Latest Review of Approaching Wilderness

5 stars. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” February 23, 2014

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This review is from: Approaching Wilderness. Six Stories of Dementia (Kindle Edition)
In these short stories, Gene Twaronite provides imaginative scenes of old people experiencing memory loss and other woes of the aging process.Gene describes the dementia-stricken with compassion and humor. In each story, the central characters cope with an increasing loss of touch with reality, and experience anger at and fear of what’s happening to them. In “The Woman Who Came for Lunch,” a couple is barely coping with daily living – the man gets lost walking around the block in his bathrobe and slippers, while the woman calls 9-1-1 to report a strange man hanging around her house. The story ends with an ironic twist, at least it seems ironic and unexpected to us who are looking in on the characters. But the characters are continually dealing with the unexpected, the mixed-up, and the half-remembered.

In “No Choice,” the ending takes us by surprise, but the core of the story is the day-to-day process of dementia, as it robs the struggling characters of their minds. Gene draws us in to the lives of the protagonists, and engenders sympathy for them even if they are wetting the bed and screaming at the top of their lungs. They struggle for some measure of independence, and we are rooting for them to maintain some dignity and receive recognition that they are adults and not babies.

In “A Letter of Intent” and “Approaching Wilderness” Gene describes the characters’ passionate, if unrealistic, desire to have control over their own lives, and the resulting anger at those who want to control them or put them away in a clean and sterile facility. Both stories have a twist at the end that underscores Gene’s mastery of the absurd and humorous, even in dire situations.

The stories are well written and fun to read, even though the topic could be depressing. The characters fight with the dementia and with themselves and others at the enveloping frustration of forgetting everything. Yet, they have a certain nobility as they reject conformity, safety, and comfort, and express themselves in whatever way they can (sometimes with graphic expletives that some may find offensive). In his poem to his father, Dylan Thomas advises not to “go gentle into that good night” and to “rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Gene’s characters do rage against their situation, and in doing so make us sympathetic with their struggle.

The stories will engage readers of any age.

http://www.amazon.com/Approaching-Wilderness-Six-Stories-Dementia-ebook/product-reviews/B00HNY8R6U/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

More Reviews of Approaching Wilderness

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Insight February 12, 2014
By KMT
Format:Kindle Edition
I suspect I am too old to say that I enjoyed reading these stories. They were very well written and well developed, but, at my age, the content was a bit too scary and hit too close to home. Nevertheless, I commend the author, for, with these short stories, he managed to make a condition we all read about and perhaps even have experience with loving ones having it, real for us. I loved the first story, where both man and woman, once obviously together as a couple, are confused about just who each other are, because of cognition that is failing in both of them. In the second, a woman becomes obsessed that her long-term companion will include her in is suicide because he cannot face what is to come. Then, there is the story of the bedpan, the family pictures on the wall that are not recognized, final letter written to express one’s last wishes and ideas, and the trek off into the wilderness searching for what was once a real-life, doable adventure. Most of these are very real occurrences in everyone’s life and to which most can relate. However, now we view them in a totally different way, through the eyes of dementia. I think the author has given us a fantastic picture of what might/could happen as we age—and possibly one most would find better off not knowing. Still, the pictures and events in the stories are real, as are the emotions that go along with each of them. Today, as we all face an aging population, who may or may not eventually suffer from dementia, not to mention that we also may suffer from dementia, this book gives us, as I said, a great insight into what really happens with dementia. I recommend all people read this, even those, who, like me, are getting on in years and who may end up caring for loved ones who suffer from it, or may suffer from it themselves. The author has done this is such a way that the reader can enjoy learning the true nature of dementia. Right now, most of us, I think, really may not have a real handle on what dementia means and how it impacts lives, and this book will definitely give this to everyone who reads it. I received this from Library Thing to read and review.

Review of Approaching Wilderness

5.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful glimpse into in an enemy we all fear January 8, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
These short stories give the reader an intimate perspective into the possible reality that each/or many of us question in our own lapses of memory that is commonly experienced as we approach our seventh and /or eighth decade…
Thanks, Pat.

New Book Published: Approaching Wilderness. Six Stories of Dementia

I have just published my new Kindle book.                                                              AppWilderness-kindle-finalApproaching Wilderness is a collection of six stories dealing with dementia, originally published in various literary journals. Inspired by my late mother’s struggles with the disease during her last years, I sought to explore the questions that all family members must eventually face: where does that beloved person go? What goes on in the secret life of her mind? The stories, filled with humor and compassion, are one man’s attempt to understand the tragic heartache of dementia. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HNY8R6U

Approaching Wilderness is on sale for $.99 and is only available as a Kindle book (which, in addition to Kindle readers, can be downloaded to iPhones and iPads as well as personal computers).

Short reviews, ratings, and likes are much appreciated.