Only The Impassioned
H. C. Turk
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Near the end of World War II, an American soldier in Germany (Andrew Bower) is mortally wounded. In his final moment, he experiences the glory of a beautiful life, if only in his dreams.
This is not a war story, despite its setting, but the story of a young person whose life is so miserable that he rejects misery in death. He enters an imagined living filled with adventures wherein family love and creative effort replace warfare. Ostensibly realistic, these metaphysical escapades are alternately hilarious and horrific, yet always lead away from anguish. His selflessness in this visionary realm leads him to understand that in the universe of humans, no light penetrates life more perfectly than peace, an achievement he could not find before dying.
Review by Diane Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review:
...ONLY THE IMPASSIONED is filled with harsh realities, carefully preserved dreams, and an ultimate path that leads Andrew away from despair and inhumanity. It offers hope in a world burdened by war and inhumanity, and offers the insights of people who are creators of alternate realities—as in a world where an inventor of working manikins envisions them as saviors offering their labors "in order to free humans to do more important things in life." Just what those things can be are explored in these engrossing metaphysical scenarios leading Andrew away from a world controlled by war and sadness.
ONLY THE IMPASSIONED offers poetic, vivid descriptions throughout: "Her hand lightly grasped a wad of fabric, which seemed part of him. Andrew then understood that he was covered with a sheet and the sky was a ceiling with lights beneath which Andrew and his squadron moved."
It draws the reader into both Andrew's real world of conflicts and his metaphysical world where conflicts are confronted and resolved. The different choices and roads which lead to peace are presented in a series of vignettes which flow from one scenario to another, yet offer familiar characters with Andrew as the focal point.
The end result is a carefully worded and detailed series of encounters that draw the reader in and provide vivid, fine insights into the process of recovery, reconciliation and ultimately peace.
5-Star Review by Grady Harp, Top Amazon Book Reviewer:
H. C. Turk’s writing style...is engrossing and fascinating and demands the reader be hyper alert to uses of words, metaphors, suggestions of future developments (and remember those hints later in the story when they rise out of that new place to lift the finger of ‘aware!’). H. C. Turk is unique, in the best sense of that definition. He understands language and emotion and angst and the gories of war while at the same time being able to equally define the possibilities of being truly aware of the significance of man in the universe.
...Associations rising out of a war that makes no sense bring a series of surrealistic and metaphysical moments that are at times profoundly touching and at other times painfully hilarious! At this point the novel blooms like a symphony or a tone poem that constantly shifts tonalities and diversions: it is as though Turk is rhapsodizing on whether life as we live it is what 'life' really is or is this space in time only part of a greater near meaningless view of what happens when atoms unite to create genes to create man.
There are many ways to read this novel, and this reader, while deeply satisfied with the experience is still unclear as to what it all means, THAT is a marker of a great novel - and I think this is one! To be read again - perhaps several more times.