Recent Reviews for Jeffrey B. Allen
Gone Away Into the Land (Book) - 2/17/2010 9:57:41 AM|
This book really blew me away! And, I'm not that big into fantasy but this book has made me a true convert. "GoneAway into the Land" by Jeffrey B. Allen, will be the next "Lord of the Rings," I kid you not! The story starts out with a 12-year-old boy and his family who suffer the trauma of dealing with an abusive father and husband. The father is a beast and truly becomes one once they leave the World and end up in the Land, looking for John's sister Marny, who has been abducted by the beast.
ZingZongLand is a land of confections. How cool is that? Any type of confection you can imagine. It seems like a paradise until greed and power of a few take over.
Allen's wonderful art of description makes you forget you're in a land of make-believe. Instead you are entrenched in this "candy land" of sorts. Of course, you are also entrenched in the horrors and battles because Mr. Allen so vividly describes them.
The Land and its civilizations are virtually destroyed in the process of fighting the greed and power. John and his mother are in the midst of it all as they search for Marny. And, during the process, they find another lost wonder. To tell more would be to give away the story and I enjoyed this book way too much to ruin it for someone else.
This is an easy read because of the lightness Allen keeps despite some of the horrors experienced by John, his family and the friends he meets along his journey. There are times you will laugh out loud! Personally, Albertson was my favorite character. I wanted to take him home with me.
You will be on the edge of your seat to the very last page. And, if you react as I did, you will be anxious for Allen to finish the sequel. I can't wait to read "Into the World" and my guess is that we'll be seeing a film version one day. I highly recommend this book for both young and older adults.
Great job, Jeffrey B. Allen! Keep up the good work!
Gone Away Into the Land (Book) - 2/4/2010 4:01:04 PM
The dust jacket text for Gone Away: Into the Land promises an epic fantasy adventure. I can tell you that this is one novel that exceeds expectations. Author Jeffrey B. Allen takes the reader on an adventure that will leave you thinking about the story long after you close the final page.
We meet our protagonist, twelve-year-old John Gerber. John's life is not that of an average pre-teen-not even close. John, his mother Ellie, and his sister Marny live in constant, paralyzing fear of John's father, Daniel. Daniel, or the beast as John calls him, is an extremely volatile man whose rage could explode on his family at any moment-and explode it does. John dreams of ending the beast's reign of terror, of taking his family away before it is too late. The first fifty pages of Part 1 are no fantasy as the author describes in vivid, shocking detail Daniel's unpredictable fury and a horrible example of violent abuse, as the beast leaves John and Ellie beaten and bloodied and kidnaps six-year-old Marny.
With the help of a mysterious taxi driver, John and Ellie begin their search for Marny. This is where the fantasy starts as it is believed that Marny is somewhere in the candy factory where Daniel was employed. Soon John and his mother are aboard a train in an amazing land called ZingZongLand. ZZL is a place that is all about creating the best tasting candy. The leader of the land is called KyaSiftar. The Siftar's main rival is the minister of Southland province named Mengus. Desperate for power, Mengus has his sights set on dominating the land and controlling the new flavor creations. Mengus recruits the beast to aid in his conquest of the Land. He believes that gaining control in the Land is the key to overthrowing the World as well.
Jeffrey B. Allen showcases his considerable imagination and writing talent in creating an entire universe. His lead is a believable, lovable character with which readers young and old will quickly bond. The villains are wonderfully horrible and easy to loathe, without overshadowing the hero. The secondary characters are interesting, fresh and well drawn. The dialogue is crisp and clear and well suited to the vast variety of creatures and peoples. Allen slowly reveals his characters' secrets along the way, keeping the reader captivated throughout. He wastes none of these nearly 500 pages, using suspense and vibrant description to keep the pages turning. He brings all the players together in a David versus Goliath-type showdown for the ages that will have you rooting for John to the end.
Gone Away is building momentum, was recently picked up by a major publisher and was accepted in several school libraries. I believe it will become the next time-tested classic fantasy tale, universally adored and mentioned in the same breath as The Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Lord of The Rings. I highly recommend this thought-provoking, entertaining read.
Gone Away Into the Land (Book) - 11/4/2009 12:42:20 PM
This book completely consume me. When finished reading it I still thinking about it days later. I love this book. I love stories that you find yourself stopping at periods and pausing at commas to get the full effect. There was so much depth, which so many books lack these days. The poetry of Jeffery Allenís words allowed my mind to truly see the unique characters that became part of my life for awhile. I loved them and some, I even loved to hate. I usually rush though stories, just so I can start another, but with GONEAWAY INTO THE LAND, I took my time. A whopping week! And now as I write my review, Iím still attached to the characters Iíve come to love.
About the story...GONEAWAY INTO THE LAND is unlike anything I have ever read before. Itís a completely unique story. Think of the childrenís board game CANDYLAND gone wrong. Think of the characters, to name a few, King Kandy, Lord Licorice and the Molasses Monster. Think of Tim Burton getting his hands on the game gone wrong and wrapping his mind around the chaos.
Jeffery Allen fills your mind with colors and the love of sugary things. I popped Skittles and M&M's the entire time I read it. Not only do colors consume you but the plot is gripping with page turning suspense. At times I thought of LORD OF THE RINGS because each group of characters had their own quest. Throughout the story you are introduced to these characters and taken away into their adventures. Piece by piece all this stories and characters come together for the big battle in the end.
I would recommend this story to YA and adults, though above average young children would love it too. Great for children that know how to let themselves fall into a fantasy world. This story has a sequel but it doesnít leave you hanging. There is enough closure but still I long for more. I look forward for the follow-up and happy to add this book to the shelves in my own family library.
Gone Away Into the Land (Book) - 9/22/2009 12:17:37 PM
In GoneAway into the Land Jeffery Allen allows us a refreshing escape from reality. Although fantasy fiction, a cross between The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, but on steroids, and eerily parallel to real life power hungry politics we face in everyday life, GoneAway into the Land keeps you on the edge of your seat with suspense until the very end.
Ė Elise Crawford, author of A Promise Kept
Gone Away Into the Land (Book) - 5/21/2009 7:22:34 PM
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.
Gone Away Into the Land (Book) - 5/5/2009 4:30:34 AM
"I bought this novel from Wandering Sage Publishing's online bookstore while brousing their site. The write up intigued me. I am glad I followed my instinct and made this rather impulsive purchase. Jeffrey B. Allen has an incredible imagination. But not only that--GoneAway is a novel that invited my imagination to soar beyond its limits. It rekindled sweet childhood memories, yet made me feel such a powerful connection to the main character, who suffers so intensely in the opening chapters. I discovered myself holding my breath during some of the opening scenes. Absolutely riveting. The Land that John travels into is a place of sensory fullness. Memorable characters (my favorite: Hampton Ducksberry) linger still. GoneAway feeds the imagination, yet addresses serious life issues in a thoughtful, soul-stroking way. It's not too often I finish a novel, put it down, and think,"Superb. Now someone has to make this into a movie." This is my favorite novel in a long,long time.It would be an ideal springboard for discussion for both adolescent and adult audiences. I highly recommend it, and I look forward to more Jeffrey B. Allen novels."
Gone Away Into the Land (Book) - 4/29/2009 11:45:01 AM
GoneAway Into the Land by Jeffrey B. Allen is an interesting juxtaposition between a childís harsh, abusive reality and a Land of fantasy and tasty confection. It is well-written, engaging, and fascinating, creating a vibrant world that draws in the reader.
The plotline of GoneAway Into the Land is innovative, and delicious. The story begins with the sad home life of young John Greber, who tragically has an angry, abusive father; he, his younger sister, Marny and his mother Ellie all live an unhappy existence. The forlorn home life explodes in a violent confrontation that results in Johnís father, whom he calls The Beast, kidnapping Marny; this horror catapults John and his mother into a strange odyssey, as they search for the little girl. With the help of the mysterious Driver they venture into the Land, a curious place of sugary bonbons and inspiration intricately connected with our World. This extraordinary place is now in serious danger of destruction by the evil machinations of Mengus, one of the Ministers of the Land, and the rampages of The Beast. Denizens of both worlds are bound together in their attempts to save their respective worlds and one small girl.
GoneAway Into the Land is a remarkable novel, and I was most impressed with its characterization. The 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. The wondrous characters that abound in this novel are diverse, some malicious, some decent, some in-between. They will earn your loyalty and your affection or your dislike and disdain.
There is a faint dream-like quality to this book, a metaphoric attribute as it deals with themes of friendship, loss, violence, courage, greed, innocence, selfishness, and love. It is an adventure, an allegory, a bittersweet fantasy filled with subtle meaning and depth that never loses its appeal. GoneAway Into the Land is a captivating book with a creative narrative that quietly lures a reader into an original world that is fully realised and thoroughly absorbing. It transcends into a superb piece of fiction, and I recommend it highly.
Gone Away Into the Land (Book) - 4/19/2009 9:44:25 AM
I just finished reading this book called "GoneAway Into The Land" by Jeffrey B. Allen. The author contacted me on Facebook and asked if I would review his book. I am so glad he did! It's an amazing story told with wonderful imagination.
GoneAway is the story of John, who is twelve years old and a victim of the abusive wrath of his father whom John renames, the Beast. The Beast takes off with John's younger sister, Marny. In order to save Marny, John and his mom venture into the Land. It is during their desperate search to find her that John decides he must destroy the Beast. Not only to protect himself and his mother from future abuse but to save his sister and the friends he has made in the Land. An evil plot developed by Minister Mengus may destroy the Land and everyone in it. Will John be able to save his sister and this new land he's come to love?
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who was once a kid. You will not be disappointed!
That Fateful Day (Short Story) - 10/2/2011 4:27:54 PM
oh goodness, i wanted more...such a vast ending...or was it just the beginning towards the end...as each day is-
Rusting Mammoths (Short Story) - 9/5/2011 1:41:17 PM
Fascinating. Your use of language is terrific. I was drawn into this short vignette and left with so many questions, yet I'm glad I read it. A very good story.
Rusting Mammoths (Short Story) - 9/5/2011 12:54:16 PM
Interesting read with vivid descriptions.
The Nothing Whisper (Short Story) - 8/16/2011 6:07:22 AM
I read and re-read your article. Very insightful. One may have grace fall from them in the public limelight, but more importantly in
their own private life. The voice of the article was referring to a
private, internal struggle that comes only after a fall from grace.
It's interesting how the sadness you described can only be experienced
by someone who once lived in euphoria. Tiger Woods was at the top.
He's only known the positive emotions that correlate with being the
World's #1, so having anything less gives him the feeling of being a
crackling hanger-on, searching for his purpose again.
A plumber who loses his wife's company due to his own demons would relate. He's only known his wife to be there next to him as he wakes up every morning. He too lost his position in life because of his own faults. No outside variable played a role in the plumber's current emotional state . . . or Tiger's fall from the World's top ranking other than their own poor decisions.
That's the misery of having no-one to blame but yourself. It's an experience everyone will live through no matter the grandeur or public exposure. It's in those moments of hitting bottom when people grow, and it's within those same defining moments we will someday reflect upon with great appreciation.
All in all - awesome article.
The Nothing Whisper (Short Story) - 8/13/2011 8:46:31 PM
what beautiful prose. maybe there is no deeper meaning ro the twirling...the beauty is simply the... "twirling."
The Common Sensibility of Flies (Short Story) - 7/16/2011 5:02:07 AM
funny! wonderful metaphors-is that the right word? interesting how children will sense what others do not. i was hoping for a fly to drop in from a ceiling tile and buzz in just as your bohemian closed in on his last bite! so enjoyed!
Unus Mundus (Short Story) - 5/31/2011 5:24:29 AM
This is definately one for the Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock. Great imagination!
Unus Mundus (Short Story) - 5/19/2011 9:02:08 AM
I can relate so easily, Jeffrey. Very well stated.
That Fateful Day (Short Story) - 5/17/2011 9:26:52 AM
You have interesting insights, Jeffrey. I will read more of your work.
Anarchy (Short Story) - 5/6/2011 5:52:48 AM
Scary stuff! Here in the UK we're experiencing severe cuts, and we mostly grumble but acquiesce in the hope that they'll be sufficient to avoid the disaster you describe. But woe betide the government which introduces cuts then fails to resolve the crisis.
That Fateful Day (Short Story) - 2/19/2011 2:42:21 AM
I enjoyed the thought over the last day before I die - Was provoked by the idea that I may not be wearing nothing significant and I would so be relieved by the idea that I may very well not know its coming.
That Fateful Day (Short Story) - 1/12/2011 10:35:04 PM
Jeffrey, I so remember the cold of Chicago/Skokie. I remember stepping outside New Years Eve in 1969 -- we were heading to a party in Des Plaines -- and it was so cold our nostrils stuck together. I worked in the loop as an outside art and photography salesman and no matter how many layers of clothing I wore, the wind would cut through them. I've been living in the Los Angeles area for thirty-five years and never missed Chicago's winters, or for that matter, Chicago's summers.
My Latest Interview (Article) - 7/23/2011 8:52:53 PM
how wonderful. achievements come in all packages as you are witnessing here.
What Causes Are You Passionate About? (Article) - 3/3/2010 5:18:11 AM
'I do not believe in praying to God for material things, or to help make my day go well, or for the winning lottery number, but rather to help me stifle the darker side of my humanity.'
Well said Jeff, last two lines, thru say.
I believe the perfect pleasure, rejoicing, happiness, a goodly life and bliss, all lies in having knowledge of the creator (God).
Indeed a worthy cause starts from oneself, the home and moves outward. And for me unworthy cause is having no causeÖ
Why are people shooting each other (Article) - 11/6/2009 4:32:59 PM
Your insights are brillant, accurate, and well presented.
What day is it today? Itís Constitution Day (Article) - 9/17/2009 11:44:26 PM
Lights Out (Article) - 7/5/2009 4:52:42 PM
Obviously You Don't Read My Works,i.e We Didn't Go We Went ...Nothing Else Matter$ Except It:
"$ POLITICAL (WAR)GREED MONGERING$"...
Declaration As Constitution Means Squat---Whose Blame Every Human Who Sits There Reading This Does NOTHING TO STOP IT...
Etal: Writing Your Politician$ Waste Of Time...They Only Care About There Own Bank Account$...
Credit Illuminating Write...
Lights Out (Article) - 7/5/2009 3:59:26 AM
EXCELLENT. I hope you sparked some sense of reality into the readers of your article. I certainly have an uneasy feeling about what is going on in our country. There is a book I must find and give you the Author's name. It is called 'The Nickel and Diming of America'.
Good job Mr. Allen!!
Lights Out (Article) - 7/5/2009 2:51:49 AM
You're right Jeff, the lunetics have taken over the asylum. Join or start a tea party and help put the lunetics back in their padded cells
Shadows (Poetry) - 5/31/2011 8:27:31 AM
You take me back, right along with you, Jeffrey. I saw then the very same reflections of time in the glass, echoes that are now as aged as the face I shave every morning today. Well written -- I thank you for the memories.
Deception (Poetry) - 2/19/2011 2:35:04 AM
Shadows (Poetry) - 1/11/2011 4:05:38 AM
Allen, Boy, do I Know that feeling...Thanks
Shadows (Poetry) - 1/10/2011 8:05:55 PM
Sometimes memories can get the better of us and this is a magnificent way to express the passage of time...
Be always safe,
Shadows (Poetry) - 1/10/2011 10:05:14 AM
Great write! I think all of us that are getting a little'long in the tooth' feel this way.
Shadows (Poetry) - 1/10/2011 9:13:28 AM
i've heard this revelation expressed many ways...usually by women...but this is a wonderfully done piece of bittersweet musing. thank you jeff...p
Deception (Poetry) - 8/30/2010 10:14:48 AM
Your style of writing is unique filled with great perception.
-David Joel Rodriguez
Inspiration (Poetry) - 8/30/2010 10:13:19 AM
Another piece untouched.
The visualization is amazing.
A Separate Reality (Poetry) - 8/30/2010 9:54:22 AM
How is there no comments to this masterpiece? How is such philosophy overlooked? I "felt" this piece was phenomenal. I like how it feels in general though. Again, Good Piece!
Irrelevant, but on the other hand, I have been for the past 16 years enthralled with "Theology" though seems to jostle around to realize other things. The irony of it is that though I love the subject, I just don't practice it or need to. It's just a reincarnated reading for or to recreate a separate reality and not doubt that "There is an End."
-David Joel Rodriguez
Deception (Poetry) - 6/8/2009 5:19:57 AM
Hi Jeff, You sum it up quite well, this thing called deception. You write like you've had some experience being deceived. Amazing, isn't it, the depth of it? Great write... thank you for sharing...
Deception (Poetry) - 6/6/2009 6:12:39 PM
Excellent poem,take care.Welcome to the DEN