Like Ovid’s Metamorphoses, this book is transformational and difficult to place in any genre. BINGE is a psychedelic, allegorical autobiography. It is both epic in style and genre—our hero takes a journey wherein he is faced with many battles and challenges. And the reader is along for a wild ride.
The story opens as a man lay dying in a hospital. An otherworldly man named Anunk arrives and initiates a ceremony which might be interpreted by some as the ritual of last rights. But it is something more.
The patient is offered a drink which is the portal for his journey. Will it be an end or a new beginning? As a caterpillar forms a chrysalis in the ceiling corner of the patient’s hospital room, the reader understands there will be rebirth. But what form will it take? What struggles will the dying man endure?
The author’s co-writer, Sir David Michael Robinson received formal religious training at a seminary and studied world mythologies, and it shows here with many allusions and direct references to biblical iconography and astrology. Citing Joseph Campbell as an influence, it is obvious in his deft management of the main character’s journey and the “many faces” of the characters in the book.
Throughout his journey, the main character is pursued by a mysterious panther. Each time, he escapes into what seems to be a new world. Each new adventure is tied to the author’s lived and real-life relationships.
BINGE is an impressive roman à clef. Informed by real events experienced by the author Christopher William Mahne a.k.a. C.W. Männe and co-written with Sir David Michael Robinson, the promise to readers is that in reading the book, they too may be transformed—without having to “drink from the cup of pure consciousness” themselves.
Readers who love a deep dive into the mind of a poet on psychedelics will enjoy this book. The prose style is lyrical in a tone that feels wise, like an elder from another age—it’s also quite hip in that groovy sort of way.
The story is a fast-paced journey filled with descriptions of lush landscapes in the equatorial jungle.
The writing is beautifully drawn and those who love language will certainly become intoxicated while reading.
In consuming this book, you don’t have to drink from the cup. The experience is all on the page.
If change can be transformative then that is the message for readers of this book. If reading allows one to live vicariously, then the goal (Should a book have a goal?) is that we do better and always seek enlightenment and to be our best selves.