Conversations Among Ruins

Conversations Among Ruins

by Matthew Peters

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details

Product Details

BN ID: 2940150421059
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press
Publication date: 08/13/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 172
File size: 232 KB

About the Author

Dual diagnosed* from an early age, Matthew Peters dropped out of high school at sixteen. He went on to obtain an A.A., a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. He has taught various courses in a variety of disciplines throughout North Carolina.
He is committed to increasing the awareness and understanding of the dual-diagnosed. Conversations Among Ruins is his first novel.
His second novel, The Brothers� Keepers, is available on

*The term �dual diagnosed� refers to someone who suffers from a mood disorder (e.g., depression) and chemical dependency.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Conversations Among Ruins 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
AZTracy More than 1 year ago
Great characters. A page-turner, too. I have family members who have struggled with mental illness and with addiction, but I, like anyone else who has not lived that situation from the inside, cannot really grasp what drives individuals to self-destruction. Of course, there's always the endless psychological analysis, but if THAT helped, then half an hour of talk therapy would reset the brain, and the stricken person would be set on a new and better journey. For the first time, I now understand at the gut level how it feels to be on the inside of that experience. This novel is a roller coaster ride, and I was clutching the grab bar all the way. The author begins the story at the moment when it seems that Daniel Stavros has hit rock bottom. The administration at his university is onto him. His only hope is to go into rehab and take it seriously. While there, he falls in love with a young woman who could be his redemption, or whose own demons could sink his already leaky ship. It is said that readers fall in love with characters who make mistakes. We don't judge them. We hope for the best. We hope they'll see the light. Even if Daniel Stavros is blind to what awaits him if he doesn't take the rehab biz seriously, we, like Jiminy Cricket, are perched on his shoulder, whispering urgently in his ear: "Don't tell a lie!" But, Daniel does, over and over, until finally, he has one last chance to save himself. Read this book. The next time some celeb gets in trouble for leaving rehab early, you'll understand why the hardest thing to face is yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
College professor Daniel Stavros is falling apart. Assailed by twin demons of alcoholism and mental illness, he has given up on everything except for, maybe, love. Like his protagonist, author Matthew Peters staggers from profane to poetic as he takes the reader on a journey that is at once painful, hopeful, horrific, and even mystical. By the end of this novel, you'll find yourself wondering what was real and what wasn't before realizing it just doesn't matter. Inspired by the deep tradition of magical realism, Peters merges past and present, truth and fiction, to weave a psychological portrait of a man desperately trying to save himself -- from himself.
DMDenton More than 1 year ago
Matthew Peters’ raw and yet lyrical novel, Conversations Among Ruins, centers on college professor, Daniel Stavros: a man of intellect, imagination and deep experience with a complicated capacity for love—qualities that have been thwarted and manipulated, leaving him unable to live healthily and productively. At war with himself and his personal and professional circumstances, he is caught in the muddy trenches of the past and cross-fire of the present; unlikely to survive let alone believe in and fight for a better future. Through—as the title suggests—a dialogue with all that haunts him, he enables and challenges his debilitating lifestyle and self-hatred in an emotional, psychological and spiritual journey through addiction, denial, obsession, regret and grief. Over and over he fails to make the most of opportunities to recover and renew and it seems he may never get off the rollercoaster ride of compulsive behavior that blurs his perception of where he is, has come from and is going. “There’s no worse cellmate than yourself.” For me, much of Conversations Among Ruins is about escape, especially from healing. This is not a read for the faint-hearted; but an important one that reaches out beyond Stavros’ story, speaking to addictions of all kinds that too often paralyze our emotions, talents and potential for peace and fulfillment. Unapologetically and hypnotically, the novel shows how Stavros’ masochistic sense of comfort and companionship in alcoholism, drug abuse and overall obsessiveness, erodes and excludes important human relationships; sabotages his career; separates him from the simpler pleasures, as with a beloved pet; and overall distorts his view of the truth and significance of his life. Mr. Peters’ writing is effortlessly prosaic and poetic—”The cramped psychiatrist’s office, near the nursing station.” “A banal, middle-aged man sits stiffly in a roller-chair behind a pressboard desk, eying Stavros like an interesting insect” … and one of my favorites … “he cries and bleeds until the stars come out, and then the darkness.” The novel presents a stark sometimes cold reality, but has heart and soul and even a mystical perspective. The ending is suspenseful, surprising and relieving, as Stavros unwillingly (at first) and fortuitously detours from his self-destructive path and begins to move through doors that open on new possibilities out of the old; encapsulated in an important message he receives that, hopefully, will allow him to heal after all.