Monday, November 20, 2023

Everything Burns by Prolific Author, Vincent Zandri - A Discussion...

 As Vince said, “I wrote Everything Burns hoping that readers would devour it in one sitting, then start all over again to catch what they missed the first time. There’s a lot happening in this book, both in the burning mind of the main character and in the pyro action described on the page.”


So that’s why Olga came to the house. To get more condoms. “I trust you, hon. No need to investigate.” I hear the toilet flush and my daughter singing what I recognize as a Selena Gomez song, which I pray doesn’t get stuck inside my head. “Quickly,” I say, “before Anna comes back in.” “Quickly what, Reece?” “Do you have any idea who might have broken into your place?


“Fire! Fire!” says the Town Crier; “Where? Where?” says Goody Blaire; “Down the town,” says Goody Brown; “I’ll go and see’t!” says Goody Fleet; “So will I,” says Goody Fry; “Burn! Burn!” says Goody Stern. “Burn her! Burn him!” 
—Nursery Rhyme, circa 1920
I don't know about you, 
but I certainly wouldn't want 
this read to my children! 
Rhyming is fun, but choose words carefully.

“Thanks, Blood,” I say, shifting the Escape transmission into drive. “Don’t be thanking me,” he says. “You shouldn’t expect a thank-you in life just for doing the right thing. That’s something the politicians will never understand. Priests too.” “Priests?”
“Let’s just drop the subject. The good Lord be out of my humble jurisdiction.” I drive on to where the money is.


Apparently I did exactly what the author wanted--to have his readers read this book a second time...except it was about two years ago and I didn't remember it. I even then looked and saw that I had rated it once before, because it did begin to sound a little familiar... but I kept on reading... It definitely is a great thriller, but this time, although I compulsively finished it, I really wish I had not. It is a very dark book. But as I write, I wonder if it is because of how "dark" America seems to be right now. Thrillers were written to be enjoyed, not to make someone feel sad... Although, even then I'm wondering about that...

Has the violence in America and in the World become so real that we no longer want to read about it even in fiction? Here's just one discussed yesterday:

Quite some time ag0 a member of my own family called Leader Pelosi "evil..." I didn't even know what to say. I certainly had never seen or known of any reason that she would be thought evil...for what? Was this man who was now looking for her, indeed, fed so much misinformation that he would go out, even if he wanted to "just talk," but carrying a hammer with which he broke into their home and then when the police arose, he attacked! Because of politics!?!

But then there are millions who are either afraid...or angry... Where is America heading?

Yes, I will be reading this book ASAP, because I am, just as the two individuals talking in the above video, positive that the former president and the republican party has opened the greatest can of worms ever, or since at least the time of the Civil War. His spewing hatred had certainly led to the attack on Mr. Pelosi (in lieu of his wife)! And, nobody can convince me that the greatly increased attacks on others, including by mass shootings, cannot be placed at the feet of Trump, whose followers listen...and act! January 6th is certainly a major example, but, since then, and before, there have been many more...

Everything Burns is a tragic story--even from the thriller/horror genre, in my opinion. What I would call it is a psychological suspense novel. The main character, Reese, watched, after having narrowly escaped, as his mother and two brothers were burned to death. The young boy had a mental breakdown where they "shocked" his brain, trying to erase memories. But he also developed an obsession with fire--we read of just how often he goes into PTSD, pulls out a Bic and starts, clicking and watching as the fire...calms... him... down!

Throughout the book, we find that he regularly talks to his father who is dead and he looks around, seeing him, to ask his advice.  Not to be left out, but on a lighter note, he also talks to his dog, even supplying the conversation on both sides... The main character is a writer who, as the book opens, has reunited with his ex-wife and his daughter, both of whom he has never stopped loving and wanting to be with.

But slowly, things began to happen, the house is broken into and a picture of him having his brains blown out is left behind...The police soon become involved, but they know him by his first book, The Damned, whose main character was a pyromaniac...

Tension begins early and remains steady throughout the book, rising only toward the end when the police definitely know somebody is creating all of these happenings... They just weren't sure it wasn't Reese...

Me, I couldn't even finish writing my review, stopping to get away from the madness, the anger, the revenge, the retribution being sown... I went out and turned on Sister Act...

Have we gone too far? Has violence become a part of our lives from which we cannot escape? Where do we turn? Just as so much good has happened over the 2000+ years, so much cruelty, hate and violence has as well... 

The one thing I know is that, there is a need for those who see the hate, the prejudice, and call it out! It is wrong. And, please, always remember, although we read books, see movies, and, now, in reality, see much war, pain and killing of the innocent...please, please...know that it is NOT God who has chosen this path for America, for Israel, Palestine, or Ukraine...

Those individuals who spend time analyzing what is wrong, as seen here on Amazon, should certainly realize that the plot had to be as it was... and that the writer was very skilled in his presentation, flow of the drama buildup, and with an excellent ending. At least I agree that this book is not for everyone. But does that make the writer/writing of this book a problem as opposed to his desire to spotlight a number of issues facing us today: Hate, Revenge, Retribution, Prejudice...and more... I found this book compelling, and much to the point related to historical medical procedures, spotlighting the sharing of information that could be called classified (as in a marriage) as well as the problem of mental health--including those who have been helped as well as those who appear sane "on the surface..." those who, while being somebody who actually could be a sociopath--in disguise--can often do significant damage to the world. 

This book ends with the family back together, all that had happened was revealed... Truth matters, doesn't it? Books which take us to the brink of madness, yet pulls us back into goodness may be difficult to contemplate...but when we know that people hungry for power are actually choosing to lie, cheat and steal to gain that power, then we must act to ensure they don't succeed...

God Bless,

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