Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: Flashes and Specks

Genre: Fiction
Title: Flashes and Specks
Author: Mark Pogodzinski

Complex! Unusual! Original! Maybe even lunatic!

This novel makes one suspend belief. It also holds the reader hostage: emotionally, psychologically and philosophically. Phew!

* Emotionally, because it’s an emotional roller-coaster ride. It gives a sense of normalcy, and yet at every corner, a dark and sad side makes you despair.
* Psychologically, because I am captivated by the author’s exploration of the psyche of his characters. They are ordinary people like you and me, going about the normal business of living, but in an out-of-control world.
* Philosophically, because at the end of each episode (not chapter), I have to stop to take a deep breath, and ponder over the many faceted expositions of the characters personal and relational issues. Not only that, but it is juxtaposed with world issues, including the end of the world! At the end of each episode, I ask myself, “Now what? What flashes or specks of a super hero’s life will I encounter next?”

The main character is Henry Kent, a grade 8 math teacher, who finds himself a confidante to his colleagues and students, who are filled with either raging or insane issues. His mentor has calculated the date for the end of the world and writes the formulas on his body. His wife disappears, re-appears and disappears again. (You have to read the book to find out if she will re-appear). He is father to a son who spends all his free time in their basement, building and moving his characters around a city, he builds using milk cartons and photographs he has taken from his daily life. No wonder Henry craves to be a comic book super hero to enable him to maintain control of his chaotic life!

The author, Mark Pogodzinski, is a high school teacher in Buffalo, New York. He has written comic books since he was eight and has had numerous short stories published. He has also won several writing awards. In this book he successfully weaves a fascinating tale and this is only his first published novel! Look out for more of his books; he is writing more!

This book is an excellent read for those who have the time to be intrigued or want to take the time to think and ask questions. It’s for people who want to weigh every word, incident and to question every issue in this book. This novel will satisfy their thirst for questions and answers, and make them want to ponder even more! Highly Recommended by Reviewer: Cecilia Lee, Allbooks Review International

Title: Flashes and Specks
Author: Mark Pogodzinski
Publisher: No Frills Press, Buffalo, New York
ISBN: 978-0-578-04711-9
Price: $12.95

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