[[ pdf ]] A Different AlchemyAuthor Chris Dietzel – Collateralloan.co

A Different Alchemy is an amazing installment in the De Evolution series of books It is filled with love, betrayal, anger, discovery, forgiveness, and acceptance I mentioned in my review of The Last Teacher that this book has uncanny parallels to The Awakening by Kate Chopin, right down to a bird with a broken wing, and to The Stranger by Albert Camus, which basically questions the reason for life.Alchemy is the supposed magical process of turning lead into gold Its less well known mean A Different Alchemy is an amazing installment in the De Evolution series of books It is filled with love, betrayal, anger, discovery, forgiveness, and acceptance I mentioned in my review of The Last Teacher that this book has uncanny parallels to The Awakening by Kate Chopin, right down to a bird with a broken wing, and to The Stranger by Albert Camus, which basically questions the reason for life.Alchemy is the supposed magical process of turning lead into gold Its less well known meanings include The discovery of a universal cure for disease and The discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life It can also mean A power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way , and I think that is the definition most applicable to this book.This is the story of Jeffrey and Galen, his Block son There are other characters, such as his wife and parents, but this book is about a father s love for a son who is incapable of returning his love It also fills in some details about what life was like as the de evolution progresses and humanity makes it final journey to the south.Jeffrey is in the armed services He is about fifty and works at Fort Dix Working in the de evolution means getting up and going where you used to work to do nothing Most people don t bother, but Jeffrey goes every day His wife wants them to move south to become part of one of the communities, but he isn t ready to go She has always felt like Jeffrey forced her to get pregnant and resents him for it He resents her because she can t love their son They don t talk about this, however.Jeffrey can t share normal things with his son, but the one thing he has always had are nights on the front porch, sitting with Galen to watch the sun set He told Galen the deepest thoughts he couldn t tell his wife He held his hand and they listened to the birds and he watched Galen breathe He loved his son and didn t understand why his wife couldn t accept him.As they are almost ready to head south, a tragedy occurs and Galen dies Katherine is complicit in his death Jeffrey is consumed with grief He doesn t go home, but, instead, goes back to Fort Dix and steals a tank Well, it s not really stealing any.As the rest of the world heads south, Jeffrey heads north, always keeping close to the ocean reference to The Awakening He is free from his wife and from the world He can go where he wants and do what he wants and he does He goes through all the northern states and into Canada He meets a few people along the way, but isn t interested in any new relationships At each places he stops, all he cares about is that he can find a safe place to live and a good library Jeffrey is spending the rest of his life reading.Thinking back to, The Last Teacher , you can wonder what the point of reading books is any Most people would say there is no point and it s a waste of the time they have left That s not what Jeffrey believes neither did The Last Teacher It s what he wants to do He reads The Awakening and The Stranger He says The Stranger had been one of his favorites, but now the ending made him feel like there was no use in anything The ending talks about the absurdity of the human condition and the meaninglessness of freedom, existence and responsibility There is also a statement saying people have no right to judge others for their actions or for who they are.I think this entire series is encapsulated in those few sentences What isabsurd than the human race being extinguished because life can no longer pro create Having children is the reason people can survive knowing they are going to die because a part of them will still live on in their children.Their lives will not simply cease to exist because they will be remembered The Blocks ended that Although human, they can t reproduce and they can t remember their parents They don t even know they exist Something something absurd caused the very source of life to end life It only happened to humans Animals thrived and reclaimed the world Humanity is ended by its own DNA.Jeffrey goes as far north as he can, gives his tank to a man he meets, forgives Katherine, and, as in The Last Astronaut comes to terms with the life and loss of Galen He remembered those memories with fondness , just as The Last Astronaut was able to smile about Bob and put the pain behind him Both men, as they face the end of their lives, are able to remember the good things and let go of everything else That is the opposite of all the people heading south, thinking they can outrun death and never accepting the end of all things.We don t know what becomes of Jeffrey Does he live a natural life span and die on his own terms or does he decide to walk into the ocean without stopping, also ending life on his own terms That is the question at the end of The Awakening and it is what we are left with at the end of A Different Alchemy This is an amazing book and it didn t leave me feeling sad and hopeless I lived Jeffrey s life with him The character is so well written, you can feel his pain, his love, his longing, and his need to just go away Jeffrey came to terms with life and death through Galen The Last Astronaut did it through Bob I think the book is saying that as long as you have experienced happiness and love in your life, you don t need children and a future The fact that you loved and were loved is reason enough to live A Different Alchemy is Chris Dietzel s follow up to his debut novel,The Man Who Watched the World End , taking place in the same setting the Great De evolution about 50 years prior The first book focused on an old man coping with the utter finality of the human race s gradual extinction A Different Alchemy follows Jeffrey, a grieving father who embarks on an unlikely journey through the wasteland of the Great De evolution, as he struggles to come to grips with both the loss of his son A Different Alchemy is Chris Dietzel s follow up to his debut novel,The Man Who Watched the World End , taking place in the same setting the Great De evolution about 50 years prior The first book focused on an old man coping with the utter finality of the human race s gradual extinction A Different Alchemy follows Jeffrey, a grieving father who embarks on an unlikely journey through the wasteland of the Great De evolution, as he struggles to come to grips with both the loss of his son and the devastating betrayal leading to his son s death.The story is told in an intriguing style, with Jeffrey s narrative alternating between his forward moving journey up the East Coast, and his direct recollection of the weeks leading up to his son s death The journey itself was for me theinteresting of the two narratives as it afforded a wider look at the world of the Great De evolution, as opposed to the decidedly myopic picture of The Man Who Watched the World End Dietzel s portrayal of a world crumbling into ruin is highly effective and believable I was often reminded of an old adage my father taught me that running away or ignoring my problems was never the proper way to handle them Since the people in Dietzel s world hold no hope for a future, they simply stop caring about things that once seemed important and literally try to run away from the biggest problem in history.I also thought the ending of the story, while not earth shattering, was quite cathartic and oddly hopeful, similar to the feeling I got at the end of reading Cormac McCarthy sThe RoadThat being said, I did not find this book as enjoyable as Dietzel s debut While I again appreciated the easygoing, introspective prose style, in my opinion it did not always lend itself to effective dialogue between characters in this book Simply put, some of the passages that might have worked fine as internal monologue came across as stilted and unrealistic when put to voice I also perceived a lack of variety among the characters, as too often they sounded similar in structure and tone to Jeffrey s own inner thoughts My main issue was the oft repetitive cycle of Jeffrey s obsessive thought process around his son s death While understandable and realistic, it made for a dull read at times I also didn t think Jeffrey s journey provided quite enough conflict while there were a few tense moments, even those wereor less easily resolved Given the setting that was a bit difficult for me to reconcile Despite the flaws I do consider this to be a good book, albeit one that plays things a bit safe While I think there are still some good stories left to be told in this world, I d love to see something that expands the scope of the narrative beyond solitary man does a lot of thinking about the past Reviewer s note The author provided this reviewer with an advance copy of the novel free of charge, in exchange for an honest review to be posted on Goodreads when completed reading, and at.com at publication I should start by saying I read this book through in one sitting, which I did not expect I expected the end of the world, but the story itself felt much smaller, and because of that, infinitelyhuman The story encompasses the great whimper at the end of civilization, as people s actions become governed by the increasingly inevitable realization that tomorrow isn t coming Its focus, though, is on one man as he struggles to come to terms with his own personal losses, and his attempt to fin I should start by saying I read this book through in one sitting, which I did not expect I expected the end of the world, but the story itself felt much smaller, and because of that, infinitelyhuman The story encompasses the great whimper at the end of civilization, as people s actions become governed by the increasingly inevitable realization that tomorrow isn t coming Its focus, though, is on one man as he struggles to come to terms with his own personal losses, and his attempt to find a way forward This is what good science fiction should be using fantastic worlds and events to speak about our own Finding surprise gems like this are why I love GoodReads Perhaps one of the most depressing books I ve ever read I kept waiting for something good to happen in this book and it just never happens Stay away from this book if you have a special needs kid.Essentially it s about a father who abandons his wife after she takes their Block child to a stadium with thousands of other Block children and the place is burned to the ground along with the kids Block children are the result of De evolution and it means the end of humanity since Block kids can Perhaps one of the most depressing books I ve ever read I kept waiting for something good to happen in this book and it just never happens Stay away from this book if you have a special needs kid.Essentially it s about a father who abandons his wife after she takes their Block child to a stadium with thousands of other Block children and the place is burned to the ground along with the kids Block children are the result of De evolution and it means the end of humanity since Block kids can t move, talk, see, react or anything And of course every human on the planet is affected The father then decides to take a trip in a tank while the remnants of civilization slowly die away.Really, my WTF issue with the book is that these Block kids live for decades I just don t buy it Without movement everything in the body atrophies and these kids adults really look like perfectly normal people except that they can t move, interact, etc.I would have ranked the story higher if it had gone anywhere Writing style was good and it kept me interested enough to finish but I kept waiting forsomething I got an e mail about this book being on sale and decided to check it out The reviews were overall positive, and end of world scenarios are usually interesting reads That was not the case in this book.Without giving away the major plot points, the main character of the book suffers a personal tragedy very early in the story The rest of the book rotates between flashbacks of his old life, and the details of his current life moving foward The flashbacks always go something like this He and hi I got an e mail about this book being on sale and decided to check it out The reviews were overall positive, and end of world scenarios are usually interesting reads That was not the case in this book.Without giving away the major plot points, the main character of the book suffers a personal tragedy very early in the story The rest of the book rotates between flashbacks of his old life, and the details of his current life moving foward The flashbacks always go something like this He and his wife watching TV Something on the TV makes him mad so he turns it off His wife cries He leaves the room and sits with his son Then we are treated to an incredibly repetitive series of scenes depicting his journey north where EVERYTHING reminds him of his son It was a depressing, melancholy, and ultimately infuriating experience It is not a beautiful or poignant dystopian story like The Road, it is just boring, tedious, and depressing.Then add in some Star Wars esque food processors, abundant gasoline, as well as power and internet in areas of the country that no one has lived in for a decade, and the story just becomes laughable I gave this two stars instead of one because I actually like the writer s prose and flow I just wish that he had written a better story If you didn t have anyone to take care of, it was easy to forget the world was full of people less fortunate than you.Three and a half stars.You know, I always felt that our species would end with a whimper rather than a bang It seemed to be flavour of the decade to end humankind with exotic disasters such as an evil minded asteroid giving our cute planet the death kiss Or maybe a supervolcano popping like a megapimple, spewing its pustulence my own word across the face of the world Heck, f If you didn t have anyone to take care of, it was easy to forget the world was full of people less fortunate than you.Three and a half stars.You know, I always felt that our species would end with a whimper rather than a bang It seemed to be flavour of the decade to end humankind with exotic disasters such as an evil minded asteroid giving our cute planet the death kiss Or maybe a supervolcano popping like a megapimple, spewing its pustulence my own word across the face of the world Heck, for all we know, there could be a simultaneous outbreak of severe flatulence causing our atmosphere to catch on fire and barbeque us all In reality, we ll probably disappear from the current species list through something boring like entropy, slow climate change, gradual starvation, and a bit of disease thrown in How uninteresting.Chris Dietzel s idea is that there is a sudden, world wide genetic problem, causing all our children to be born catatonic A bit out there , but the idea has merit There is a strong argument for Dysgenic Mutation affecting our mental capacity In Cyril Kornbluth s The Marching Morons , a man is transported to a distant future where humankind has devolved into mass stupidity no doubt with machines doing our work while we sit around picking our noses Hmmmsome days I think we are well on our way Anyway, here we have a man who has an obsessive relationship with his catatonic Block son insistent on sitting on the porch with him each day, so that he can unload the day s woes onto him Well being a Block makes you a good listener at least After the tragic death of his son, and in a fit of depression, he decides to steal a tank he s in the military after all and get away from it all Now here s where you have to turn your disbelief button to the OFF position He heads North, when everyone else is heading South to where the action is Society has been in decay for at least a decade, the roads are falling apart, infrastructure is in ruins, and yet our Jeffrey the dad manages to keep finding the 450 gallons of fuel to gas up the tank to complete his long journey Not likelybut there you go The story seems to be a bit repetitive at times, but you can t help feeling a bit sorry for poor Jeffrey He does kill a couple of innocent people, which tarnishes his character a bit, but maybe we would all be guilty of that given the circumstances I found A Different Alchemy to be thought provoking and entertaining I m glad I read it Good job Chris I really loved this book Dystopian isn t what I usually go for, but there was something that attracted me to The Man Who Watched the World End , so I bought a copy and really wasn t disappointed and when Chris asked me if I d read his second novel early, I was only too happy There was no disappointment here either I love the general setting of both the books and was very pleased to see it return in A Different Alchemy and I loved the physical and mental journey that the main character, Jeff I really loved this book Dystopian isn t what I usually go for, but there was something that attracted me to The Man Who Watched the World End , so I bought a copy and really wasn t disappointed and when Chris asked me if I d read his second novel early, I was only too happy There was no disappointment here either I love the general setting of both the books and was very pleased to see it return in A Different Alchemy and I loved the physical and mental journey that the main character, Jeffery, embarked on The structure of this novel was another big plus for me, I loved the way it would go back and forth between Jeffrey in the present and the events leading up to his journey north There s something about Chris writing that I really like, there isn t really a climax or a twist, but you re gripped by the emotional journey that the characters from both books are going through, and I really loved both of these books for that reason, among many others I can t wait to get a physical copy of A Different Alchemy This is the story of a pained father, suffering from a tragedy while trying to make peace with his wife and with the community he once loved I can understand Jeffry s agony and could easily see myself in his state of mind if what happens to him happened to me His two journeys, the one on land and the one of personal growth, were both powerful I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a thought provoking story, regardless of what types of books they normally read.One of the thin This is the story of a pained father, suffering from a tragedy while trying to make peace with his wife and with the community he once loved I can understand Jeffry s agony and could easily see myself in his state of mind if what happens to him happened to me His two journeys, the one on land and the one of personal growth, were both powerful I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a thought provoking story, regardless of what types of books they normally read.One of the things that struck me about this book was how different it was from Dietzel s first book While still taking place in the Great De evolution, this book was the polar opposite of The Man Who Watched The World End The first book was very personal, with almost no action This book is on asocietal level and has a fair share of action Even so, it still manages to be very personal and intimate I first read The Hauntings of Playing God a few years ago and was struck by how unusual a book it was among post apocalypse novels It left a lasting impression, and I recommended it to all and sundry I m not sure why I waited so long to read the others in the set, but I m glad I finally did There is no huge catastrophe in Dietzel s books no drought, no radiation, no rival warring tribes, no government guilty of misprision, no starvation, no battle against the elements There is only homo sap I first read The Hauntings of Playing God a few years ago and was struck by how unusual a book it was among post apocalypse novels It left a lasting impression, and I recommended it to all and sundry I m not sure why I waited so long to read the others in the set, but I m glad I finally did There is no huge catastrophe in Dietzel s books no drought, no radiation, no rival warring tribes, no government guilty of misprision, no starvation, no battle against the elements There is only homo sapiens winding to a slow end, only a lone survivor meditating on what matters when everything is gone In each of the novels a solitary narrator wrestles with the choices he or she has made, with love and loyalty, grief and anger, regret and hope, and ultimately the question of what gives life meaning You might think that an author would have trouble crafting a solid and engrossing story out of such a simple premise, yet Dietzel does it not once but three times In The Hauntings of Playing God, the lone survivor was an old woman left to care for the last few insensible remnants of humanity the theme of that one seemed to be the call of duty, the desire within each of us to do what we can to the best of our ability In The Man Who Watched the World ned, an old man is left with his unresponsive brother in a decaying subdivision called Camelot the theme of this one I would say is love.This one, A Different Alchemy centers on a man whose wife has done the unthinkable the theme I see here is regret The story circles back several times to the narrator s regret for having persuaded his wife to have a child, knowing that it would be almost certainly be a victim of the universal malady for leaving his silent and immobile son alone one night leading to his momentary kidnapping for rejecting his wife s pretense that their son has sent him a father s day card for the places he never took his son and the things they never did In the end, he is alone but it s by his own choice, and he finds a kind of salvation in becoming the deus ex machina of another man s chance to get south to his family Regret is transmuted to hope not his own, perhaps, but still hope As the human population continues to decline, most people travel south to maintain a semblance of the life they know Entire cities are abandoned But following a senseless act of violence, one man travels north, toward forgotten lands Is it possible for a loving husband and father, surrounded by reminders of mankind s impending extinction, to reclaim what he lost A DIFFERENT ALCHEMY is the tale of a man realizing that everyone has their own pain and their own way of dealing with it It is the story of how one father s loss can mirror an entire society s sorrow It is also a lesson about the importance of forgiveness