Review of Wrap Your Body in Time by David Neil Drews

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This is a first novel, self-published in October of 2017, and runs about 750 pages. David Drews is a Jewish writer and suffers from multiple identity disorder.

Arron has esophageal cancer. He has watched his dad die slowly of chemotherapy and makes the decision to refuse it. Instead, he sets out to really live in the time he’s got left, to exercise, to see the world, to enjoy friends and family—and to deal with the ghost of his abusive father. On the journey he meets his schizophrenic grandfather, finds a potential wife. Can Aaron defeat his own demons before he reaches the end of his road?

This is a pretty sweeping novel that chronicles the bout with cancer on the one hand, while providing human interest through absorbing characters on the other. It didn’t have much of a hook, but by chapter 2 when we got the cancer diagnosis, the book had hit its stride. There’s a touch of magical realism here, including chatty animals and the various ghosts that lurk about. There’s a sort of wry humor that runs through it, and a lot of play-by-play for sports fans.

Four and a half stars.


In Memoriam: Mattie K.

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We had a death in the family yesterday. Please spare a thought to help lift her over the Rainbow Bridge and into heaven. RIP sweet Mattie.

When Is a Dog Not a Dog?

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Master Minds coverIt’s been a long time since the first wolf made the fateful decision to hang around a human’s campfire. It’s an odd decision when you look at it. After all, humans are more likely to be prey—especially the little ones who can’t run very fast. The benefits are obvious, of course—an easy life as a watchdog and a daily dinner of leftovers without the difficulty of hunting it down. Still, you have to wonder about that kind of vision shift.

The end result, of course, is the family pet we’re all familiar with. There are also working dogs, of course, the retrievers, hunters and herding dogs that are a little bit of a tougher fit for the family home. Dogs have about the intelligence level of a human two-year-old, but in the house they’re a little bit different from a human toddler. They don’t have hands, for one thing, and they have different responses based on their canine instincts.

There are always news stories about how scientists could increase human intelligence levels. Genetic engineering would be one possibility, or maybe connecting people digitally to the Internet. But what would happen if man’s best friend could be made more intelligent this same way? What if scientists could breed a dog that could think on a human level? Meet the working dog of the future.

“The Cabin” is a science fiction story (by me) about a dog that’s not quite a dog. Look for it in Master Minds, an anthology from Third Flatiron press, edited by Julianna Rew. The anthology is currently available in either electronic or print editions. Full disclosure: This is shameless self-promotion.

Third Flatiron website:
Juliana Rew on Twitter: @julirew


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