though. The fact they play dominoes shows that v well.

The glimpse of the life afforded by the Europeans made me v sad and angry. It really hammered home how grossly unfair the boy's life is. I'm amazed he doesn't seem more bitter. if I lived as he lived and saw those towering buildings whenever I went along that road I think I'd hate the Europeans. :(

The scene where they catch the crabs at the end of the chapter is v sweet and warming. I smiled when I read it. Good to see there is happiness in the boy's life. :)

Oops I just saw how long this comment's getting. I guess I better stop before it grows to a ridiculous size. I'll sum up now, and then shut up. :)

I think you have a lovely story here, where the language flows like a rippling stream. The words from the Maboya are so beautiful and strange, hovering on the edge of meaning. Tantalising. And the boy is such a sympathetic character. I feel so sorry for him, and want to see him succeed in his life. I fear for him because of the nightmares. Will he ever find a way to stop them? Do they hint at some terrible thing coming in his future? What will happen if his people ever find out he suffers from the nightmares?
Any reader will almost be compelled to read on and find out what new developments your story has in store. ;)

I've rated your book with 6 stars. I think it’s a wonderful piece, and I hope you sell many thousands of copies. :)

Best of luck,

Pete

ps Shock news: my book, A Memory of Blood, just reached no. 2 in the rankings! Scary. :) Is there any chance you’d be willing to put me on your shelf just for this month? May will be the last month I'm racing. Win or lose, I'll stop racing in June.

Yours hopefully,

Pete

ps If you're able to keep me on your shelf until the end of the month, your tsr should get a good boost when I hit the desk.

pps sorry for begging you in your comment section, but I noticed your message section's locked. :(









Jay Adiyarath wrote 1092 days ago

Hi Zan,

This is my second Caribbean read on this site and certainly the better one. There is always intrigue and mystery surrounding such tales and the pleasure is always the readers'. For Indians like me who are used to superstition and the occult, it is doubly delightful because of our strong links with the West Indies.
needless to say I have starred it highly and backed it.
Hope to see the book in print soon.

Jay Adiyarath
EXPIRY DATE

Fred Le Grand wrote 1097 days ago

I have nothing to add to what Greeneyes has written.
Your imagination and talent seem boundless, secure and compelling!
Great stuff,
Backed several times (only one counts!).

homewriter wrote 1119 days ago

Dear Zan, we commented and backed each other many months ago. Would you like to repeat the exercise? (I'm sorry to use the comments page but I could think of no other way of messaging you. I hope you are not angry with me!) Best wishes, Gordon - The Harpist of Madrid

Doug Thurston wrote 1153 days ago

Hi there Zan,
As a thank you for backing my book, I'm finally getting around to reading "The Somnambulist"- something I've been planning to do for a while now, anyways.
Two brief asides (it seems you don't take messages): You've picked a good time to read VOODOO INFERNO as it starts out during Mardi Gras (if memory serves, the Trini Carnival is at the same time of year?). I think you'll recognize some similarities as I've plumbed Haitian culture and mythology for my book, though the nature of my nightmare is of a considerably more graphic and horrific bent.
Second aside. That's an incredible amount of books you've turned out- you could fill a whole bookshelf by yourself! I'm looking forward to reading each in its turn after "The Somnambulist"- each seems equally intriguing and, if there is justice in this world, they will all soon be seeing the publisher's desk. P.S. your art is amazing too!
Now to your book. I've read the first three chapter and can add little to Mary's wonderfully astute and very literate comments. Your writing definitelty conveys the sense of an oral folktale and the interspersion of your beautiful poetry adds to the innocent, sing-song quality of your style. I get the feeling the boy from Trinidad and the girl from Cambridge will be meeting up shortly (I noticed you've gone out of your way so far to not give them names... hmm).
Can't wait to see what happens next.
Very truely yours,
Doug Thuston

Darkwinglord wrote 1179 days ago

Sorry, Zan, even though I have your book on my BS, I see I failed to comment. :(

I like the rich feel you have engendered here; I can TASTE your MC through solid characterisation and good development of your setting. I thought perhaps the narrative was a little lengthy and could be broken up with more dialogue... or condensed here, (opening chapter), and developed further into the story. At first I was a little put off with the poetry - I thought maybe it could have kicked in later, and with more impact - but then I realised it was a device; a tool in which you use as communication with the Maboya. Clever and original!

There's a lyrical cadence to your writing, enhanced by those exquiste drops of poetry, and it marches to the beat of the Carribean, (I hear the waves, smell the salt... and can feel the squelch of sand). Then there's this refreshing shift to milking the cows! Love it!

Explaining one's dreams is hard enough, writing about them is entirely a different ordeal. The comparison between the dreams of the boy and the girl gives a mystical twist to the story and creates more questions than answers.

I think you have a tapestry here. You've woven a picturesque story onto a piece of the finest cloth bordered with gold piping. Very nice!

All the best with this, Zan. No wonder I still have it on my BS ~ deserves to be there.

Warm Regards
Andrew

Jim Darcy wrote 1186 days ago

Thanks, Zan, but I'm not holding my breath. Looking at the kind of books they have picked up they are all of a muchness, being 'true' life and travel - Miranda excepted of course. I could flog TFC as a true life travel story and change it to first person POV but I don't think it would fool them! :D

Jim Darcy wrote 1187 days ago

Thank you! :D
This is, and remains, a favourite :)

Jim Darcy wrote 1194 days ago

Thanks, Zan, I'd appreciate it! :)

Darkwinglord wrote 1200 days ago

Have sheved it so I can read it at luxury, Zan. Tried to leave a message but you're hardwired for now. :) Thank you though, much appreciated. Will comment soon.

Andrew

Good for Her wrote 1202 days ago

As you know, I'm a supporter from some time ago. (GOOD FOR HIM). I'm backing you on this and hope you continue to do well. Rosalind
A FEAST OF TALES do take a look.

RobertO'Brien wrote 1215 days ago

Zan,

First off, thank you so much for leaving a comment on my book a few months back! I think it's the only one on there that's not just a generic comment by people who obviously didn't read it.

That said, here's my honest input:
When I read the first chapter, I was wondering why this was ranked so high. There were run-on sentences, the paragraphs were repetitive and I got little out of the boy's personality. It was just difficult and cumbersome to read. But as I started reading the last parts of the first chapter and the second chapter, I started warming up. Mostly because it seems that you started focusing more on the genuine emotions of the boy and girl and their experiences (like hunting for crabs) rather than a long, somewhat confusing exposition on Myobas and other spiritual aspects. Overall, the book started getting simpler, which I appreciated.

And when I say simple, I don't mean dumb-downed. I mean you were getting your point across without going overboard, if that makes any sense. And your premise is interesting, which is good. I really like it and the contrast between the boy and girl (so far I've only read the first two chapters, but I like the way it's shaping up). And just because I thought the discussion on the more spiritual aspects of the story were tiresome (at first, anyway) doesn't mean I dislike those ideas either. It was mostly your writing style that put me off.

As for the poetry, I really can't comment. It's definitely a unique idea, but I don't want to just claim "ooh, you're mixing poetry in your writing. That's so cool!" Really, it depends on how good the poetry is itself and I don't have the background to give honest feedback on the quality of the poems. If you know anyone who you respect as a poet, I would ask them. I will, however, say to maybe not overuse it as a narrative device too much. It is a unique part of your story so once you set it up, as you have in the first chapters, save the poems for later when you can really use them to make an impact. I hope that makes sense.

Sorry if it seems like I'm giving too much negative feedback. Your story is pretty good so far, but it doesn't help for me to leave a review that's all praise. Especially when you're tackling a story about dreams, which is a really overused plot in fiction. It's not inherently bad to use it, but you have to be on your A-game to really set yourself apart from all the other writers who write about dreams and how they affect people.

I'll try to read more when I can. Happy writing and best of luck!

Jennie Lyne Hiott wrote 1220 days ago

Dear Zan,
I read the first chapter of your book and I found it entertaining and well written. You truly capture your characters feelings. Adding to my watchlist and giving high star rating.

Good Luck,

Jennie Lyne Hiott

Hearts and Lies
Beautiful Disaster

mccaul wrote 1220 days ago

Chilling idea.... I am afraid to read as I am a dreamer (and a nightmarer) but will do...

Bill Carrigan wrote 1223 days ago

Dear Zan, Had to get a message to you somehow. Many thanks for backing "The Doctor of Summitville." It seems to be sinking under the new system, but maybe you'll change my luck. Best wishes for "The Somnambulist" (which I backed on 12/03) and a Merry Christmas! --Bill

J.S.Watts wrote 1228 days ago

A dramatic opening of a mythic tale. Distinctive and unusual subject matter, lyrically told.

One minor nit - in the first chapter the paragraph referring to how other cultures interpret the old tales read, to me, a bit like an academic lecture than the flow of a fictional tale. It didn't quite fit in with the surrounding paragraphs to my ear.

J.S.Watts
A DARKER MOON

Lorne F. Thompson wrote 1231 days ago

Hi Zan:

Thank you for your explanation. Perhaps you could back another book and see if it takes place. I know i

Tom Balderston wrote 1233 days ago

Captivating. Backed. 5 stars
Tom Balderston
The Wonder of Terra

Karen Carr wrote 1235 days ago

zan, you're on my shelf, will comment more when I have time.

PATRICK BARRETT wrote 1236 days ago

I came back to read more and rate you under the new 'Star-system'. I still find this to be an intriguing blend of imagination and folk-lore. Paula Barrett (Cuthbert-how mean is my valley)

Lorne F. Thompson wrote 1236 days ago

Hi Zan:

I backed your SOM... WITH SIX STARS. I didn't have to delve too far into it to see that both of your books have literary value. Your writing is superb. They are enjoyable and interesting with good flow, structure, suspense, imagination, and aesthetic appeal. Good diction and clarity of expression is present.

Incidentally, I judge the merits of a work from the point of view of a retired English teacher. I have about 15 literary terms by which I gage a work. But I don't use them all on a particular work. If an author doesn't understand what I mean, I recommend he or she purchase a book of literary terms from a university bookstore -- in the English and Literature section.

I hope you much success with your writing.

By the way, would you mind viewing another book of mine (your choice) to back?

Have a great day.

Lorne

M S Fletcher wrote 1238 days ago

Zan, thanks for the comments and the details of the typos I will get back and correct these. I too enjoyed your first 4 chapters of The Somnabulist. I found it intriguing how you described the boy without revealing his name up until I think Chapter 3. His name is Beta right? Or is this the womans own pet name for him and others with his gift. I love the way you have woven poetry into what the Maboya is telling him each time and this adds further intrigue and mystery to the following own chapters. I myself am a poet so I can relate to the verses with envy. But just when I get used to the boy having a gift I discover on a follow on chapter that there is a girl in Oxford that has the same gift and the same dreading of being hacked to pieces by a loved one. This is a great twist as it brings in two different environments. As I wrote earlier the mixture of charactors makes it hard to stop reading. I sense there will be some tension and perhaps the foreseeing of the prophecy between Nirhan and the boy. I am guessing that the battle between them which was forwarned will be over Deya, Nirhans love of his life. But I will happily read on to see if this is correct. The UK girl intrigues me more and I wonder if she and the boy are destined to meet. All in this is a bloody good, full of interest and information read. Well done.

M S Fletcher wrote 1238 days ago

Sorry I did mean that I would just back it cause you backed mine, I just started reading chapter one and found this hard to put down in a hyperthetical way, cause i am stitting at a computer afterall. I think you will enjoy my book DFYL as there are a few dream sequences in there when the main protaganist returns back from the beyond and astro transfers back to him body. I think I will put these chapters in as I feel there could be some writers out there such as yourself who actually read full chapters. This story you have written has an almost magical quality to it. Now if you'll ecuse I have to get back to The Somnabulist. When I am finished I will offer you a fair crtique, but based on what I have read so far it is going to be hard to do.

M S Fletcher wrote 1238 days ago

Hi Zan, thanks for the great feedback. Yes it was a rant that I though I should delete as it was more a gripe about how the system allows a type of alliance to push books up the list. Thanks for taking time to review DFYL. I will reciprocate with yours.

Sandrine wrote 1241 days ago

Sorry, noticed the no more friend requests too late - I just wanted to drop you a message saying thanks :)

Laith Doory wrote 1242 days ago

You have a great writing talent. Hope to take more time reading this when I have time. Love the poetry and the general sense of the spiritual. Love the way you bring alive the culture of the Amerindians.

Hope not to appear too pedantic, but just a few minor points:-

I found the first sentence a bit awkward, the way it is structured to emphasise the 'sand ground into the pads of the boys feet' rather than the central figure of the boy. Might read better: 'The boy bounded frantically along the beach, the sand grinding into his feet . . .' or something of the sort.

'He gasped for breath. Could hear his heart pounding in his chest, feel his lungs swelling.' Lack of consistency here in use of punctuation. Might read better:

'He gasped for breath, could hear his heart pounding in his chest, feel his lungs swelling.'

or 'He gasped for breath. He could hear his heart pounding in his chest, feel his lungs swelling.'

There were a few other grammatical mistakes that detracted from the beauty of the writing, but nothing that wouldn't be picked up by a good editor.

I find a good practice to bring the work up to 200% actual size while editing and the mistakes tend to jump out like sore thumbs.

Hope this has been of some help.

Laith

Laith Doory wrote 1242 days ago

You have a great writing talent. Hope to take more time reading this when I have time. Love the poetry and the general sense of the spiritual. Love the way you bring alive the culture of the Amerindians.

Hope not to appear too pedantic, but just a few minor points:-

I found the first sentence a bit awkward, the way it is structured to emphasise the 'sand ground into the pads of the boys feet' rather than the central figure of the boy. Might read better: 'The boy bounded frantically along the beach, the sand grinding into his feet . . .' or something of the sort.

'He gasped for breath. Could hear his heart pounding in his chest, feel his lungs swelling.' Lack of consistency here in use of punctuation. Might read better:

'He gasped for breath, could hear his heart pounding in his chest, feel his lungs swelling.'

or 'He gasped for breath. He could hear his heart pounding in his chest, feel his lungs swelling.'

There were a few other grammatical mistakes that detracted from the beauty of the writing, but nothing that wouldn't be picked up by a good editor.

I find a good practice to bring the work up to 200% actual size while editing and the mistakes tend to jump out like sore thumbs.

Hope this has been of some help.

Laith

Eunice Attwood wrote 1243 days ago

Thanks Zan. I hope your great book does really well. Eunice.

Jim Darcy wrote 1246 days ago

Thanks for trying :)