It is the year 2033, and people reaching the age of 65 are given a choice – submit to regeneration and a new and longer life, or die. John Sinclair, who has been a teacher since 1993, is about to turn 65. He has to decide what to do or where to go with the rest of his life – short or long.
I Have Three Things to Tell You, My Friend, by RM D’Amato is an interesting look at a possible future – with overtones of today. D’Amato paints a compellingly accurate picture of the frustration of decision making in the face of a mindless bureaucracy and an uncaring society. As I alternately followed Sinclair as he wrestles with his decision, Brandon Sanchez, a youngster about to enter the teaching profession who is being mentored by Sinclair, and Fernando Smith, an angry school janitor who is butting heads with the bureaucracy, I found myself wondering sometimes if I wasn’t perhaps reading a piece of nonfiction about the disdain society has for the teaching profession.
I received a free review copy of Three Things, and devoured it in a single sitting. A well-written book that actually defies genre classification – a sure sign of a story that is destined to become a classic. An easy four stars from this reviewer.
Rico, a 90-year-old, lives with his divorced daughter, Veronica, who also happens to be his doctor. His biggest challenge in life is keeping his stash of erectile dysfunction pills hidden from Veronica, until his old friend Bill visits – virtually – and informs Rico that he’s dead and living in the computer. Worse, in Rico’s view, Bill invites him to join him to help with an impending crisis. In the meantime, Veronica is trying to deal with the crisis precipitated by the resurrection of a lethal virus that threatens everyone on earth.
The Last Seminarian by R.M. Damato is a hard novel to categorize. Part dystopian future novel, part science fiction, Seminarian takes the reader on a chaotic ride with Rico as his consciousness is transferred to a computer where he rejoins the friends from his youth in a seminary. This story is told against the brief backdrop of an alien visitation with a twist that the reader really won’t see coming – and, if that doesn’t whet your appetite for reading this book, you’re a jaded person.
I received a free review copy of Seminarian, but Damato is an author I will be adding to my book-buy list. His slightly off-beat, tongue-in-cheek manner of writing appeals to me. This was a good read – and, but for a few grammatical gaffes and typos would be an easy four-star effort. Never mind, though; it was one of the better three-star books I’ve read lately.