And Other Things From This Time by Layne Ambrose
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I read this book in e-book format. This is a unsolicited review.
What I Loved:
Dark, raw, gritty, yet still somehow able to create a spot of hope in me. How? Layne puts it all out there, no apologies, just spilling it on the page for us to devour and grind between our teeth. He pulls out the dirty thoughts we have for ourselves, the self-doubt, the hopelessness, and flays it. The reader is forced to face the inner turmoil head-on or get run over.
Nearly everything I’ve read by the author hits me square between the ribs. I’ve often had so many of these very thoughts to the point I’m sometimes wondering if he has the ability to peer into souls. But it is this ability to display those grisly dark thoughts without shame that gives me hope. That he can create something so beautiful, so consistently, from, as he puts it “the darkness within my soul”…. Well, I am touched and I keep coming back for more.
I loved the poem Alive, But Slowly Dying, which read like a song in my mind. “And you can say – That I can take a lot of pain – Shot it into my veins – Don’t ever take my pain away – Your abuse it’s such a noose – It tightens around my neck – The pain gives me what I expect – Feeding my addiction I can – Feel it sicken – Slowly but surely I am – Turning page by page – Day by day – I am writing my own – Obituary” and so it starts, to which he builds and ends wonderfully.
What I Didn’t:
If I had anything to really say, it’s not that I didn’t like it, but more that there was no break at all. There are no “feel-good” moments. Any laugh is from cynicism not humor. As such, I had to read it in two stretches, because my mind needed a break.
My Overall Score:
4.5 stars – there were some misspellings but not enough to really pause the reading (1/4 star), I wanted a little break or two in there (1/4 star), even section headings would have given me a pause, at times I felt almost tied to the front of a train and a slowing or pausing (as I seemed unable to stop myself from hurtling down the tracks) would have been a good reprieve. It has a perfect cover for the content and the perfect size as well.
My Final Thoughts:
Recommended for those who like dark, gritty modern poetry that speaks directly to depression and self-loathing (which I like reading as I myself struggle with these issues).
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