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Fiction. Karen Heuler's new novel, JOURNEY TO BOM GOODY, takes us to the Amazon River where a retired electronics store owner conducts a "social experiment" by delivering VCRs and portable electric generators to increasingly isolated natives along the riverbank. The fantastical results are as telling about America's Entertainment-Tonight civilization as they are about native South Americans.
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.00(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Karen Heuler. Where does this writer find such strange stories in a mind that is so obviously rich in scientific data and investigative techniques? As her baseline of readership grows from her early terse short stories through her first fascinating novel THE SOFT ROOM to this most recent novel THE JOURNEY TO BOM GOODY the evidence mounts that here is a voice that will influence other fine contemporary writing that embraces intellectual challenges wrapped in eloquent, picturesque prose.THE JOURNEY TO BOM GOODY is a superb story on many levels: the obvious tale of a journey up the Amazon River into the rain forests that shroud 'primitive civilizations' rich in folklore and communication with nature in a lost Eden and the two 'invaders' who seek to find its secrets; an experiment from the mind of a older, disillusioned man who longs to study the impact on introducing the 'civilized world' via television shows to unbiased tabula rasa minds of natives that serves as a powerful treatise on the impact of our media blitz on the analogous minds of our own children in their fragile state; the greed and misplaced ignominy of ferreting out homeopathic/naturopathic herbal remedies from the shamans of the Amazon by a woman trapped in social stigma of an outside world contemporary female without the sensitivity that such visitations could easily expose 'pure natives' to 'civilized' diseases merely by her journey.Fold these underlying concepts into a novel that celebrates the creation of indelibly drawn characters in a setting that conjures the smells, botanical wonders, intemperate atmosphere, and the mysteries of the Amazon and the result is a completely fascinating JOURNEY to the elusive village of BOM GOODY. Forbes is an older gentleman, a widower who lost both beloved wife and son, a man who desires to do something of significance during his otherwise disillusioned lifetime and so he sets out on the Amazon River on a barge loaded with generators, television sets and video tapes (Superman, I Love Lucy, game shows, etc) to gather information on how exposure to American culture will affect the various villages of Amazon natives virgin to such information. He does not speak their language and is dependent on guides to translate. As he moves deeper into the Amazon jungles his guides lose interest in the magic project and desert Forbes for their own fascination with the tales of Amazon Women, warriors who live without men yet remain drawn to the sirens. Along the way Forbes suffers a near critical spider bite and is discovered by Tina, an 'ethnobotanist, botanochemist' who is on her own mission to recover the healing native drugs (including fertility and contraceptive herbs) once discovered by her deceased mentor Nicole Maxwell and lost to American drug companies by the incompetence and greed of Men. The two form an alliance: Tina speaks the Indian languages and Forbes does not, but their mutual companionship promises to benefit each other's scientific explorations. The manner in which these two interact with the various characters they meet on their missions speaks loudly about the differences between the XX and XY gene pools, the strife those bilateral inequities produce and affect each other's resultant impact on the Indians of the Amazon and the peeling away of both Forbes' and Tina's tethering shells.The fine line between science and magic is under scrutiny: 'We only say 'magic' when we don't know how something works yet. Once it gets explained, it's no longer magic. But it wasn't all along, was it? It was always explainable. Why should we lose interest when we know how it works? Isn't it even better then? Amazing how it works, wonderful that we figured it out.' And when children having seen Forbes' Superman videos paint their bodies with a large S and jump from trees to fly like the hero but instead fall and are injured, the stunned Forbes tells the parents he gave them the videos '..just so you would 'think' about it...I wanted your opi