Thank you all who commented on
GoneAway on Authonomy.com
HERE ARE SOME OF THE COMMENTS:
Jeff this is riveting. The tension escalates with each chapter to the point where I actually couldn't handle it and stopped reading. Compelling, dramatic and palpable. Your writing is effective and excellent!
Robin Helweg wrote:
Jeffrey, this is an altogether terrifying and fascinating book. I think the portrayal of John's states of mind is extremely well developed (although the fantasy land feels excessive, repetitive, slows down what is otherwise a very rapid read). A great, great story through the first 7 or 8 chapters.
The only word I found out of place was the yellow banner across KyaSiftar's chest 'foretold' of his importance. No, it didn't prophesy. 'Told' would be better.
Good luck with this! Shelved.
I really enjoyed the organized randomness of the plot/characters which all come together and form a solid story which demands reflection and contemplation. The depth of the story is fun; with its imagery painting the scene for you both physically and emotionally. The advancement of the poem as the story progressed acted as a fine supplement to the plot.
Allen takes us on an edgy journey that transports the reader from fact to fiction as he reveals the uneasiness associated with the subject of domestic abuse. I was swept into the mind of John as he dealt with the confrontations with the Beast . And then John's escape into the fantasy world becomes a recipe for quiet revenge. The story is adidcting from the get-go...can't wait for the next book from Allen.
Things certainly make more sense now that the missing chapters have re-appeared. This is a powerful account and has a truly authentic ring to the domestic violence. I have read up to chapter ten and the mythical side is still taking shape. On my shelf to continue reading. Patrick Barrett (Shakespeares Cuthbert)
There are some nice touches early on here such as the 'thoughts' of the garage and the taxi, that I really liked. The story is dark and relentless, as you would expect from the subject matter but well written and beautifully drawn. My sympathies are with the female characters in the early stages of the novel and I hope there is a happy resolution to be had somewhere at the end. I am putting this on my shelf.
Gone Away Into The Land....by Jeffery B. Allen. Truly a vacation spot that takes you to depths of the unexpected. The more that you read, the deeper this story gets while remaining light hearted and fun to read. This book leaves you with a feeling of yearning for more. As you travel throughout the land with John and his mother, Ellie, you are on a journey to places that you only dare to imagine. Mr. Allen has found a way to depict self exploration, our journey through life, the wonders of the afterlife, intense life lessons and the wonders of youth masterfully hidden within a light hearted story. Find yourself in a world where not only is it impossible to forget the pleasures of your childhood; but a place where you can embrace them and make them part of your soul.
Your talent shows again,your success as an author is certain, When will your next book be available ?
I took the book to work to read in the quiet times.....i just could not put it down.....everything i want from a book....so enjoyable.
Jeffrey, there is no doubt that you can write a compelling story here. I always try to avoid reading too much about child abuse but your story is much more than that. You choose your descriptive vocabulary very well to make the reading crisp and engaging. I think you need to insert the word 'which' before the word 'hung' in your first sentence, though, to make it read smoothly. This is obviously a typo as I have no negative criticism of this. I am backing you now,
I've read up to the tenth chapter. You've got me! I'm definitely bookshelving this book and recommending it to my friends. You're writing style is crisp and fresh. I was on the edge of my seat through every chapter, and I plan to come back for more! I hope this book gets the recognition it deserves. Keep writing, Jeffrey. You're extremely talented.
I dream about this book. Instant connection with the reader. It touches the senses and emotions we all experience. What a superb weaving of storylines. What a ride. This needs to become a movie.
I absolutely adored this book. It was such a breath of fresh air. I can quite honestly say that I have never read anything like it before. Excellent job and I look forward to the next book. Beautifully written.
backing this; a fast unmisable read - well done
I loved the book.
I thought it was a wonderful piece of fantasy fiction, and a remarkable novel. The character portrayals in this novel are not larger than life heroic depictions; they are solid, relatable, fully complete people, be they born of the real world or the realm of fantasy. They will earn your loyalty and your affection or your dislike and disdain. GoneAway into the Land is an adventure, an allegory, a bittersweet fantasy filled with subtle meaning and depth that never loses its appeal. It's innovative, beautifully written, and engaging.
Hi Jeffrey. I have to agree with Elaina. Your pitch needs work, if you are to capture the audience. That should be your priority right now, because it would be mine.
Having read the first two chapters. WOW .Awesome characterization. It made me feel like some one had connected me to a set of jump leads, leaving me feeling electromagnetic. I just wanted to keep on reading beyond chapter two. You have succeeded where many fail Jeff, and that is, the book has already fell into the shopping basket. .......WELL DONE!
Now for keeping the writers happy on authonomy. Always a tall order to say the least. I carried on reading through to chapter five. Well, I have to say your strength is how you combated the narrative. A master stoke, from an extremely talented individual. I found the story smooth. However, the story started to drag, instead of Flourishing through the doorways. Some times too much characterization can swallow the main aspect of the story!
Bravo, Jeffrey. I'm breathless - read 10 chapters without pausing, and I think during that time my heart stopped cold a time or two. This is exceptional prose, brilliant. From the first paragraph it is nonstop feeling - tension, pain, anger, sadness, determination, courage...you have captured something so unique here. John and Marly become solidly planted in my heart from the first page. The father--the beast--is exactly as an abuser would be seen through the eyes of a child, and that makes him almost unbearably terrifying. You have personified John so realistically, and with complete accuracy to his age, that I, and many readers, will feel ourselves becoming him. I'm also intrigued by the mother - angry at her brokenness and passivity, frustrated, but John--again, exactly as a child would do--holds nothing against her, loves her, and needs her. This is not only a thriller, but it is a study into the dynamics of a family trapped in violence. I look forward to the unfolding, and what I hope will be John's and Marny's redemption. Oh, and the New World sections are awesome - takes us away from the horror - but I, too, wonder if in time you may restructure the beginning to bring it in later. The opening is so gripping it is difficult for the reader to switch away.
Fabulous story and written with vivid style
I read this book from start to finish without putting it down. I loved the transitions the author made from one story to the next and how he intertwined them as the story progressed. I plan on reading it again for fun and I'd love to read anything else Jeffrey B. Allen publishes.
I just wanted to let you know that I am only 20 pages into your book and I am hooked already. I will leave a detailed review after I finish it.
I fell in love with this book. I have a wild imagination and when an author can keep up with it, I'm hooked. You know how every now and then you find the perfect book and you never want to put it down? That's how I felt about Gone Away Into The Land.
I was amazed how this author captured my interest with such brilliant emotional power. How does he do that?
The characters are larger than anyone I know, but at the same time I can identify and find similarites to those in my own life.
Jeffery Allan's writing is by far one of the most talented display of creativity. The descriptions made me feel I was right there each chapter after chapter. and with my heart beating louder and louder. What a treat!.This will be the biggest summer beach reading sensation among my group!
Imagine a land that is so beautiful and so perfect that each day is better than the one before. Imagine a living in a place where there is no strife, hate or conflict. Imagine living in a beautiful land filled with your favorite convections, treats, and delectable delights. Imagine a land where people are trained to create cakes, chocolates and other candy treats for their world and for ours.
Imagine waking up each morning in fear of what the day might bring. Imagine that fear instilled in a young child by his father. Imagine a mother who is helpless and cannot protect her children from the physical and psychological abuse inflicted upon them by their own parent. A father, who blames the entire world, his family, his bosses and everyone else for his plight in life, Imagine a parent who makes a deal with a monster to kidnap his own daughter in order to benefit himself.
How far will a parent and a brother go to protect and find their child or sister? To what lengths will a mother go to in order to get her child back? Reading this novel you will find the answer and much more.
Child abuses both physical and emotional are serious issues that many people face today. This book sends a powerful message to anyone that encounters an abuse person and why we all must speak out and makes sure no child or someone like the father, The Beast, in this book, ever victimizes adult.
In Gone Away into the Land, Jeffrey B. Allen intermingles the world of hate, violence and greed with the perfect world of ZingZongLand. John with the help of his mom, Ellie, must enter the fantasy world of ZingZongLand and search for his sister, Marny. The Beast, his father into this land in return for luxuries and delights to be bestowed upon him by the other monster in the book, Mengus, abducted Marny.
As John enters this world of convections, sweets and other delights he encounters many hardships, many unusual people and someone he never knew about. His mom was attack before he was born and as a result of that attack he was conceived. His father, forced to marry her, never came to love her or his son. Throughout the novel, John remembers the many times his father beat him and his mom. These descriptions of violence are quite graphic and disturbing.
As the book evolves John meets, the people who rule and run this once perfect land and soon realizes that there are not places in his world, or theirs devoid of hateful people, greed, tyranny and more.
Mengus, the villain, who is trying to take over as ruler, or Siftar of Southland and the entire world as he knows it, wants to have all of the sweet concoctions that are created by the workers, or Silfies, in the land sent to him for his approval before they are let out in the WORLD. With the aide of many people that he intimidates or threatens he manages to destroy much of the land and cause internal strife where it did not exist before.
Throughout the struggle to find is sister, John learns the truth behind his mother’s secret. He learns about someone new that will soon be in his life. Mengus seeking to control the world has captured John’s sister and uses her as a pawn to get his father to help destroy the land and spread fear throughout the country.
A battle to the finish where John rids the world of his evil father and Mengus and Maraska his assistant are captured makes the reader hold her breath until the very last page is turned. Suspenseful, heartfelt, heartwarming and masterfully written, I would give this book five stars and of course FIVE CHUFFAPOPS IN HONOR OF ZINGZONGLAND.
You will have to read this novel to find out whether John and his family return to the World or remain and help restore this once beautiful world.
Not until the very last chapter do you really learn and understand what really did happen to the family in this book. A must read for everyone. The ending will surprise you.
I'm not sure what to say. The suspense you built up in the first few chapters was wonderful but as I got to chapter four, I felt a little let down. I think the change in the story line was too dramatic for me. The writing is wonderful, very smooth and fluid. You obviously have a lot of talent. The descriptive prose was nicely done. All in all a good book however I did find the structure of the chapters disruptive. I do understand that you probably were working for this effect. I just would of liked to see it be more subtle. I guess that's just a personal style thing, my opinion. Oh I noticed one typo I wanted to bring to your attention:
Chap 2 paragraph four: I wonder why hid it behind the garage.
Good luck with this. I think (again just my opinion) that you might do better with getting interest from other authors here and thus more comments if you adjusted your short and long pitch. I want to hear more about the story. I think its great that you have had so much interest and enthusiastic comments. Possibly you could list those in the bio area. Many people do that. Write a intriguing synopsis, that will get everyone's attention. Just a suggestion.
This is definitely successful at emotionally involving the reader. I read clear through to the chapter introducing the other world, and was really feeling the suspense. I also felt it was very visual, and I could easily picture the scene as it played out.
I got a bit confused about the MC being on the porch watching, and then having it say he'd been at the table making his train. I think you meant before he'd got up to look outside? Not quite sure. I also had a hard time with the father's dialect. I'm not against dialects, and have had to use some myself, but I couldn't "hear" the cadence of his, or place it anywhere which made it a bit awkward to read.
When you switched to the new world I was ready to hear about it, yet somehow it failed to hold my attention - which previously you had totally grabbed. I think maybe it was because I was coming off all that emotion and suspense from the previous scene, and I wonder if you could do something to maintain a little of that tension to help pull the reader in?
Just my thoughts. Overall, it's a very intruguing beginning, and you definitely drew me further than most reads. I'm very interested and plan on reading more so you're shelved.
Mr Allen, I loved your book. I am on vacation and literally did nothing else until I had finished it. The real-life emotions mixed with a level of fantasy that I haven't enjoyed as much since reading C.S. Lewis's Lion, Withc and Wardrobe .... and the fight between good and evil... these are all basics in many solid novels, but your creativity is better than most. The characters are so well developed, I think about them even now that I'm finished the book... and want to read it again. Thanks for writing...
At the end of chapter 3 I am frightened by what lies ahead. So, stopped to comment, and take a breath. This has presence and is really well crafted. I would say polished- you have thought every word and sentence over carefully.
I'm leaving now to place you on my shelf, but will be back to read on as time allows. All the best with this!
Oh, there is just one 'negative' I ould like to point out. I really think your pitch could tell us more about the story. It will gather more readers and therefore more support. Your work deserves support.
Gathering of Rain
I think the brooding presence of the manically depressive (?) father and the protective innocence of John for his sister are particularly well done. I'm not so sure about the accents (I always get caned for these - they are very personal) which I felt needed some work. And I wanted to hear more of Marny's voice. But you build the tension very effectively. I got as far as the introduction of the new World, which I somehow regretted - I wanted to stay with the reality of the start of your gritty story and somehow felt the switch hadn't quite worked. Just a personal thought.
All the best with your writing.
Jeffrey, The opening chapter is great stuff. The second chapter has a lot of italicised questions and reported thoughts which just need developing into the narrative in the way you did with the opening. I'm going to watch this one. All the best -- Ian
End of Ch 10, I'm on the edge of my seat - I want to know what happened to Marny! Dynamic stuff, I couldn't stop reading. I did have a lot of trouble, though, with Chapters 7 and 8, trying to picture this other world, which seemed by contrast to be static, decorative, and talky. I gathered that there's an unspecified problem in SouthLand and the madman Mengus is chief suspect. I guess I can fit these two worlds together, but not easily. One reader's reaction, here. I'd really like to see how you develop the two strands.
Your opening paragraph is an immediate hook. The story invokes powerful emotions. I find myself rooting for the main character, hoping and hoping that together his sister and mother, he will find escape from the hell at home. That you get me so involved with the story speaks volume on your skill as a writer. I savour the read. I’m shelving Gone Away Into the Land. Keep it up. All the best. Casey - Hans of Hamelin