Reviews of Arjun and the Good Snake posted on Amazon regarding the Kindle versio

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars Demanding, poignant and hardbitten.,June 1, 2011
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This review is from: Arjun and the Good Snake (Kindle Edition)

In his latest book, Arjun and the Good Snake, author Rick Harsch takes off the gloves and gives himself a good pounding. In equal parts a memoir, a confession, and an ophidiological dissertation, the book is an unsparing account of a man (Harsch) struggling to come to grips with his fragmented mind, his excesses, and his humanity, as he and his son wander the wilds of India on a holy grail snake quest.
This is not a book for the casual reader or the considerably unlearned, but you should definitely take up the challenge and give it a read. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cringe, you’ll shake your head sadly, you may even want to crawl on your belly backward, but you won’t soon forget Arjun and the Good Snake.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, moving book,May 18, 2011
This review is from: Arjun and the Good Snake (Kindle Edition)

This is an ultimately moving story, a powerful and affecting exploration of a troubled man’s love for his little boy, but it’s also replete with riveting scenes and sub-stories about people’s (including the author’s) encounters with deadly snakes. Along the way, Harsch offers up an abundance of fascinating personal, psychological, cultural, and historical observations and insights – often disturbing, often hilarious, often challenging, always pulsing with a staggering, one-of-a-kind intelligence. Reminiscent of William T. Vollman in its brilliant, eccentric probings into both brain and underbelly, this is a richly rewarding book. Highly recommended.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars can’t explain, just read it,June 9, 2011
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This review is from: Arjun and the Good Snake (Kindle Edition)

Arjun happens to be a recovery memoir and self-discovery travelogue, and yet it’s so much better than what usually oozes out under the banner of those once-noble genres that I’m reluctant to even mention that. It’s real and bravely revealing without being cloying, packed with an obsessive’s intensive research on snakes and Indian mythology, and cigarette- and Slovenian wine-fueled philosophizing on fatherhood, politics, The Meaning of Life, and a lot of other things, the interesting guy in the bar you keep buying drinks for even though you shouldn’t (for his sake) just because you don’t want him to leave or stop talking, or punch you. Yes, I know this makes no sense, and Arjun shouldn’t but it does, beautifully.

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How To Buy Arjun and the Good Snake through Paypal, a customer’s report

For those who want to order Arjun from Rick using PayPal, you will need to set up your own PayPal account if you do not have one. You need an e-mail address and it is simple and it is secure. You can set it up to use a bank account or debit or credit cards to remit your payment.Once you set up the account, to send money to Rick, you just tell PayPal that you want to send it to Slovenia and decide what currency you want to use. You also have the choice of saying you are buying something or that you are sending money to “friends and family”. If you say you are buying something they charge the other party. If you say you are sending it to friends/family, they charge you. The fee is based upon the amount sent and whether the money is sent from a bank account or by a credit/debit card. Fees for bank accounts are very small (17 cents on $34) but a bit higher with a card ($1.63 on $34)
The notifications are done by e-mail so you put in your e-mail address and Rick’s e-mail address. No bank account or credit card information is transmitted by e-mail.
Once you choose currency, set dollar amount, etc, the next page allows you to send a message in the e-mail that tells the recipient that he has received money through PayPal. Send the message (and the money) and you get a notice in your e-mail in-box and Rick gets the notice in his e-mail in-box.

 

 

now available as an e-book on amazon for 3.00 dollars or euros…http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CXWTPZS

Apocalypticon

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Mechanization and displacement, dehumanization and defacement, the scattering of diseases of the mind throughout the planet,  the powers to bring people together to work for or be thrust toward a common humiliation has resulted in unprecedented, often cute, expressions of cruelty, novelties of mania, the species become as one giant infant with an array of exotic toys, a boomeranging of knowledge, the study of physics leading to, the study of chemistry leading to, the study of philosophy leading to, all studies leading to infiniform degradation, and the predictable revolt of the survivors, who have formed an apocalyticon of antecedents for those who today revolt in their various ways, like their predecessors ultimately mysteriously, without coherence, without allegiance, without hope.

Apocalypticon 1  Vitomil Zupan

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Apocalypticon 2  Jaroslav Hašek

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Apocalypticon 3  Woody Guthrie

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Apocalypticon 4  Antonio Lobo Antunes

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Apocalypticon 5  Franz Kafka, begging the question: Is there an order to these semblances? Yes, numerical. Is there meaning to the order? Of course not.

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Apocalypticon 6  Francois Rabelais

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7 Julio Coratazar

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8  Tristan Tzara

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9  Lisa Chen

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10  Blaise Cendrars

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11  Frida Kahlo

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12  Obeyd e Zakani

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13  Dmitri Shostakovich

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14  Alfre Schnittke

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15   Uncle Ho

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16  James Joyce

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17  Samuel Beckett

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18   Flann O’Brien

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19  Emma Goldman

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20  Can Themba

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21  Brendan Behan

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22  Hunter Thompson

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23  Mohammed Ali

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24  Sofia Gubaidulina

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25  Groucho

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26  Daša Drndić

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27

Milorad Pavić

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28  Fernand Braudel

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29  Picasso

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30 Henry Miller

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31 For Conversation in the Cathedral, Mario Vargas Llosa…but I could not bear to post his face, so Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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32 Miguel Angel Asturias
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33 Juan Rulfo
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34 Robert Walser
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35  Max Frisch
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36 Remy de Gourmont
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37 Brecht
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38 Alfred Doblin
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39  Onetti
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40 Zora Neale Hurston
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41 Scott Coffel
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42 Remedios Varo
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43
Ishmael Reed
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44
William Gaddis
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45
Alvaro Mutis
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46 Roberto Arlt
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47 Miguel Marmol
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4 Dead in Ohio! 1932: 30,000 dead in El Salvadaor, Marmol survived…

Arjun and the Good Snake now available everywhere via Paypal through rick.harsch@gmail.com

Price including postage: Europe, 24 euros; North America, 34 usd; other continents, negotiable

Here’s one of the finer blurbs you’ll ever read, which is on the dust jacket of the book:

Arjun and the Good Snake is a unique book from father to son, written in a brilliant style by an expat writer of stunning originality. A moving exploration of a father’s love for his young son, it is also a multifaceted search for the meaning of life by an author whose confession of his alcoholism is the least of the confessions made in this book by an extremely sensitive intellect.      

His peerless narrative and autobiographical prowess, the fantastic, if not allegoric, and yet realistic tales about venomous snakes caught in places one would expect to be concerned instead with the UNO human development index instead of this gallows humour …  Snake catching being a metaphor not only of death but also a symbol of the thrill of being alive, either in the US or in India or a small Mediterranean town whose only real hero – besides its current inhabitants, who have a daily drink or two in one of the anonymous seafront bars – is a rancid, pathetic character who lived 240 years ago, who weaseled his way into Casanova’s memoires during the latter’s escape from a Venetian prison…It is up to you, the reader, to answer the following question: Are we facing another Casanova’s attempt at escaping a prison, this time the prison of addiction, an attempt made by a 21th century Casanova, a Mediterranean wine drinker – an attempt at escaping a prison of love for his son and, in the background, for the dark figures of a woman  (a certain Sasi) and their daughter, who are omnipresent and yet almost absent in the story told by an author who is half way between twice-expat and native…

Yet this book is not about its writer–it is about the human race searching for the criteria on which to base our decision to persist in the world … Are we dealing with an author who is willing to transpose to literature Camus’ idea that the only true question for a philosopher is the question of suicide? I do not think so. His own work contradicts that – there is this tremendous vitality of imagery, incessant current of vibrant narration that causes vertigo in a reader and devours anything standing in its way – statistics, newspaper articles, unreliable,  alcohol-soaked reminiscences, simple lies and invented stories (that are in the author’s honour) with anecdotal details of the author’s life on the Slovenian Mediterranean coast;  it is his explosively vitalist imagination …  Do not worry, dear reader,  that the book is about other people. I assure you, it is – just as any exceptional book is – about you, the reader, about you and me.

Janez Justin, Professor, Institutum Studiorum Humanitatus, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Professor of what? (‘I suppose I possess a lot of stupid titles, most of them  worthless,’ Janez)