TROUBLE ON THE TENTH FLOOR

Book Review: EYRIE by TIM WINTON This is a splendid novel. The story is focussed on the life of a burnt-out, incapacitated, environmentalist, Keely. He has fallen into political disgrace, untrustworthy, cast aside, defiled, and divorced. He feels old and defeated, living on the tenth floor of a run-down high-rise building near the Fremantle wharves. He is existing from day to day, drinking his life away, swallowing an assortment of prescription drugs, just waiting for the end. One day he meets a woman, Gemma, who lives on the same 10th floor with a six-year-old boy. She recognises him from an earlier time, when they were both children living in Blackboy Crescent, neighbours in another life. Gemma, now in her early forties, is brash, street-hard, tough-talking, and busy minding her six-year-old grandson — while her daughter is in prison for drug crimes. The child is strange, intelligent, and knowing far beyond his years, but takes a shine to Keely. The child troubles Keely when he sees him carelessly playing on the 10th floor balcony, climbing onto the railing, the grandmother unperturbed. The three of them make a barely-functioning alliance. Keely thinks the boy might have autism or Asperger’s syndrome. There’s something… Continue reading

INTUITION: Keys to Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom, by Paul Fenton-Smith

Not everyone will believe in the subject matter of this book. But those who are open to ideas will find much they can learn. This book covers around forty different topics which are associated with intuition, for example: techniques to centre yourself, psychic protection, seeing auras, clairvoyance, and telepathy. Fenton-Smith keeps a level-headed approach, unlike some of the more popular psychic books. Intuition requires an enquiring mind, that can weigh and consider ideas without immediately accepting or rejecting them. That doesn’t mean everything should be accepted as factual or realistic. Only accept what fits with your inner thoughts after mental examination. Fenton-Smith writes: “The deeper purpose of psychic development is to develop the soul (the psyche) to a point where it can recognise all those viable avenues for nourishment and development. These may include meditation, prayer, gratitude, humility and unity with fellow travellers on the path. Well-developed spiritual reserves of energy are important when we are tested by dismal life circumstances. If we have plentiful reserves of spiritual energy we can rise above physical, emotional or intellectual frustrations.” One of the topics I found interesting was about the future. People often go to psychics wanting to know the future, as… Continue reading

Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan

This is not an easy book to understand or to review. It does not fit into any known genre, there is no mystery in the normal sense; while there are murders, we know who committed them. Is it a love story? Not at all, but the book blurb thinks so. It is an historical novel, but more of a surrealistic history of a penal settlement, overlaid with humour and irony. The story is told by a felon, Billy Gould who portrays himself as nothing more than a lying rascal, yet he reveals himself in his own words to be educated and moral. If you have read James Joyce’s Ulysses, then you might have something to compare this novel with, but few people have actually read Ulysses, (apart from the final section) so there is not much help there. But if you have, then there are definite similarities in the word play, the metaphors, the allusions, the irony. Gould’s Book of Fish — should you read it — will probably be the most bizarre book you will read in the next 10 years. Is it worthwhile you ask. Yes, it is worth the effort, because it is an interesting, unusual, poetic,… Continue reading

The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

book, tipping point

This book is about contagion, how an idea, a product, a book, song, movie, or a phone can suddenly become the item to have. What causes one product to succeed while another fails? The point where an item becomes an overnight success is the “tipping point”. Once you reach the tipping point there is no stopping the flood. It is like the flu virus, up till a certain point, the flu can be contained. Some people are getting over it, as others are coming down with it. That’s the balance point. But if there is a small increase in the number catching the flu, the tipping point is reached, and there is no stopping the contagion until it has burnt itself out. The Tipping Point is a non-fiction book about how that tipping point is achieved. What are the factors that cause one item to reach the tipping point, while a similar item will fail? For something to reach a tipping point it requires some special people: Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen. Connectors are people with a special gift for bringing people together — connecting them. Connectors know lots of people, but it is important that they are not all within… Continue reading