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'I sat down, cleared my mind, and 'The Far Out Café' blew it apart. It's a really great story and it's told in such a surreal way, it messes with your head so much, delightfully so, but what really caught me is the sense of magic and mysticism that is woven into the story. A huge story that has roots in an even greater and deeper meaning. The spiritual clashed against the brutality of men is incredibly powerful. Good to fi nally be challenged by a modern book that gives the mind a great workout. In fi lm terms, very Stanley Kubrick'
- David Popescu - Hooligan Filmworks, Canada
Posted September 3, 2012
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Daniel was a soldier in the Vietnam war. Once he is shipped to Vietnam he learns that the War isn't anything like the people back home believe. It's a mission with no real reason or cause. Men sent to their death more than Daniel had ever dreamed. Scared but following orders, Daniel ends up on an island. He's not sure where he is or why he is there. The soldiers practice of taking the dog tags of fallen soldiers as their own or to keep in reserve, confuses the enemy but it can also cause issues for the soldier wearing them. Kill or be killed is the mentality of these men. Daniel, however, has the misfortune of being found on the island by the enemy. They torture him in unimaginable ways to gain information. One is his name. They don't believe the dog tags, even though the name is Daniel. They aren't his, but the first name is the same. Eventually Daniel ends up with one of the women of the island and must deal with the demons that come to those who face war head-on.
As a person with numerous family members having fought in numerous wars, I've seen what the demons can do to their mind. This is a very accurate portrayal of those demons. The descriptions of the war, the way the soldiers act and react and what they must contend with after are all extremely graphic and accurate. I base those statements on stories told by family members over the years and living with a Vietnam Vet who hid the fact until found out. The character, Daniel is more the every soldier. He begins his tour with high hopes and thoughts of making a difference, and ends them just wanting to survive and get home. I found this book to be compelling reading. Though graphic, you'll want to keep reading until you have the answers to all your questions and there will be questions. This is one to be put in the TBR pile near the top.
I didn't find issues with this one.
I gave this one 5 books out of 5 because it gave truth and life to a War forgotten.
Copy of book provided by author in exchange for a fair review~
Posted July 11, 2012
Although the action-packed storyline is intriguing, The Far Out Café is an ordeal to read because of its sloppy editing and underdeveloped character arc. The editing problems include frequent spelling and punctuation errors, as well as poorly-orchestrated POV and tense shifts, which detract from the tone of the book. Besides the use of stereotypical characters (including an island girl with a heart of gold and mean, cackling, larger-than-life Soviet soldiers), this book falls flat in characterization because readers don't really know Daniel, the lead, until after the pivotal moment that changed him, making it difficult to follow his character arc and understand just how much he changed as a person. Also, his religious ramblings during the war seemed out of place because readers don't know much of his spiritual journey at that point in the book.
On a more upbeat note, supporting characters Robot and Angel are interesting and well-written. The action scenes are thrilling, and the opening chapter had me hooked on page one. The plot is engaging, full of twists and turns, and there were very few dull moments for the reader. With some serious editing, The Far Out Café would make a very readable novel. In its current state, however, this book reads like a rough draft.