Friday, September 14, 2007

For those who demand freedom as thier individual right!

Review by J.G. Moos
Published in The Florentine, 2006

True this book takes you on a physical journey from California to Ireland via Switzerland, Italy, and France. However, if a potential reader quickly glancing over the back cover thinks this will be run of the mill - travel log kind of entertainment - beware. The cover may give a hint to some that this is more like a journey 'to hell and back', but that's putting it lightly. SamSara is not only a page-turner, but provides valuable insights into a very small part of mankind, those who do not fear Freedom but instead demand it as their individual right.

I found this novel to be a very unique action thriller, which takes place in a micro cosmos of one single person: Malcolm Clay. He takes the longest and most convoluted journey anyone could imagine. Malcolm is in my eyes a hero taking the terrible risk of traveling the uncharted regions of his own psyche, deep down to vast regions of fear and pain but also of brilliant revelations full of light and hope.

SamSara portrays the struggles of a man searching for freedom from his puritanical upbringing and the existential traumas of his youth. Again and again, he comes up against dead-ends and frightening reminders of images from his past. His dream sequences are wonderfully portrayed. One in particular comes to mind, about tigers and how a number of these dangerous animals invade a house, and professionals are called to exterminate them. But instead of killing them, the tigers are tranquillized, and one realizes that the animals are symbolic of the sometimes overwhelming demons within us, energies that have to be subdued and sometimes even separated so that we can slowly develop a relationship and come to terms with these integral aspects of ourselves as opposed to denying their existence and continuing to suffer in a host of neurotic or even psychotic ways.

After the stage for this fine novel has been set, the pace really picks up: I had a hard time fumbling through the pages fast enough, and the ending really threw me. No, I won't even give you a hint. But, let me just say: It has nothing to do with the snake biting at its own tail - swallowing, perhaps, but certainly not biting! If I may quote some very clever personality whose name I have never known: 'The beginning is in the end.'

In my opinion, the very essence of SamSara is about the transformation of images, and Mel Mathews is quite masterful in the way he moves readers through this process, building to high points of interest and excitement, before letting off, allowing the reader time to relax and enjoy a more normal flow of life as these old ghost are slowly transformed into vital companions. I found it rewarding and enlightening to accompany Malcolm during his metamorphose from a person haunted by his past, yet willing to gamble not only his worldly goods, but even his soul, to become the individually decisive and free man he longs to be.
- Gustav Jack Moos - Kuesnacht, Zurich, Switzerland

The Malcolm Clay Trilogy by Mel Mathews is available from your local bookstore, a host of on-line booksellers, or directly from Fisher King Press - To learn more about Mel Mathews and Malcolm Clay visit

No comments: