Sunday, September 22, 2013

Colorado Mandala - Review

What exactly IS the Colorado Mandala?

The Colorado Mandala is a colorfully told story about a Vietnam vet and his relationships with people years later.  Well, that is part of it.  What I found is that it is more about people who interact with the war time vet.

Written from the POV of Paul, the best friend of Michael, the vet, this story seemed more like a literary love story between Paul and Sarah.

It was slow and dry in my opinion for a large section at the beginning, but it did pick up later on.  I'm not used to literary fiction and usually struggle with it, but I'm glad I read this one.  There were several touching moments.

Though it isn't what I'm used to reading, it was well written and descriptive.  The connections between the characters were clear and well developed.

I think the hardest part for me to accept would be the ending.  Not because of the quality of writing, but for the handling of the PTSD issue.  Given that I struggle with this problem myself, I have difficulty agreeing with the direction the author took with this problem... in the sense of real to life situations.  I don't want to go into it too much and give things away.

If you like literary fiction, I would highly recommend this.  The glimpse of Colorado life was enough to keep me reading.

About the Book:

With refreshing depth, distinct literary merit, and highly original poetic phrasings that spill from the pages like paint, Colorado Mandala is poet Brian Heffron’s debut work of literary fiction. It mines the complex landscape of post-Vietnam America to unearth the deep connections that bind individuals together, and also ferociously rip them asunder.  Illustrative, luscious, seductive, and engaging, this rare piece of craftsmanship will stir the senses of any one who thirsts for artistic expression, or who longs for an era in our country now utterly, irretrievably gone.

In the heady, hippie backdrop of Pike’s Peak, Colorado, in the tumultuous 1970s, three souls swirl together in an explosive supernova. Michael is the flinty-eyed, volatile former Green Beret, whose tour in Vietnam has left unbridgeable chasms in his psyche and secrets that can never find light. Sarah is his fair-haired paramour, the ethereal Earth Mother widow of a fallen soldier and single mother to a ten-year-old son Stuart.  Paul is a young wanderer, who is drawn in by Michael and soon bears the mantle of both minister and scourge. As they are drawn together, and torn apart, each is changed forever. And our hearts race along with them, through the rocky, raw Colorado terrain amidst the blood sport of man and beast.

Laying bare the loss and acceptance of a pioneering age, Colorado Mandala shines revelatory light on the crazy, glorious, and romantic notion that each generation conceives anew: that love can be a spiritual gift shared openly rather than coveted, or hidden, or hoarded. If you wish to go barefoot again and climb an unspoiled Colorado trail, look no further. If you long for something to wake you up in simple, clean language, a shimmering story awaits. Awaken to what you have always known: simple truths show you the way home. With his gripping and unforgettable Colorado Mandala, it is clear that Brian Heffron knows the way. Simply follow his trail.

Meet the Author:
After Brian Francis Heffron achieved a bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing from Emerson College, he has navigated across the Atlantic Ocean under sail (and found Gibraltar), was Director of Photography on “The Imported Bridegroom” a tiny Indy film that received a national theatrical release, created a heart-rending poetry blog within the Notes section of his Facebook profile that drew an avid, dedicated, and international audience, and all the while he wrote, produced, and directed hundreds of hours of television programming for KLCS-TV, a PBS Station focused on education.

On Valentine's Day 2010 he published a handmade poetry chapbook that sold out in three weeks! "Sustain Me with Your Breath" then became, and remains, a promotional e-book sensation.

Heffron followed that up with “Something You Could Touch”, a one hour spoken word poetry CD that broke sales records in its category.

Heffron has also won Emmys, Tellys, Aurora, Videographers and the Davis Award, among others plaudits for both writing and television.

Brian Francis Heffron’s debut novel, Colorado Mandala, mines the complex landscape of 1970s post-Vietnam America to chart the love triangle of a former Green Beret, his lover, and a young wanderer. Colorado Mandala straddles the line between literary and young adult fiction, and distills the author's poetic sensibility into a deeply lyrical work of art.

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