Book review: Invigorating Passages Edited by Nicholas Litchfield
Invigorating Passages, the seventh enthralling book in the magazines anthology series, offers up offbeat fiction, stimulating poetry, incisive interviews and engaging creative non-fiction, all with a sharp focus on those spirited souls who revel in taking to the skies, the seas and the roads in order to escape the humdrum everyday and rove the globe.
Feel the hustle and bustle of Paris, where danger sometimes lurks in the shadows behind gift shops, and experience bargain hunting at fly-by-night optical shops in Goa, or the drama of a prolonged stay in a shoddy hospital ward in Singapore.
Get completely lost in the streets of Seoul or on motorbike through the wilds of Thailand, and then explore cultural differences in Tehran and Shiraz with a government tour guide. Or enjoy the splendour of Europe, taking history lessons from motor-mouthed taxi drivers in Romania and gravestone sightseeing excursions in London and Switzerland.
Once again, editor Nicholas Litchfield, an English-born author who lives in Western New York, has put together an entertaining compendium of original and amusing travelogues, poetic reflections, and tales of far-flung adventure that range from science fiction and fantasy to mystery and crime, offering something for all tastes.
For shock and suspense, head to Japan for There was a Knock, Peter Marsh’s impressive tale of murder and betrayal in which two businessmen in a hotel room trade murder plans, and prepare for ghostly goings-on in Massachusetts in Rob Dinsmoor’s spine-tingling Kundalini Yoga at the YMCA, in which a yoga instructor gets the surprise of his life during one of his high-spirited classes.
Head further afield for unexpected and intriguing drama in Michael C. Keith’s Personal Development to meet a stressed engineer in Austria, in charge of building a highway, who makes a dazzling discovery in a hidden subfloor of a barn scheduled for demolition… and dive into Waterman, Robert Kerbeck’s tale of a famous surfer who must overcome his fear of the water by rescuing his client from an ocean-spewing cave in Honolulu.
Be transported to the burning hot deserts of ancient Egypt for a dramatic account of a powerful and visionary king’s strenuous efforts to lead his followers ‘to the Last Horizon, to the Land of the Sun,’ with the intention of building a new city, in David A. Watson’s moving Tel el Amarna.
Discover romance in Robert Boucheron’s Windsock as a ravishingly beautiful lingerie model falls head-over-heels for an elderly author who is bald and shrivelled and ‘unable to lift more than a pencil.’ Or be lured by Charles Edward Brooks in A Grand Failure to a lavish rehabilitation centre perched high above Lake Lucerne where overwhelming sexual temptation awaits!
Read further and you will stumble upon captivating essays that will delight and amuse, such as Library Days, Mike Nagel’s wacky daily experiences in the Dallas Public Library, and Mary Donaldson-Evans’ comic observations of her fellow passengers in People Watching on Galapagos Island. There’s also Dorene O’Brien’s thrilling The Keys about her encounter with a shark, and Safari on Mors Island in which Knud Sønderby relates his entertaining, if frustrating, experiences driving through picturesque 1940s Denmark.
Invigorating Passages is a rare and dynamic literary collection which grabs readers firmly and sweeps them away to strange and exhilarating places, presenting intriguing situations, colourful characters, and making us yearn to strap on the backpack and go exploring.
As author Matthew P. Mayo declares in his foreword, ‘Elsewhere is where you will be when you sip from the dipper of adventure-fueling water that is Invigorating Passages.’ So, take a leisurely literary stroll through Lowestoft Chronicle’s latest offering and lap up the life-nourishing gulps of humour, drama and thought-provoking adventure.
Invigorating Passages is available from all the major online booksellers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or from the magazine’s own website at http://www.lowestoftchronicle.com.
(Lowestoft Chronicle Press, paperback, £11.95)