Hey all! Alice B. Tolas here. Just Kidding. It’s really, me, Michael G. Maxwell turning in an over due book report for my book journal, “Alice. B Toklas” inspired by writer Jules Archer – http://julesjustwrite.com/
I mentioned in an earlier post, that novels demand a singular sort of attention from my feeble, ADD-addled brain. Kidding about the ADD part. I think. Anyway – really more a case of a lack of discipline on my part. But it DID happen. I picked up a novel that immediately took me off the path of reading several books of Flash Fiction and Poetry. I peeked at a book my wife had recently finished, read the liner notes and a couple of pages and I was hooked. I careened off the path upon upon which I had been traveling so comfortably, and steered off onto an uncharted course across the hinterlands.
The book is Aleph by Paulo Coelho. As a practicing Caustic, Mystic, Gnostic, I’m relatively certain that Mr. Coelho wrote this book specifically for me. It’s the story of a soul journey across dimensions and an epic voyage across space and time on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, from Moscow to Vladisvostok. (I know what you’re thinking. It sounds like that Seinfeld episode about an erotic movie named “Rochelle Rochelle – A Young Girl’s Strange, Erotic Journey from Milan to Minsk.” Well, maybe it might be a little bit like that. There are some erotic interludes and a few nipply moments. But titillating as that may be, it is mainly about the spiritual journey we each take to fulfill our own personal destiny, sacred life contract, and take care of karma, practice dharma and find excuses to weave the phrase “Shama Lama Ding Dong” into conversation.
Anyway, it is a totally engaging book. It draws you into the lives of modern day pilgrims who are on epic journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad and on the path to self realization. There’s plenty of sexual tension, internal and external landscape, philosophy, existential angst, spiritual quest, steel wheels clacking on rails, vodka and Siberian shamans to keep the pages turning and to provoke thought, raise questions and inspire self examination. It’s about getting in the flow, living in the vortex and allowing Qi to flow through you, and being in the Aleph, where all things, past, present and future, are happening simultaneously, all at once, in the web of time and parallel dimensions and possible realities. Oh yeah- there’s a shit load of past life regression, and some very intense flashbacks to the Spanish Inquisition that gave me a profound and lasting case of the Willies. Seriously. But at least there’s vodka to keep me grounded. In the book, that is.
It’s a good book and it’s stayed with me long after finishing it. By the way, the language is beautiful, and that’s after being translated from Portuguese. I can only imagine that it is even richer in the mother tongue. I recommend it. Not necessarily learning Portuguese, but reading the book.