I, like many, tend to judge a book by the cover. I shouldn’t, of course. But I find many times that if someone didn’t take the time to create an awesome cover, the inside doesn’t fare much better (of course, many times an eye-catching cover is created to make up for the crap that is inside, so it’s not a fail-proof plan). I wasn’t impressed by this book cover, but I’m happy to report that my preconceived notions were wrong.
Out of his unpromising cultural background in the American Midwest, Jonathan Force manages in the course of his undergraduate years at Yale to establish an Archimedean point outside of all culture from which to view contemporary life. He becomes a famous psychologist, an internationally renowned social critic and pundit whose published books—Force Fields, Reasonable Force, Uses of Force—strike such surprising and resonant notes that, in the words of his contemporaries, the public has come to think with his ideas rather than about them. In late middle life he experiences a personal revelation that will lead him to abandon his famous pundit persona altogether—and to move beyond the constricting limitations of “knowing it all.”
Length: 558 Pages
Release Date: June 15, 2016
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A writer of fiction, poetry, and literary non-fiction, Richard Hawley has published more than twenty books and several monographs. His essays, articles and poems have appeared in dozens of literary, scholarly, and commercial journals, including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, American Film, Commonweal, America, Orion, The New England Journal of Medicine, and The Christian Science Monitor and in many literary anthologies. For ten years he taught fiction and non-fiction writing at The Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Vermont, and he continues to teach developing writers in a variety of settings. Recent work, including work in progress, draws increasingly from depth psychology and classical philosophy to illuminate contemporary problems.
Like I mentioned before, I judged this book by its cover and didn’t expect much out of it. I noticed its length (558 pages), and wondered what I had gotten myself into. I was also a little worried when I started reading the first chapter and there was zero dialogue. In a way it was like reading someone’s journal. But then I kept reading. And I didn’t want to stop.
Richard Hawley has an incredible way with words and, even without dialogue, is able to bring Jonathan Force to life in an amazing way. I actually thought this was an autobiography at first (And then double checked the name of the author, and it of course isn’t.) The first section, which is from the point of view of a young Jonathan, actually felt like I was in the head of an 8-year-old boy. He talked, acted, and felt, exactly how I would expect a child to, which is an impressive feat for any author.
The book continues through two more stages of Jonathan’s life (hence the title), each one adding to who he was, who he is, and who he is becoming.
This is an awesome read and I highly recommend it to everyone. 5 out of 5 Stars.
The Three Lives of Jonathan Force is available both digitally and in paperback. You can click on the image below for more info.