Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Freeing of Jonathon Mark! Today I have my review of the book to share - and don't forget to enter the giveaway!
The Freeing of Jonathon Mark
Author: Nathan Gross
Genre: Thriller/Paranoid Fiction
Release Date: December 8, 2013
Publisher: Nathan Gross (paperback); 7write (ebook)
Available in: Print & ebook
Jonathon is a Taker, some type of modern day psych in the growing industry of modern grief. Takers treat people for all that ails them just by listening. In session, a Taker doesn’t speak. A Taker doesn’t move. A Taker doesn’t even blink. They take till their patients have got no more negativity to give.
A chance meeting throws a new patient into Jonathon’s life. A girl whose carefree lightness of being is in complete contrast to the average patient. She makes Jonathon realise he can no longer refuse to deal with how his job makes him sick, nor his own destructive vice.
Murder is his only way out, an action that leads him towards his own death and beyond. It is a path he hopes will lead him to his freedom.
Read Sample Chapters: Here
Praise for The Freeing of Jonathan Mark:
“Small book but great story! It’s more and more rare to find a book like this one.”- dvdchrono, Amazon Reviewer
“Loved this book, can’t wait for the next one! I had not heard of this author but I do not think it will be long before the world has heard of him. Do yourself a favour and buy this book, you will not be disappointed. I judge a book on its ‘cannot put down factor’. I found myself quickly intrigued and fully immersed in the book and could not put it down. It is really well written and does not follow other writers safe templates. Hurry up and release your second book ! I am glad I jumped on the Nathan Gross bandwagon from the beginning. I suggest others follow suit.”- Ben Mitchell, Amazon Reviewer
“With the publication of his first novel, The Freeing of Jonathon Mark, Nathan Gross has announced to the literary world that he has arrived and demands attention. This book is a psychological thriller that compels the reader to keep reading. The almost dystopian world it portrays is both disturbing and fascinating, and displays Gross’ novel viewpoint of where society is headed. We become partners in Jonathon Mark’s nightmarish journey into the depths of despair and hope for some form of redemption for him, although that seems unlikely. The book is a little too long, but it is a wonderful achievement for a first-time novelist. I look forward to his next book to see where his fertile imagination has led him, and to follow his further maturation as a writer.”- Morry Frenkel, Amazon Reviewer
So rarely do I find myself actually at a loss for words and unsure of where to start, let alone write, a book review. This is one of those times. The Freeing of Jonathon Marks is utterly unique and original - it was like nothing I'd ever read before. Every aspect of this book - from the characters to the dialogue to the plot - blew me away. I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up the book, but it sounded kind of weird and twisted. I happen to actually enjoy weird and twisted books, but I wasn't sure of what to expect due to never having heard of the author or the book beforehand. I was completely blown away and my mind is still reeling from the experience. It far exceeded any type of expectations I might have had - and then it just kept on going.
It's hard to pinpoint certain aspects of books that make you love them so much - especially when you're writing and not talking to someone in person. There are so many different parts of the book that I loved and they all came together to form one hell of a book. I'll try to explain the parts of the book and why I love them as best I as can. The characters were completely and utterly realistic. Every single one of them. Aside from the main character of Jonathon, the secondary and even the background characters were described to the finest detail (and done in the most perfectly sarcastic way possible). Jonathon is the narrator of the story and his job as a Taker has made him a little bitter and nihilistic. He's able to look into each person's mind and life and pick them apart piece by nasty piece. Don't get me wrong - not everyone is completely terrible in the book. They all have both sides of the coin - good points about them as well as the flaws, just like all of us. It seemed like Jonathon had an uncanny knack on honing in on the flawed parts of these people and giving them a piece of his mind (only in his mind, of course, not out loud - that's against company policy). He's no exception to his own rule and regularly points out his failures and inadequacies. The setting doesn't really matter to me in the book. It could be set in any city in any country in the world. As long as the plot was the same, the characters present and the writing intact - it wouldn't matter.
The plot. How to even begin to describe it? The summary of the book attempts to wrangle it into words, but doesn't come close to giving it the justice it deserves. There's not much more than I can elaborate on about the plot, sadly, because there just are no words. The Takers are a fascinating bunch and I enjoyed learning about them and their jobs. I loved listening in on Jonathon's thoughts for his different clients. His inner dialogue was ridiculously witty and sarcastic - I found myself snickering and agreeing with his perceptions most of the time. I think that the writing itself is a huge part of the appeal for the book (at least it was for me). The way that Jonathon sees and experiences things, the way that the reader gets a front row ticket to the ongoing commentary inside his head - these all add up with the other parts of the book to make something ridiculous and amazing. Take note though - the writing isn't for the faint of heart. There's cursing and sex and other unsavory things throughout the book - and none of it gets sugar coated. Be warned of that before you open the pages. As I mentioned before, the writing is really what got me hooked at the beginning and then I just fell deeper and deeper inside the story until I didn't want to come back out. The author's gritty and totally real descriptions of everything (people, situations, society, etc.) were bold and held nothing back. I found it to be extremely refreshing and something you definitely do not find very often in literature. I don't want to continue to ramble on, so I leave you with this final note: I absolutely LOVED this novel. I want more - now. It was a really great break from other genres and was exactly what I needed. This book is raw with no holding back - bullshit not allowed. The fact that the story was told like this, along with the way the narrator told it - with such sarcasm and witty insight - sealed the deal for me. It seems like a mess at first with the weird chapters about clients and other observations, but it all comes together to form a strange yet beautiful masterpiece of a novel. For those of you who wish for some realism to set you straight (along with some laughs) - I suggest you read this book. Fans of any genre - readers of all kinds - should pick up this book now. Give it a shot. It definitely will not be for everyone, but for those of us who enjoy this type of fiction - it will be a phenomenal experience.
A New Favorite!
Nathan draws on and interprets the events that transpire around him, transforming minute observations and a distant, large view of the world into prose. He expresses at once his hopes and despairs, and equally his surprise and complete comprehension of events before, or as they unfold, if not always as everyone else sees them.
If his book ‘The Freeing of Jonathon Mark’ is part of his journey as a writer, then perhaps it traces his experiences chasing the plastic happiness of consumerist dreams. Perhaps it is also a study of how he opted out of these pursuits for a fresh start, in order to forge a new life where he can be free from empty conformity; to discover and further himself in the journey that is his life. New beginnings bring new ideas to draw upon and it goes without saying that we will find these thinkings in his subsequent writings.
His other published works include Ginger the Carrot, the first in a series of picture books for adults entitled Rotten Veggies, and the song and music video Tais Toi for the musician Monsieur Grandin. He is also the director and scenarist for a number of award winning short films. A collection of his works both written and visual are to be discovered at zamsteepa.com.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Nathan now resides in the south of France.
His short story ‘Grampy Joe’ won third prize in the Odyssey House Victoria 2012 short story competition. You can read ‘Grampy Joe’ here.
Nathan Gross Website: http://zamsteepa.com/
The Freeing of Jonathan Mark Website: http://thefreeingofjonathonmark.com/
Buy Links: Amazon
Giveaway: (1) copy of The Freeing of Jonathon Mark - Please read the rules & conditions on the Rafflecopter for more info!