Monday, September 2, 2013

Review for Colorado Mandala by Brian Heffron!!

With refreshing depth, distinct literary merit, and highly original poetic phrasings that spill from the pages like paint, Colorado Mandala is poet Brian Heffron’s debut work of literary fiction. It mines the complex landscape of post-Vietnam America to unearth the deep connections that bind individuals together, and also ferociously rip them asunder.  Illustrative, luscious, seductive, and engaging, this rare piece of craftsmanship will stir the senses of any one who thirsts for artistic expression, or who longs for an era in our country now utterly, irretrievably gone.

In the heady, hippie backdrop of Pike’s Peak, Colorado, in the tumultuous 1970s, three souls swirl together in an explosive supernova. Michael is the flinty-eyed, volatile former Green Beret, whose tour in Vietnam has left unbridgeable chasms in his psyche and secrets that can never find light. Sarah is his fair-haired paramour, the ethereal Earth Mother widow of a fallen soldier and single mother to a ten-year-old son Stuart.  Paul is a young wanderer, who is drawn in by Michael and soon bears the mantle of both minister and scourge. As they are drawn together, and torn apart, each is changed forever. And our hearts race along with them, through the rocky, raw Colorado terrain amidst the blood sport of man and beast.

Laying bare the loss and acceptance of a pioneering age, Colorado Mandala shines revelatory light on the crazy, glorious, and romantic notion that each generation conceives anew: that love can be a spiritual gift shared openly rather than coveted, or hidden, or hoarded. If you wish to go barefoot again and climb an unspoiled Colorado trail, look no further. If you long for something to wake you up in simple, clean language, a shimmering story awaits. Awaken to what you have always known: simple truths show you the way home. With his gripping and unforgettable Colorado Mandala, it is clear that Brian Heffron knows the way. Simply follow his trail.



What I love most about a book is when I'm unsure about reading it, and it totally takes me by surprise and I love it!!  That's what happened with this book!!

It's based in the seventies, after Vietnam is over.  Micheal is the veteran, who served his time in the war, but has many demons he has to fight because of it.  He talks to no one about his time there, but a fellow solider who knows what's he going through.  Paul is his business partner and friend, who finds it hard being his friend at times.  

Then there is Sarah... she's the one in the middle of Paul and Michael.  She loves both, but soon finds Michael too hard to handle.  His anger and drinking are getting out of hand for her and her young son.  I love Sarah!  She's beautiful and free-spirited!  Her young son Stuart reminds me a lot of my own boys!  

I thought it fascinating to see Michael's downward spiral into addiction.  As much as he tries, he can't get Paul to follow him down into the dark hole he keeps putting himself in. His anger is so close to the surface, and it gets worse when the alcohol is flowing.  He seems to get angry at the fact that Paul's growing closer to Sarah, and makes it known to both how unhappy he is.  

As I said, this book surprised me, and I love when a book does that!  I loved that, although Michael was dealing with some big issues, it didn't stop the charismatic side of him to come out when it was needed.  He was a poet, and could demand attention from any audience, which he loved to do!  I was also worried about him at the same time.  He desperately needed help, and was looking in all the wrong places to get it.  

This wasn't my normal book that I usually read, but I'll always give a book a chance!  I was really happy I gave this one a chance!! 


After Brian Francis Heffron achieved a bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing from Emerson College, he has navigated across the Atlantic Ocean under sail (and found Gibraltar), was Director of Photography on “The Imported Bridegroom” a tiny Indy film that received a national theatrical release, created a heart-rending poetry blog within the Notes section of his Facebook profile that drew an avid, dedicated, and international audience, and all the while he wrote, produced, and directed hundreds of hours of television programming for KLCS-TV, a PBS Station focused on education.

On Valentine's Day 2010 he published a handmade poetry chapbook that sold out in three weeks! "Sustain Me with Your Breath" then became, and remains, a promotional e-book sensation.

Heffron followed that up with “Something You Could Touch”, a one hour spoken word poetry CD that broke sales records in its category.

Heffron has also won Emmys, Tellys, Aurora, Videographers and the Davis Award, among others plaudits for both writing and television.

Brian Francis Heffron’s debut novel, Colorado Mandala, mines the complex landscape of 1970s post-Vietnam America to chart the love triangle of a former Green Beret, his lover, and a young wanderer. Colorado Mandala straddles the line between literary and young adult fiction, and distills the author's poetic sensibility into a deeply lyrical work of art.



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