Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Reincarnation of Douglas Kavanaugh by Tony Haynes

I started reading The Reincarnation of Douglas Kavanaugh by Tony Haynes uncertain what to expect. I'm familiar with Haynes's poetry and songwriting, but I hadn't read his prose before. Haynes creates a realistic world that feels both familiar and unfamiliar. As I allowed myself to drift into the world Douglas Kavanaugh inhabits and stop trying to create poetry, I felt Kavanaugh's struggle to figure out his life as it changed from one incarnation to another. There's a supernatural feeling to Haynes's writing that left me feeling like I was on a ride between realities and life changes. Kavanaugh goes from likable to unlikable and back to likable. He inhabits many different personalities and motivations but always remains faithful to his desire to not only cure cancer but rid the world of it. His drive to achieve this goal often conflicts with his desire to enjoy his life. His strong need to cure the world also allows him to compromise scientific testing to begin implementation not quite realizing just how the side effects from his cure will affect the world for both the good and the bad. The conflict that arises when those side effects take place forced me to think about my future, my ambition, my role in the world. The Reincarnation of Douglas Kavanaugh is at its heart a story exploring the ripple effect of every action we take in the world.

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