It is that time of year once again where my journey takes me through the sunrise. This morning the sky has been burning with the rays of sun against a few light clouds over misty fields. It is an inspiring view, even though it has that melancholic feeling of approaching autumn. It was a perfect backdrop to writing this Ebook review of “The Crack in the Ceiling”.
From the dust cover: “Located somewhere in the smoking collision of Alice in Wonderland and Jimmy Stewart’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” this novel is an odyssey of passionate self- and social- examination.
Disillusioned and despairing with life, the protagonist embarks upon a bizarre journey across the wildest realms of Imagination, steadily testing conventional Logic and Rationale against the relentlessly Absurd that seems no less familiar as a foundation for living. Desperately searching for clues to the meaning of human suffering, a range of strange creatures and characters guide the hero down a path towards awareness he does not always easily, nor comfortably, understand.
Both a celebration of personal mythology and a kind of turbo-charged fairy tale, this work is also rooted as a multi-faceted parable about the outrageous dilemmas of the human condition.”
My Ebook review: firstly, this book is wonderfully written. This book centers around a classical grand journey storyline and the book description is correct in linking similarity to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s famous works. Nothing is as it seems.
Generally, it seems to me, authors who attempt to write a work like this tend towards the overly flowery style and essentially run out of steam after the first couple of chapters leaving the main part of the journey to become a drudge. In contrast, Kelly has the imagination and the wit to carry the plot to its end with a consistent style. Indeed one could consider that the chapters work hard to surpass each other in absurdity as the challenges our protagonist faces become increasingly difficult.
It is not without its potential failings. The protagonist passes from chapter to chapter (or scene to scene) in sometimes quirky and relatively ill defined fashion. At one point it did worry me that the journey might be an infinite series only tending towards but never actually reaching a goal. I often feel that way in grand journey storylines; it is clearly a fine balancing act.
The whole book, though, is carried, lifted and indeed thrusted up towards brilliance by the underpinning themes. As one travels the journey we are reminded of the struggle of life, the balance in all things and the fact that ‘I am the Master of my fate: I am the Captain of my soul.’ “The Crack in the Ceiling” shares something with Henley’s Invictus, as it shares something with Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. It is an allegory at a deep level and transported me to my own Bodhi tree of contemplation.
Overall, this book does exactly what it sets out to do and perhaps a lot more.