Novel – A Passing Shower

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My first novel is called “A Passing Shower”. It is available free here. It can be downloaded or read online.

Other than being available online it is unpublished, although making it available apparently legally makes it published! (At least this is the case in New Zealand where I live). Gee whizz! I’m a published author!

I haven’t the funds or the time to self-publish or to try to seek out a professional publisher. The novel however has been edited by a professional editor. She made forty or fifty suggestions, and I fulfilled everyone. That had been my resolve before submitting it, because one can be too precious. On the other hand, I do not entirely trust (not having ever met one!) every professional book publishing editor; they rightfully have books to sell… and before you know it the integrity of a work has sometimes gone down the plughole in favour of marketability.

Below are reviews and comments (or links to them) from some who have read “A Passing Shower”. They are all positive reviews. Is this is because the kindness of readers who found things unfavourable precluded them from making rude comments?

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Uma:

Perhaps, I am an unreliable reader-reviewer. Or perhaps, I am moonstruck with the novel-writer Yvonne, aged ‘anywhere between twenty and forty-three’, she who ended up writing the book because ‘the doctor says that writing might be good therapy, provided the plot doesn’t get too tormented and I stay in the third person singular’. Reins of the carriage fall in other hands fleetingly, and we are told how Yvonne has had a nervous breakdown and she is really a ‘scrambled omelet’. Yvonne of course will seize control almost immediately and deny the charge vehemently, both in first person and third person voices. One can but sympathise, how gruelling the business of writing a novel can get. It can spin out of control, more so when you are writing your first novel. ‘Far too much may be going on. Far too much happening at once. Too many strands. To many characters’. At the same time, she loves playing God, conjuring up people to fill the pages when it gets lonelier and give them the Dickensian two-dimensional characters, and killing them when they become a crowd. She may also bring them back from death, once in a while, to fill the vacuum. Trust Yvonne to deliver expeditiously, switching back and forth in time, space, reality and fiction, even in the middle of a paragraph, employing techniques of stream-of-consciousness, surrealism and magical realism, the sum total of which is a rich stream-of-muddleheadedness…

It seems I have unfairly broached the matter of Catch-22 in the beginning (of this review), but it is an unparalleled work of dark satire and parody, and not many books can match the humorous vignettes that crackle in its pages. That said, most of its characters are flatter than mud cakes. In contrast, in Bruce Goodman’s Yvonne, we have a central character who bears many more dimensions than Joseph Heller’s Yossarian. She presents a verisimilitude that is at once human, notwithstanding the farce and recurring insanity. Granma, who drops dead within the first three sentences of the story, turns out to be a lasting, indestructible influence. Yvonne’s sister-friend Peggy is anything but a puppet. Again, unlike Catch-22, where existential absurdism, thinly disguised as black humour, is the thread holding the book together, the courage and compassion of the Trippetts in the face of recurring misfortunes is the binding thread in A Passing Shower

Read the whole review here.

fancylineThe late Cynthia:

I should say, here, that I have only yesterday finished reading your novel, A PASSING SHOWER, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Though it’s readily found by Googling the title and author I do think publication in the form of a “real” book is definitely warranted. It’s just plain lovely!

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Willowwrites:

I wanted you to know that I have started reading your book and am on page 53…I simply LOVE it!!

My only dissatisfaction is that I wish it was a hard copy and not online. I want to continue reading but have to shut down the computer for the day.

The characters are wonderfully developed and realistic, the story is woven together nicely, it reads smoothly and I don’t want to put it down.

I find myself cheering for Yvonne, loving Cob, and not loving most of the other siblings so much…too much like my own, I think.

Mattie would have been a gem to have known and Tom…well, he’s a stand up guy and excellent Granpop. Wait…oh, my, I forgot, this is fiction.

Can’t wait to read more…

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Chris:

I have just finished reading A Passing Shower which I thoroughly enjoyed. I felt that the narrator’s tone was pitched really well, being natural and conversational and thus wholly believable. I liked how Yvonne’s feelings about each character came through despite the fact that I felt that she was trying to be objective – very true to life. The subtle changes of tense and perspective worked well, and the introduction of different narrators, albeit disruptive influences, was a masterful stroke.

The moment when Yvonne feels guilt for Cob’s death is both poignant and perceptive – how often have we all felt that we could have changed events with one small action, and live then with regret. I also like the footnote at the end questioning the nature of the entire story!
A fine piece which I shall return to no doubt in the future.

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Yvonne:

Oh, Bruce, I just finished the book. Thank you so much for providing us with the link to it, thank you for writing it.

It ended just perfectly, and the note from the Professor provided yet another Bruce twist!

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Andrea:

I literally just finished reading A Passing Shower – started it yesterday and read it in each spare moment – loved it Bruce. You have such engaging characters, your trademark humour but also many touching moments and some gems of wisdom. The last few chapters brought tears to my eyes. But where is it publicised on your blog – I only found out about it through some of the comments. Brag about it!!!

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Lisa:

I read A Passing Shower, which I loved. You do really wonderful unreliable narration, Bruce. There was the part where Cob wrote that Yvonne had died and then Yvonne comes back in. I bet she has further adventures at the farm in Quebec. I liked Mattie as well and the way she went to find Yvonne.

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Bianca:

I finished A Passing Shower last night and really enjoyed it. ‘Blessed are those with no punctuation’ is a line that will stick with me forever, I cried laughing.  Loved Peggy so much. I love how you handled so many characters and personalities so effortlessly. I found it clever and self-deprecating and entertaining, and I would certainly read more of your novels if they were there to read!

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