A novel of ideas about depression, death and resurrection.
Reno Antonin, a middle-aged man, is rapidly falling into a deep depression ignited by a series of medical crises and fueled by the repressed memory of a dark event that happened decades before. When psychotherapy fails him, he searches for other means to resolve his problem. Finally, he meets a strange group of people who offer him an unorthodox solution.
The more times he's been anesthetized for his surgeries, the more he's convinced that he has an idea of what death might be like.
But if death were like what a lot of people believe, that some form of their consciousness lives on forever, he'd be damned afraid of dying.
"Shame on you. Those 'spirits' are manifestations of your imagination, churned up by some conflict in your subconscious."
"Important clues are buried under protective layers, shadows, built up by your conscious and subconscious mind."
"I agree. A total loss of consciousness simulates death."
"When you awake, your consciousness is recreated, reborn from nothing. You won't be the same; your old consciousness is 'dead.'"
|Publisher:||Outskirts Press, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)|
About the Author
I studied at Johns Hopkins and earned my PhD. at Cornell. My chosen profession allows me the privilege of living and working in a number of countries in South America, Africa, and the Middle East where I got to know some of the local people and their culture. I usually felt that I was helping people, but all was not perfect, however. There were some trying times when I felt like scrapping everything and going back to the safety and comfort of my own country. As I've gotten older, like most people, I wonder what the end of life might bring. My second book, Lazarus in the Labyrinth, attempts to deal with this most important of all human issues as a novel of ideas about religion, death and resurrection. I'm now retired and lead a quiet life in Ithaca, New York with a partner, a dog and a beautiful garden. TR Hanes
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite Reno Antonin and Blaise Berrington have been lovers and partners for twenty years. They have a perfect life together as they own a beautiful home with lovely gardens and a loving dog, part golden retriever and part Samoyed, named Zulie. Reno has always been the super athlete and now with Blaise's encouragement he is a college professor while Bliase continues with his career as a doctor, administering anesthetics in hundreds of operations over the years. But then Reno runs into a tree by accident while skiing and his leg is broken and injures his lower spinal cord. Falling and breaking his hip has meant hip-replacement surgery for Reno and he is stuck at home, dealing with physical therapy and his sister's recommendation of psychotherapy. Reno feels that Blaise is faced with too much: he works full time and then has to come home to care for Reno. Will psychotherapy really help Reno and Blaise or will it uncover too many past problems? "Lazarus in the Labyrinth" is a well-written, well-edited novel that deals with tough issues that all relationships face. Reno and Blaise, Reno's sister Dahlia and her husband, and all the other characters in this story are believable and help the reader to conclude that life is always changing. The reader will be impressed with the plot as it moves to its conclusion, leaving room for thought about death and endings and whether past issues should just stay in the past. "Lazarus in the Labyrinth" is not just a book about a gay couple, it is a book about life's twists and turns. Thoughtful readers will adore this novel.
Lazarus in the Labyrinth looks at the many-faceted question “how do I go on”–in the face of depression, in the face of aging and infirmity, in the face of doubt, with the burdens of my past, in the face of an insecure and unknowable future. Reno and his partner Blaise have these questions thrust on them after Reno faces down several medical crises that leave him depressed and anxious about the future. The spiral of depression begins to sink Reno and leave his partner, Blaise, at a loss as to how to help Reno out of the pit into which he has descended. Estranged from organized religion and disillusioned by modern psychiatry, the pair go looking for salvation in a group that performs rituals of death and rebirth crafted after the ancient Greek ceremonies performed by the cult of Demeter and Persephone at Eleusis. What follows for the pair is transformative, but not necessarily in the ways they believed it would be and when the law of unintended consequences steps into the picture, the tidy ending winds up being wildly out of control.
Lazarus in the Labyrinth by TR Hanes is the best psychological fiction I had came across up till now. The story revolves around Reno Antonin, a professor and a successful athlete who finds himself struggling with deep depression due to his physical injuries and mental trauma caused by an unfortunate event in the past. In an attempt to rise above this crisis he seeks help form his sister, who is a psychotherapist. But psychology fails to cure his wounds. Instead of following religion blindly as most people do, Reno decides against it and ascertain a new way to cure his trouble. He realizes that when he was under the influence of anesthesia, he had no consciousness, no feelings and no fear. He concludes his anesthetized form as death with no afterlife and no fear, just a void. To advance his discovery he meets members of a secret society who performs their own death drama based on Greek Eleusinian ceremonies. Reno realizes that after going through these ceremonies when one resurrects, he is free from any guilt and pain as the life and consciousness that contained it is cease to exist. The author strikes at the very nerve of egoistic men who proclaims the existence of Heaven and Hell. Death means a vacuum, so there cannot be an afterlife keeping an account of the rights and wrongs done with a conscious which doesn’t subsist in oblivion. Keeping the narration simple and the story flow still stimulating, author has successfully described the mental stature of his protagonist and challenged the Religion on the fear it has injected in mind of the people (in the most respectable way). Read this book to get a new definition of Death and Rebirth and to understand the complexities of human mind.
This is a strong, troubling, ultimately affirming novel about serious spiritual and ethical issues that most people usually avoid with the sentimental, hopeful illusions propagated by organized religion. In direct, vivid description, the author presents two central characters, an educated, active, athletic male couple, who are dealing with aging, physical injury, and impending mortality, and who confront the fact that there is no evidence that death means anything more than the complete dissolution of individual consciousness. The characters challenge and refute the pervasive religious fantasies that most find so comforting because they promise the continuation of individual identity in an "afterlife." Instead, accepting that death extinguishes the individual, and that loss of consciousness through anesthesia anticipates this dissolution of the self, they explore the prospect of using anesthesia and drama to create a new form of therapeutic, transformative ritual, modeled partly on the mysterious ancient Greek ceremonies in the cult of Demeter and Persephone at Eleusis, that can take one through a profound experience of suffering, death, and rebirth, confronting and overcoming the pains and regrets of one's earlier life. I highly recommend it to all who are skeptical about the easy answers about life and death that the majority in our society tell us to accept. Lazarus in the Labyrinth speaks directly about thoughts and feelings that trouble any intelligent, sensitive person who has the courage not to go along with the herd who comfort themselves with the fantasy that their egos will live on forever in Heaven, to laugh at this self-centered delusion for the infantile nonsense that it is and to look for a more creative way, within one's life, to embrace the fact of mortality. It's a book for people who lie awake at night and think.