“Journey in the Dark”

December 15, 2009 at 9:59 am | Posted in Fiction | 1 Comment

Journey in the Dark is essentially a rags-to-riches story.  Martin Flavin gives us Sam Braden, a boy driven to wealth by the demons of his poor childhood, only to find that his vision of success may not be all he had imagined after all. 

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This story was tough for me to read.  The protagonist and I both started working at age 10, and there were many other parallels between this fictional life and mine.  It’s a sad tale, relieved by a few moments of humor.  The title seems to refer to Sam’s fumbling attempts to find a place for himself in the world, without a clear idea of where he’s going to wind up.

Why read a book if it’s going to bum you out?  This question seems to be cropping up a lot lately.  For me, a book needs to feel true, and thus it needs to contain an element of heartbreak.  Beautiful writing about a painful subject can make it seem less grim.  Literature can help us find the beam of light behind the dark cloud in our own lives.

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  1. I’d rather read a good book about something that has the potential to bum me out rather than a mediocre book about something guaranteed to leave me with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.


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