Sunday, May 9, 2010

Book Review: The Seven Gifts by John Mellor

The Seven Gifts, by John Mellor, is small volume that contains a set of seven delightfully bizarre, short allegorical tales linked together by the story of a boy who is in the process of being tutored by an angel for the purpose of delivering seven gifts that have been bestowed upon earth.

This highly unusual book delivers seven thought-provoking stories, laced with a large collection of some of the most strange and memorable characters that have ever appeared together in a book. Each tale can be read and enjoyed in isolation from the others, however, the linking narrative of the boy and angel make this far more than just a collection of short stories and provides a clearer picture as to the meaning of each tale. So original and full of potential are these stories that readers are sure to examine, at least some of them, several times even though they are easy to read.

One of the wonders of this book is the strange set of characters and peculiar events set in an unusual juxtaposition; a medieval queen hosting a rock concert, a space-exploring bee and a philosopher that talks to a stone are all central to their own tales. At times, these quite incredible characters and events begin to strike the reader as insanity on the part of the author. However, if insanity it is, this is the type that gives birth to great achievements and in examining so many themes such as society, religion and environment, this book can be considered a great achievement by its author.

The Seven Gifts is not a normal book with a normal story; it must be approached with an open mind and no preconceived ideas of how books should be written. If readers are looking for something original and thought-provoking, this offering from John Mellor is as close to perfection as you get, my only disappointment with the book was that it was over too quickly.

My review is based upon a self-published paper copy of the book but now it is available for Kindle.

I would recommend The Seven Gifts That Came To Earth to a wide variety of open-minded and adventurous readers. Fans of the absurd and philosophy would particularly enjoy it and students of religion and the environment will find some useful themes here too.

Score: 9.5/10

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