(A book review of “You Can’t Get Jack Out of This or the story of language whore)
By A.E. Pole
What makes your life worthwhile? Knowing some of you around here, it may be writing a story or reading a story; one of those stories that you can’t put down and then when you finish way too early, you are like why is it over so soon? For others, it may be falling in love, owning a home, raising children, traveling to some distant land, climbing a mountain, getting a promotion, seeing a child read for the first time, helping another person in some way that makes a difference in another person’s life. There are so many ways that we can find value and sense of self-worth in this world. Yet, there are people who falter; who aren’t sure what they should be doing with their life. People who find themselves feeling hollow, unfulfilled and anxious about the future and the world. They may even be in and out of jobs, in debt, unable to sustain some kind of success in this world, without love, companionship or family that care about them. What is it that you want from life?
I have personally asked that question. And, my main character in my recently published story, “You Can’t Get Jack Out of This or the Story of Language Whore,” Max, asks such a question. Maybe, it is because he is from a small town, and Max doesn’t believe that such fulfillment can be found in such a place. He desires the metaphysical “more,” whatever more is. But, he discovers, like many a searcher, though one might think that there must be “more” to life than this, this is the root of dissatisfaction, that both drives people to climb mountains and go mad all at the same time. Max thinks he is looking for paradise but he is unsure what exactly it is.
He travels far and wide and ends up as an English teacher in Asia. The farther he runs away from his previous life and the people that populated it, the more disconnected he feels from them, and they from him. Old friends and loves are replaced with new friends and loves. A new and strange life is formed. Yet, his old life, friends and loves, such as Ted, Pat and Claire keep searching for him and finding him out.
Max feels the world is tearing his relationships apart. Maybe, it was just his odd combination of laziness and restless ambition at first, but then it is war and politics at the home of his birth, and cultural conflict and corruption in his new found home in Asia – terrible forces that threaten his peace of mind and his relationships with friends and family.
Max seeks out answers in others, such as the Hindu-Pakastani plastic factory worker Sid. But, it is in his own diverse and personal experiences where Max finally finds some of the answers he is looking for. Max ultimately answers the question, “When the world is tearing us apart, how do we bring it all back together again?”
So, how about you? What makes your life fulfilled?
Do you think you can get Jack out of my debut novel? I hope you do.
Please feel free to leave a comment, start a discussion, here. Also, I know times are tough all over, and an e-book can seem like a luxury, but if you can spare the money, pick up a copy of my story. Read and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you. And, please support all the stories here at Damien Lee Hanson, Author Page. You can find a link with a whole catalog of diverse stories.