Gone Away Into the Land by Jeffrey B. Allen

Gone_Away_Into_the_LandGone Away Into the Land employs one of my favorite literary devices…and that is using fantasy as a means of healing and as a means of exploration of a deeply “real-world” matter. In this case, the “real world matter” is abuse. In this novel, a young boy named John shares his home with his sister, his mother, and “the beast”. The Beast is his name for his father, a man that is a stereotypical sociopath who has no qualms about physically and emotionally abusing his wife and children. One day, The Beast snaps and runs off with John’s little sister.

John and his mother are left alone and go in search of his sister. But their method of search is an interesting one. They venture into a fantasy land that John has created. A land of candy, evil dictators, trains, and imagination. The lines are often blurred in this novel between the fantasy land and reality, and I did have some problems with that. I had trouble following the story sometimes because I couldn’t fully get a grasp on what was happening with the two different worlds, and I also happened to like the writing in John’s “real world” more than his “fantasy world”.

However, I want to comment Mr. Allen for writing such a powerful, inventive novel. It’s evident that he spent a lot of time with this and I’m sure the story is very personal on some level. I use the idea of fantasy and/or creativity as a means of healing all of the time with my counseling. It’s amazing what the mind is capable of doing in stressful situations and it has always amazed me and mystified me.

Overall, I think that this was a very moving novel that would’ve soared for me if it had been a little bit tighter in it’s execution.


6 Responses

  1. escapism does take thought and effort and I believe it does help many people too!

    I often think of the movie Sybil it was such a well made story and movie. It shows how powerful the mind can be.

  2. Not sure if I’ll give this one a go, but it definitely does sound interesting.

  3. It actually reminds me a bit of Mirror Mask.

  4. I appreciate deeply your comments about Goneaway Into the Land.
    There are those who did enjoy the reality of the story better than the fantasy.
    One reviewer said when it all came together toward the middle of the book she could not put it down.
    I hope the readers of your review will visit the web site and read the other reviews before passing judgement.
    The blur between fanatsy and reality,and the confusion that John goes through belongs to the reader as well. Until they realize where he really is and the surprises instore for him as he sets about reconciling all that went wrong in his short life. Much went wrong for John and his family.

    Thank you again for your comments.

    Jeffrey B. Allen

  5. One further note that I was reminded of from another review of GoneAway that just came in.
    I have to apologize. The copy you received was a Galley copy.
    I thought it was clearly written on the inside. If it wasn’t I am very sorry.
    I know it is too late, but most of the areas you feel needed tightening up have been done, and further editing is being done by the new publisher before the next addition is printed. The book has been selling very well.
    Please allow me to send you a new signed copy. Even if you do not re-review it, I would like to do it for you anyway. Let me know via e-mail.
    GoneAway has recently been picked up by a New York publisher and is going into jacketed hardback. It has been and is being accepted into schools and school libraries for its unique approach to the social issues you spoke about. One thing is for sure, GoneAway is not preachy and non judgemental, but it has invoked emotions and discussions, enough so that school curriculum advisors, librarians, adolescents, and adults are reading it.
    Again, I am sorry for the mistake. In fact, I bet your copy did not even have page numbers. My first publisher was not very good at details and it took a long time to get it right. But I would say it is correct now, and edited so it reads faster with all commas and page numbers properly placed, I assure you.

    Thanks again,

    Jeffrey B. Allen

    PS. I hope you will remind your readers that the book was a Galley, and if you will amend your review, once you get the last printing, I would appreciate it.

  6. The fantasy/real world combination reminds me of John Connollys’ Book of Lost Things and Donna Lynchs’ Isabel Burning. It’s a cool tactic to use in stories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: