Monday, October 18, 2010

The White Hairs
Noah K. Mullette-Gillman






Description:
The White Hairs is a work of spiritual mythology. Somewhere on a white and snowy mountain, is a young creature learning how to leave his body and travel the world inside of the wind. The wonders and terrors that he will see are the beginning of an adventure that will feel familiar to anyone who has been fed upon by life, and wanted to fight to get back the joy and soul that they were once able to take for granted.

"Farshoul watched as the long white hairs on his arms became translucent. He watched as they faded away. Soon he could see through the skin and bone of his arms to the ice beneath him. The frozen water that he could see through his phantom arm seemed more real than his own body. He watched as the others blurred in his vision, their white fur becoming indistinguishable from the snow around them. They appeared to disappear. Then Farshoul began to move." - Noah K. Mullette-Gillman 



Reviews:
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly original spiritual adventure, July 13, 2010
This review is from: The White Hairs (Paperback)
The White Hairs opens with an astral walk through the ether that eventually leads the main character to disillusionment and rejection of his society. More importantly, it results in his own self-abandonment as parts of his soul are literally ripped out and never come back, leaving him empty, emotionless, and unable to feel the joy of life after the third and final walk ends in a battle with a hellhound for his own soul.

The writing style throughout is smooth, evenly-paced, and easy to read. The only difficulty I found was the font face, which was initially a bit difficult to focus my eyes on, but that disappeared quickly as the narrative took hold. Despite a detailed description of a ritualized killing, which is explained as being necessary only "every so often," the story doesn't explain how the larger than human-sized creatures could survive deep in snow-covered mountains with little vegetation. Farshoul's mother enters, and leaves, the story but a father is never mentioned, and little is made of how the society in general functions. There is also a seemingly anachronistic descriptions of machinery and handguns when Farshoul himself is apparently not familiar with the human world at all outside of the ancient stone walls near his home. Yet none of these minor points detract from the main narrative flow, which is essentially the spiritual journey of a single character isolated from others of his kind.

While reading the descriptions of the world which Farshoul inhabits, I couldn't help picturing the images from Hayao Miyazaki's classic "Shuna no tabi" (The Journey of Shuna). Both stories have a high fantasy, almost fairy-tale-like feel; both take place in a high mountainous area; both involve a solitary journey of one young man who encounters violence and death, yet feels helpless to prevent them; both meet mythical giants who seem to hold the secrets of existence itself. Finally, both characters are all but shattered from the journey and barely survive the return trip to their homes. But while Shuna sacrifices himself for the sake of seeds for his village and spends no time pondering spiritual matters, Farshoul seeks something far more ethereal and intangible than physical necessities: he seeks what is true about himself, his people, and the world at large, and that is why the story does not end with his return. Instead, he must journey again to find that which he was and still could be. In that sense, the White Hairs owes less to the Himalayas and more to the Caucasus, with echoes of Gurdjieff's "self-remembering" reverberating through the steps of its main character as he gropes towards a spiritual reawakening.

Overall, one of the most original stories I've read in a while. A promising first offering from a new talent.

5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in the making, July 27, 2010
This review is from: The White Hairs (Kindle Edition)
A few books come along that you read and then pick up and read again, this is one of those books. A book i will return to many times, it captures the magic and adventure that all story tellers try to achieve. with elements of mystical creatures and the gift of Out of Body Experience.

Masterfully written with details that put you right into the story that takes you on this spiritual journey. I can't wait to see more from this author


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