Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Goodbye Nothing by Beck Sherman

My Thoughts 

This was one of those books that prove blog posts work. I honestly can’t remember what I was actually looking at the day I discovered Goodbye Nothing but I was researching a different book entirely when I came across a reviewer that had featured this novel as well as the one I was investigating.

The cover is simple, nothing exceptional, though it’s use of solid green blocking is rare. The image was dominated by a large font and the title is split into syllables not words. I guess when you’re describing Nothing then going minimalistic is probably the best course. Anyway, despite being nondescript, the cover grabbed my attention and I moved on to read the summary... and then the blogger’s review (I wish I tagged the page as it would be nice to give the blogger kudos).

The summary reminded me of Dean Koontz and his style of stories, the review confirmed this aspect and I was sold. I bought the ebook...  I wanted this book right away and I was going to read it. Once I started I couldn’t stop; which is awesome when you’ve got all the time in the world, but not so great when you have to work.

Goodbye Nothing is almost like a supernatural disease, it details two people who are ensconced in their own feelings of emptiness (though they were not always this way) and they instigate violence as a way of obtaining a high. They become desiccated shells of the humans they were, they denounce their former lives and choose a path of menace, mayhem and destruction... and occasionally “it” spreads - whatever “it” is. (This is not an accurate description but it’s the best I can give you - read the book)

I’m undecided as to whether the violence spawning internal void spreads as a result of contact with the perpetrator or due to the premature departure of a soul that freaks out and seeks a more viable host. But these questions do not detract from the story, they are more a philosophical debate after the fact. 

A lot of the nastiness is described in an abstract way, so I think most people would be able to read this and cope with the heinous nature of the tale. There is however one event that will leave you gasping. I had to put the book down for awhile and walk away to breathe clean air and I guess to grieve a little bit. What is especially profound is the way Beck Sherman describes the transformation of Cain Emmerick. His commitment to the emptiness is sudden, complete, irreversible and oh so devastating.

***Small tangent. I remember hearing about the Port Arthur Massacre and being unable to comprehend how anyone can kill 35 people including children in cold blood. Not long afterwards I was in a discussion with a church minister regarding the concept of redemption. The minister stated that redemption was more than being sorry, it was taking responsibility, owning your actions and bearing the weight of them. The conversation came about when we were analysing how we would feel if God was to forgive to such a person (in this case the Port Arthur Gunman). I said I was fine with that, because if that person  truly wanted to atone for his crimes, he would have had to take on the burden of his actions. He would have to taste the fear they felt as they watched others die, he would have to smell the stick of their sheer terror, for himself. He would also have to should and embrace the grief of the families left beyond and the despair of an entire nation in mourning. Such ownership would surely not allow a person to forgive themselves.

 *** back to my review... Goodbye Nothing had the perfect ending. Forgiveness is  the hardest to obtain from one’s own self. There is no forgiveness here, only the realisation of what has been done and the true understanding that there are somethings you can’t take it back, no matter how much you might want to.

Loved it, and the after taste.

My Rating

This review is totally unsolicited. I bought the story and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. I don’t really like the concept of rating novels as they are subjective and subject to change. A five star book today, may be re-evaluated when compared to future novels.

The Summary

A New Adult Horror Novel

Since the night of the accident, Cain Emmerick has felt different. Empty. What was important to him—family, friends, his job—doesn't matter anymore. His new life revolves around that Nothing inside of him and the extraordinary highs he gets from committing random acts of violence. 

Seventeen-year-old Joey Morgan is blind, but that doesn't stop her from seeing. Something bad is about to happen. Something that could tear her world apart. For Joey, college life isn't quite turning out like she planned, because before good grades, fitting in, and love, comes survival

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