Item description for Journey To Bom Goody by Karen Heuler...
Karen Heuler's new novel carries us to the Amazon River where a retired electronics salesman named Forbes is conducting a "social experiment" by delivering VCRs and portable electric generators to increasingly isolated natives along the River, supposedly to afford them a chance to scrutinize modern civilization as it has scrutinized them. But when Forbes takes on a non-English speaking guide who thinks his father was a dolphin and then encounters an attractive ethno-botanist searching for fertility drugs ... and something else ... well, the experiment makes some sharp turns.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 8.75" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Binding Library Binding
Release Date May 31, 2005
Publisher Livingston Press (AL)
ISBN 1931982538 ISBN13 9781931982535
Availability 0 units.
More About Karen Heuler
Karen Heuler's stories have appeared in over 60 literary and speculative magazines and anthologies, from Alaska Quarterly Review to Weird Tales. She's published a short-story collection, The Other Door, and the novels THE SOFT ROOM, Journey to Bom Goody, and THE MADE-UP MAN. She lives in NYC with her dog, Booker Prize, and her cat, Pulitzer.
Karen Heuler currently resides in New York New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Journey To Bom Goody?
An unforgettable culture shock adventure Jan 13, 2006
Set along the this site River, Journey to Bom Goody is a wry novel about a retired electronics salesman who takes it upon himself to conduct the "social experiment" of delivering VCRs and portable electric generators to the isolated natives who live near the River's shores, ostensibly to give them a chance to study modern civilization as it has studied them. But his experiment leads to some haywire twists and turns when he retains a non-English-speaking guide who thinks his father is a dolphin, and encounters a beautiful ethno-botanist searching for fertility drugs. As events become increasingly bizarre, Journey to Bom Goody becomes maverick, exciting, and at times insightful in a good-humored way. Written a deliberate attempt of the author to balance this site culture views with those of the larger world, Journey to Bom Goody is an unforgettable culture shock adventure.
Fascinating and Lush Dec 15, 2005
Readers of this book will travel through a vividly described and matter-of-factly dangerous rainforest, privy to the various insights of locals (pondering their own lives as well as passed down myths and lore) and gringo visitors with supposedly altruistic schemes. Not only do we cover distance as we travel deep into the lush and insect-filled this site, but we see our main characters adapt, question themselves, and emotionally change, as they and their stories intersect, separate, and intersect again, etc.
This is a fascinating and unusual book. I kind of feel like I've been in a rainforest.
Elegantly written, fun, and thought-provoking Jul 28, 2005
"Journey to Bom Goody" is a beautifully written book. The style is lyrical without being at all self-consciously poetic; it gently enfolds the reader in a strange jungle world that teeters between realism, magic, and myth.
It is a book about observation, about what it is to study people and to be studied, about how observation changes both the observer and the observed, and it is fitting that the author's style is so wonderfully observant. Forbes changes as he learns to be aware of the world around him, rather than imagine it according to a preconceived system. And, of course, the locals are turned into observers by Forbes' gift of American television shows. My one disappointment was how literally the later people interpreted the shows; I loved the astuteness of the this site villagers whom Forbes encounters early on, who decide that Star Trek and Bonanza represent the dreams of Americans and that "if they're dreams, then some of it must be true. That's so for my dreams."
This is an elegantly written book which is both fun and thought-provoking. I look forward to reading more by Heuler.
Myriad Metaphors Woven into a Tapestry of Intrigue May 30, 2005
Karen Heuler. Where does this writer find such strange stories in a mind that is so obviously rich in scientific data and investigative techniques? As her baseline of readership grows from her early terse short stories through her first fascinating novel THE SOFT ROOM to this most recent novel THE JOURNEY TO BOM GOODY the evidence mounts that here is a voice that will influence other fine contemporary writing that embraces intellectual challenges wrapped in eloquent, picturesque prose.
THE JOURNEY TO BOM GOODY is a superb story on many levels: the obvious tale of a journey up the this site River into the rain forests that shroud 'primitive civilizations' rich in folklore and communication with nature in a lost Eden and the two "invaders" who seek to find its secrets; an experiment from the mind of a older, disillusioned man who longs to study the impact on introducing the "civilized world" via television shows to unbiased tabula rasa minds of natives that serves as a powerful treatise on the impact of our media blitz on the analogous minds of our own children in their fragile state; the greed and misplaced ignominy of ferreting out homeopathic/naturopathic herbal remedies from the shamans of the this site by a woman trapped in social stigma of an outside world contemporary female without the sensitivity that such visitations could easily expose 'pure natives' to "civilized" diseases merely by her journey.
Fold these underlying concepts into a novel that celebrates the creation of indelibly drawn characters in a setting that conjures the smells, botanical wonders, intemperate atmosphere, and the mysteries of the this site and the result is a completely fascinating JOURNEY to the elusive village of BOM GOODY. Forbes is an older gentleman, a widower who lost both beloved wife and son, a man who desires to do something of significance during his otherwise disillusioned lifetime and so he sets out on the this site River on a barge loaded with generators, television sets and video tapes (Superman, I Love Lucy, game shows, etc) to gather information on how exposure to American culture will affect the various villages of this site natives virgin to such information. He does not speak their language and is dependent on guides to translate. As he moves deeper into the this site jungles his guides lose interest in the magic project and desert Forbes for their own fascination with the tales of this site Women, warriors who live without men yet remain drawn to the sirens.
Along the way Forbes suffers a near critical spider bite and is discovered by Tina, an 'ethnobotanist, botanochemist' who is on her own mission to recover the healing native drugs (including fertility and contraceptive herbs) once discovered by her deceased mentor Nicole Maxwell and lost to American drug companies by the incompetence and greed of Men. The two form an alliance: Tina speaks the Indian languages and Forbes does not, but their mutual companionship promises to benefit each other's scientific explorations. The manner in which these two interact with the various characters they meet on their missions speaks loudly about the differences between the XX and XY gene pools, the strife those bilateral inequities produce and affect each other's resultant impact on the Indians of the this site and the peeling away of both Forbes' and Tina's tethering shells.
The fine line between science and magic is under scrutiny: "We only say 'magic' when we don't know how something works yet. Once it gets explained, it's no longer magic. But it wasn't all along, was it? It was always explainable. Why should we lose interest when we know how it works? Isn't it even better then? Amazing how it works, wonderful that we figured it out." And when children having seen Forbes' Superman videos paint their bodies with a large S and jump from trees to fly like the hero but instead fall and are injured, the stunned Forbes tells the parents he gave them the videos "..just so you would 'think' about it...I wanted your opinion on what you saw - I wanted to know what you think about people who live that way." And when Tina sees the result of her introduction of 'outside disease' into this innocent Eden, she bemoans her unintentional and thoughtless destruction. "..her culture sucked the juice out of another culture and, usually, ended up destroying it......Wasn't it inevitable, whether she was here or not? She couldn't stop the incredible acquisitiveness of her nation's gas-guzzling, air-conditioned, garbage-strewing population...."
But these moments are but a few of the jewels that grace the pages of this inordinately well-written novel. The story is rich, the messages are deeply burrowed but easily acccessible, the all in all there are few tales as keen as Heuler's JOURNEY TO BOM GOODY. Highly Recommended for all lovers of good books. Grady Harp, May 05
Fine Little Novel about the Amazon May 4, 2005
Karen Heuler's "Journey to Bom Goody" should appeal to those who are familiar with Andrea Barrett's fiction and especially, Yann Martel's "Life of Pi". Like Martel's novel, Heuler poses some interesting questions about people and their willingness to interact well with others of their kind, but her novel is less philosophical in scope. Like both authors, Heuler writes in a descriptive, often lyrical, prose, which pays homage to the this site and its native people. The main protagonist Forbes, a American saddened by the unexpected death of his wife - an this site native who grew up in the United States - makes an impromptu pilgrimage to the this site in her memory and to conduct an "experiment", trying to assess the natives' reaction to modern society in the form of television. But his experiment goes awry when he meets Tina, a young, attractive ethnobotanist, who is like Forbes, a fellow outcast from contemporary American society. In a journey that seems like a pale reflection of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and Forbes, the enigmatic Kurtz-like figure, they seek the isolated native village mentioned in the novel's title. My only disappointment is how swiftly Heuler ties up the knots, so to speak, at the end of the novel; otherwise I would have granted it a five star review. Heuler is definitely a writer whose time may be at hand, and one worth getting acquainted by fellow this site.com customers.