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Days of Allison [Paperback]

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Item description for Days of Allison by Eric Shapiro...

"Shapiro studies this in great detail, letting us get to know the very credible intricacies and eccentricities of his character before flipping the coin over and allowing us to see what makes Allison what she is, or what she is not. It's a compelling tale, and one that does everything right, leaving you wondering who the real artificial lifeform of the story is, and forcing us to question everything we take for granted about human nature. It's a story about love, hate, and identity. Phillip K. Dick would have been proud of this tale, and you, dear reader, have my envy that you're about to experience it for the first time." from the introduction of Days of Allison by Kealan Patrick Burke. With his third title, "Days of Allison," Eric explores the ways in which technology dilutes communication and human relationships. This is a stunning new novella from American author, Eric Shapiro, whose reputation as an important voice in post-modern sci-fi/fantasy/horror genres has seen praise from respected and award-winning authors such as Jack McDervitt, James Rollins, Tim Lebbon, Elizabeth Massie, Michael Oliveri, Neil Ayres, Christopher Fowler, Kealan Patrick Burke, and many others.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   96
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 13, 2006
Publisher   Crowswing Books
ISBN  1905100205  
ISBN13  9781905100200  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Days of Allison?

Virtuoso rendition of a 'Man' trapped inside his own head  Nov 17, 2006
Call him Louis. A man, if you will, so star-crossed and inept that even the beautiful and servile pre-programmed female companion his mother has bought him ends up rejecting him in the end.

Or that's not exactly right, for that fateful evening when Allison --Louis's cyborg concubine -- tells-him-off is more like the beginning of the end, or the shape of things to come, or ...

And this, dear friends, is when things take a
turn, the moment, at which all my idle, quiet
anxieties about Allison and the Meaning of it
All morph into outright obsessions, the juncture
from which there is no returning ... and she says
to me, in that human voice, as other beings and
entities dance wildly around us: "Don't call me
`love.' I don't love you."

And so our story authentically begins.

Just as Winston Churchill said in 1942: Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. So, too, for Louis's story. No (, dear reader--as Louis might say), not the British victory at El Alamein which signaled one of the turning points of WWII, but the hard-to-quantify temporal circumlocutions embedded in the text of Eric Shapiro's latest fiction, Days of Allison .

Part of the distinction of Shapiro's accomplishment here is the fact the novel's main conceit is so skillfully hidden-in-plain-sight that the moment of revelation hits you with the force of a palm to the forehead. Another point that distinguishes this effort is the characterization of our anti-hero protagonist himself, a man so painfully and irrevocably trapped inside his own neuroses he makes Woody Allen look like a piker.

Suddenly my intestines are knotted; my blood
stops dancing in my head and starts jogging
through my calves. I then go about the business
of formulating a witty, snappy, timeless and
memorable comeback, the likes of which will
sting my new "friend" so hard that in all likelihood
he will adjourn to the bar and drink himself into a
violent death. My brain makes speedy, nimble
calculations, considering his words, their tone, his
meaning, his breath, rapidly scanning the rolodex
for something swift and cutting, but before I'm
even close to parting my dry lips, the man has gone.

Being inside Louis's head over the course of 90 pages is like witnessing a gory car wreck in slow motion that you know you should turn away from because you don't want to believe you're hardwired to be feeling such a sick sense of voyeuristic pleasure from it but do anyway and you can't not keep yourself from being compelled to witness every gut-wrenching second.

Ironically (or not so verily ironic), Louis only really comes to life when his own life is in question. And when the truth hits the fan it becomes apparent that the only heroic act for Louis is one of only literally saving himself. Which brings up all kinds of philosophical questions about the nature of the self, of existence, of God and love and of free will ... many of the timeless Unanswerables that literature has been keen to explore down through the ages.

In DoA's epilogue, Louis has retreated to his own private patch of land, where he grows fruits and vegetables, shading toward an affirmation of Voltaire's Candide's advice that the only thing one can do is tend one's own garden, or, insofar as Louis is here concerned, for the word garden you may want to substitute Strawberry Fields.

In spite of Days of Allison's initials (which may be coincidental, though it's not bloody likely) the only thing Dead on Arrival about this book is its being pigeonholed as sci-fi, when the reality is it's got the universality to wake up the narcotized and automated masses, and make them realize that there is, indeed, more.


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