Doctor Faustroll and other Philosophical Tales

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Doctor Faustroll and other Philosophical Tales is a collection of five works. The book starts with the longest piece, entitled “Doctor Faustroll.” Unfortunately, I felt that this particular story would have benefited from some professional editing. The changing tenses throughout the story interrupted the flow for me. And more importantly, I’m still not sure what the author wanted to convey, especially in the subsections, or “episodes.” These often didn’t really connect to each other and, therefore didn’t make sense to me.

I did, however, enjoy “The Velazquez Revelation,” “De-coo-da,” and “Rose of the Wind.” They seemed more fully developed. In “Fiction of Words,” I enjoyed the first tale, “Back to Nature,” especially when the main character falls into the water but is still looking back at himself standing on the bridge. But once again, some of the tales within this section didn’t seem connected to each other, and I was once again unsure about their meaning. Also, at times the tales seemed more descriptive than evolving.

I didn’t think the author was a bad writer because, in a few stories, he showed he could take me away on a journey to another place and time, but I did not feel that way about the first and longest story. It might have helped if there had been a visual description of the character before page thirty-three. Plus, I was struck by some inconsistencies. In one episode, it was mentioned that the doctor was blinded as a child, but in a later episode, it is said that he had a motorcycle accident in his youth. At this point, I found myself questioning whether a blind person would be riding a motorcycle. Also, I was not too fond of the fact that some of the episodes ended abruptly, making it seem like they hadn’t been fully developed.

Overall, I sensed a vague theme running through the book about redeveloping consciousness to find something humanity has lost along the evolutionary road. But, I think an overview or introduction at the beginning of the book would have been helpful. Then I would have had a better idea about what the author wanted to convey through these tales. Without that, the book was at times confusing, and I often didn’t understand why some stories didn’t seem to have a beginning, middle, or ending or why they were grouped together. I also think the stories would have benefited greatly by using the “show don’t tell” method of writing. That way, readers would feel more connected to the tales, especially Doctor Faustroll. As it was, I found myself asking too often, what is the point of the story.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 204 pages
Publisher Androgyne Books
Publish Date 2019-10-10
ISBN 9781879594227 Buy this Book
Issue August 2020
Category Modern Literature


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