Monday, November 9, 2015

Journey to the End of the Night by Celine, a review

Journey to the End of the NightJourney to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand CĂ©line

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Originally, I thought about writing an eloquent review of this book, but intentions do not always come to bear fruit. The longer I think about it, the less apt I am to do it, so, instead of procrastinating, I'm just going to 'wing it' live on GR.

Here it goes.

I first borrowed this book from a library, but did not finish it in time. Well, I went to a store and bought my own copy. This alone should be enough to tell you that I liked it.

Reading this book took me way longer than it should have, but that is an entirely different matter. Life gets in a way, sometimes.

The Journey to the End of the Night is a very unique book. It deals with multiple themes, as seen through the eyes of the narrator who very well might be Celine himself. It sparkles with brilliant logic, it bores with pragmatic rhetoric, it shines like a torch of enlightenment, and it dumbs down history and geography for the sake of a mischievous joke. Above all, however, it is a wonderful, amazing work of literature.

There are some who disregard Celine for his war time achievements and decorations, and see him as a hypocrite for writing an anti-war novel. Well, those who experienced the war first hand, and succeeded in it, are perhaps the ones best suited to write an anti-war novel. Then again, this is not really an anti-war novel. The first part is, but it goes way deeper than that.

The Journey to the End of the Night is largely a journey into the pitiful bourgeois existence of the middle class men and women we see every day. It is at night that our inner demons come out, hidden under the cover of darkness where Celine observes, a cigarette in one hand, and his penis in the other. Or perhaps not.

It is a journey into the darkness of the human soul. It traverses the first World War, French Colonialism in Africa, immigrants' struggles in America, and the petite bourgeois existence. Thrown into the mix are lust, murder, fleas, suffering, brothels, slavery, camaraderie, rebellion, hope, faith, drinks, and a lot of denial for the sake of escapism.

Above all, it is a story of humanity, not just one man alone. If one considers a plot of any kind, the novel finishes quite unresolved. However, if one considers the narrator as the story, it comes full circle, in a lazy sort of way. The events are circumstantial at best, but there is a raw reality to them. The protagonists are faulty, and the antagonists are very much like the protagonists, often blurring the line between them. After all, is there a clearly defined evil and good in the world, or do the lines blur more frequently than not?

Undeniably, Celine was an author who knew what he was doing. His writing style matches the story perfectly, and he is never too high up on his soapbox to not poke a bit of fun at himself.

I'm glad I ended up purchasing a copy of this book, as I plan to reread it sooner than later.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mad Days of Me he Complete Trilogy SALE

It's been a while since I did any promo, so . . .

Starting November 5, 2015 - November 12, 2015 the complete trilogy, Mad Days of Me is on sale at $0.99. This is a Kindle Exclusive deal, which you won't find elsewhere.

That's right, 800+ pages of thought provoking fiction for $0.99.

The trilogy first emerged in 2007 when the first book was published by a small Canadian Press. Since then, it  underwent a major rewrite, and grew to just about 290,000 words, proofread and edited by industry professionals.

The story follows an educated, middle-class, young adult named Rudy who, upon visiting Barcelona, finds himself assaulted and robbed of all his possessions. With the odds stacked against him, Rudy embarks on an epic journey of survival, which takes him through the gritty streets of Barcelona to the beautiful island of Ibiza, then to France, Italy, Austria, and back to Spain. Struggling to maintain his sanity and humanity, Rudy not only fights to find stability and happiness with his love, he must overcome his own demons and his past.

The separate books in the trilogy have received over a 100 ratings on Goodreads, and 50 Amazon reviews. 

You can check out the book here:

What others are saying:


"The Mad Days of Me trilogy . . . is a massive accomplishment: a study of the archetypal angry young man who finally - and tragically - is given something to be angry about. Suffering from PTSD and haunted by demons old and new, Rudy fights to move past it all, fights to find love, fights to find peace. He is at once a noble creature and a lowly one. He is a monster; he is gentle; he is cruel. He is human. And that, more than anything, grants him sweetness.

Rudy and his demons will be with me the rest of my life. Of that, I am certain." - Roberta Pearce, author of A Bird Without Wings

"The ability for this author to make you care for the main character Rudy in these book and to see life through his eyes is where the gold lies in this series." - The Lazy Book Reviewer

"As a reader, I was engrossed and taken away - exactly the way you wish a book to take you away.
As a writer, I'm touched and inspired, because I climbed somebody's mountain and I can see more of the world than I could before.

. . .
Henry Martin is a super talented bastard." - Edward M. Wolfe, author of In the End: A Pre-Apocalypse Novel

I highly recommend this novel for anyone that enjoys unique, masterfully written literature. Every novel was fantastic, and the conclusion was stunning and evocative. I cannot wait to read Martin's other work." - Sherrod Wall, author of From Heaven to Earth