Friday, 8 November 2013

My thoughts on Story Tellers - In Pursuit of Happiness

Story Tellers- In Pursuit of Happiness 
by Thomas Jerome Baker

This was an interesting novel in that it made me curious about which age group the story was targeted to though there is no reference that I could discern. There’s an innocence about it which makes it seem more relevant to a younger readership, yet the story itself does cover material that is for a universal age group – that of the greed of man in particular. As explained in the blurb, the novel is an amalgam of many older stories, garnered from traditional fairy stories and religious texts. Some parts of this traditional mixing I felt worked very well – certainly a very novel way of approaching that over the rainbow concept.  The game of the leprechauns plunged the story out of antiquity and into the modern realm – which I found both endearing and humorous. The very well executed writing has a lyrical quality that would appeal, I think, to many young listeners as well as young readers. As an ex- teacher of 11-12year olds, I think kids of that age group would enjoy using this book as a ‘paired reader’ with younger children in their school. By that age, the older ones should be able to explain the sources pretty well. Very enjoyable reading. 

Stones & bones are part of our oral tradition. We find stones & bones in folktales, mythology, and religion. What people like about the oral tradition is the ability to change the story, each time you tell it.
The result is unique and entertaining. You recognise the story, but it’s different, unlike anything you have ever heard before. It’s like going into the kitchen on the day after Thanksgiving. You get a meal by making some unusual combinations: a pinch of salt here, a bit of sugar there.

I have taken stones and bones, stories and myths, folklore and tradition, a bit of religion, a pinch of love, a bit of travel, mixed it all up with an incredible long distance romance and built it up around a dynamic protagonist who you will either love to hate, or hate to love...

For dessert (yes, you get dessert too), there is also birth, rebirth, a battle for immortality and ultimate power to rule the world. It all comes down to the choices that an unlikely hero will have to make about who to trust, and who not to trust.

Finally, this book is dedicated to you, the reader. I hope you enjoy your story. These stones & bones, I humbly offer for your reading pleasure. Enjoy... Story Tellers have always told the stories of man's pursuit of love, gold, power, and ultimately, happiness. In this book we meet a mythical storyteller, Solomon, his wife Lanisha, and his son David. Through their stories we follow the earliest fortunes and misfortunes of man's attempt to achieve tremendous wealth, power and happiness. It is a story which will leave you wiser about the true meaning of true redemptive love, success, and joy...


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