Title: Another Son
Author: Kurtis Bell
Another Son is a unique and original story about a teacher whose modern age ideas and beliefs forever changed the way those around him saw the world. When an unnamed narrator finds himself stranded on a relatively deserted road one night due to car troubles, little did he know that such an inauspicious beginning would lead to the most wonderful experience of his life.
It is through this serendipitous event that he is introduced to the wise and enigmatic Jos. Captivated by the mysticism surrounding the teacher, the narrator makes an impulsive decision to join the group of “travelers” who have been following Jos for a long time, thus initiating his own journey towards self-discovery.
The structure of the novel blurs the issue of genres: on one hand, its philosophical undertones, numerous discussions about religion and minimal plot can fool readers into classifying this as a spiritual self-help book.
However, even though there is an obvious lack of the usual character developments and conflicts that we expect from a work of fiction, there is a strong narrative that ties together the many beliefs espoused in this book.
The book alternates between moving forward with its main storyline and presenting Jos’s teachings. While initially some readers may find this jarring, once they get used to the novel’s concept and the author’s style, it becomes easier to follow the transition and distinguish between the book’s ongoing story and the beliefs themselves.
The book does not claim to present ideas that are new or groundbreaking. It also does not presume to tell people how to live their lives. Instead the author, through Jos, presents ideas in ways that are easily applicable to every day situations. It also helps that Kurtis Bell gives Jos a distinctive voice that has the ability to leap off the pages.
The strength of the book lies in its ability to present modern-age and spiritual ideas in ways that are not off-putting. It is at its best when it keeps things simple. In some chapters, the author did have the tendency to use complex sentence structures and hyperboles to emphasize a particular topic.
However this style of writing, combined with a slight tendency to repeat ideas within the same paragraph, sometimes made the narrative seem rambling rather than compelling. Thus, this was less effective in terms of actually getting the author’s message across. In that sense, this book could have benefitted from tighter editing.
For a spiritual book, it is surprisingly earthy and in touch with the realities of our time. It doesn’t shy away from discussing basic human needs and how these often override higher intelligence. Despite the aura of holiness that surrounds Jos, he talks about subject matters like sex, marriage, and love in a candid and refreshing manner that many readers will appreciate.
This book breaks any pre-conceived notions one may have when they start it by the many insightful and even genuinely moving moments scattered throughout the story. The combination of the deeply spiritual with a healthy dose of common sense makes this both a relatable and relevant piece of literature. Little slices of humor find equal airtime with the many profound concepts on offer, presenting a well-rounded and well-balanced book for discerning readers to enjoy.
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