Arthur is all alone now. He killed the world. He had it all, but that wasn't enough, so he went and ruined everything. God left in a hurry when the atomic bombs went off and forgot to take poor Arthur with him. Now he lives in a sealed bunker under an irradiated wasteland once known as Florida and watches the worlds he missed, the possibilities he prevented, in his ingenious, insidious creation: The Alternate Reality Generator. He had only one friend left in the world, a floppy-eared Labrador, but he's dead now, too. That's probably Arthur's fault as well. Now all he has is time and regret...and a machine that lets him live all kinds of lives in another dimension....
©2015 Michael Dirk Thalmann (P)2015 Michael Dirk Thalmann
Traveler and writer of strange tales. AKA The Editor's Gadfly
This is a wonderfully written story. I listened to the audio version and went on a 6 hour journey... or was it says? Time is kind of funny. I could easily relate to the characters and lost myself in the story or another reality; I'm not sure which.
If you like good stories, read this. If like Science Fiction, read this. If you like revisionist history, read this. If you like television, read this. If you like 50s era stuff, read this. Read it because it is wonderful to discover a new writer and then say, “I read him when…”
“The 13 Lives of a Television Repair Man,” is a story of a son’s relationship with his mother and how he learns to cherish her. It unfolds in the world of television repair and contains both old and new technology.
Set in the late 1950s after the birth of television; boy genius, Arthur, befriends the local television repair man and quickly learns how to repair televisions. Using spare parts from the shop, he invents a machine so he can watch TV without his glasses. Turns out the machine corrects vision to 20/20. This success gives the teenage Arthur the money and renown to “muck around with” any technology he wishes. His next project causes his mother’s death, the end of the TV repair business and, eventually, the end of the world.
I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but when I do, this is the type I like. In the forefront is the emotional story of a son dealing with the guilt surrounding his mother’s death. The technology, although very interesting, supports the emotional story in the background. Science Fiction aside, I’ve not read a story like this; a son who believes his selfishness brought about the death or his mother, must come to terms with what he has done.
Actor Nick Ralph is a good choice as narrator for this book. He has a pleasing voice and uses it well to bring the other characters to life through the voice of the main character.
My only negative, and it’s a knit-pick for the writers, is there’s a point where the young inventor is overwhelmed by daily life and turns to his father for advice. Although the feelings of the son toward his mother are authentic and beautifully rendered, what the father tells the son feels phoned it, like the writer is holding something back. Like the character wanted to say or not say something else and the writer wrote it for him. It doesn’t ruin the story and may be just me, but I’d like to know what the father really said.
FOR THE WRITERS
Take note of this book. This is a self-published novel. I listened to the audiobook which is also self-produced by the author. The writing is excellent. Everything about it is quality work.
Quality drives many readers away from self-published writers, that is not the case with this book. The quality is on par with the big guys. This is how it should be done.
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