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22 Stories: Falling Upward Through the Tarot [Paperback]

MR David Lawrence
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (1 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595329845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595329847
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,284,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Friday night. 2012. New York City. Virtual Design is throwing a party in their 22-story Executive Building, and Phillip and Emily have been invited. But these two have a much bigger goal than career networking; they want to regain their missing memories. Recently released from a secret company experiment called Project Immersion, they do not remember much of anything that was done to them during the entire nine months it lasted. A co-worker has tipped them off to the fact that a lot of important people will be in attendance tonight...people that will be able to shed some light on the project. So Phillip and Emily embark on a hunt for answers that will become a metaphysical journey leading them, as they climb from floor to floor, up out of ignorance, through the dark depths of their inner psyches, and into an enlightened spiritual consciousness. It is going to be a long night. Note: The novel's events loosely follow the linear progression of the 22 cards of the Major Arcana of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, as outlined by Rachel Pollack in Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars. 11 Mar 2005
By Detra Fitch TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
In New York of the year 2012, Virtual Design is throwing a party in their 22-story Executive Building. Phillip and Emily are among those invited. They had been part of a failed experiment called Project Immersion. It had lasted about nine months. But Phillip and Emily recall nothing about those months. Within their minds are massive holes. They attend the party in hopes of finding out what happened to them. They wish for their memories to be restored.
They begin their quest on the first floor where they are handed special visors to wear. The visors change the way their surroundings are viewed. Most things are done with drop down menus and the help of personal assistants (A.I.). It is as though they have entered a virtual world rather than a building. Together they locate the vital people from Project Immersion and convince them to help. Yet to do this, Phillip and Emily must actually enter the virtual world (without their visors) by having their minds connected by a quantum computer system. There they must confront their negative selves (split personalities). Only then may Project Immersion continue.
However, someone on an upper floor is trying to hack into their system. Secrets are still being kept from Phillip and Emily. This is going to be the longest night of their lives, if they survive it.
*** This is one of the most bizarre stories I have ever read. It combines sci-fi and the mysteries of the human mind. Sort of like self exploration gone bad. During the first seven floors, the reader is bombarded with names and gathering information. (No last names are ever given in the book.) Yet afterward, everything slowly begins to come together. The reader begins to understand what is happening. All I can say is "What a ride!" ***
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars. 11 Mar 2005
By Detra Fitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In New York of the year 2012, Virtual Design is throwing a party in their 22-story Executive Building. Phillip and Emily are among those invited. They had been part of a failed experiment called Project Immersion. It had lasted about nine months. But Phillip and Emily recall nothing about those months. Within their minds are massive holes. They attend the party in hopes of finding out what happened to them. They wish for their memories to be restored.
They begin their quest on the first floor where they are handed special visors to wear. The visors change the way their surroundings are viewed. Most things are done with drop down menus and the help of personal assistants (A.I.). It is as though they have entered a virtual world rather than a building. Together they locate the vital people from Project Immersion and convince them to help. Yet to do this, Phillip and Emily must actually enter the virtual world (without their visors) by having their minds connected by a quantum computer system. There they must confront their negative selves (split personalities). Only then may Project Immersion continue.
However, someone on an upper floor is trying to hack into their system. Secrets are still being kept from Phillip and Emily. This is going to be the longest night of their lives, if they survive it.
*** This is one of the most bizarre stories I have ever read. It combines sci-fi and the mysteries of the human mind. Sort of like self exploration gone bad. During the first seven floors, the reader is bombarded with names and gathering information. (No last names are ever given in the book.) Yet afterward, everything slowly begins to come together. The reader begins to understand what is happening. All I can say is "What a ride!" ***
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Phillip K. Dick and Tom Robbins wrote together.... 4 Dec 2004
By The Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I would reccomend this book to any person that is interested in social issues, politics, metaphysics, mysticism, sacred geometry, religious studies, and reading an amazing book.

22 Stories is a brilliant ascent through the Tarot, a building, the characters' minds and the reader's mind. It has the wit and instances of character development that reminds me of Tom Robbins and the originality of the plot is reminiscent of Phillip K. Dick while keeping enough similarity to this world to make the book feel like it could actually be a possibility that all of this would happen. Throughout the book the author, David Lawrence, weaves in current social issues that our society will soon have to face such as; mind control, pharmacological manipulation, and artificial intelligence and it's interactions with the human mind.

There are many characters in the book and they are all really interesting. These character would make this book an amazing movie. They have the best names, costumes, and personalities. In this regard, the author is very detailed and subtlely noticeable.

This book is an intense roller coaster of emotions and events that I felt like I was experiencing. At times the book is beautiful with its references to Emily's flower and the ideas of how powerful our minds and love really are. At these times the book is uplifting and inspirational. At other times, the book is sexy, funny, brilliant and in some cases displays characters that are quite disturbing. It is in these instances that Lawrence sets himself apart from any other author that I have read. He has the ability to take the reader into a scene with a character that is evil, yet attractive. This correlates right with the process of our own self destructive mechanisms that humans face in our every day lives. Lawrence takes the reader through these parts comfortably while allowing us to experience the side of ourselves that these characters represent. Not so coincidentally, the books characters are experiencing something similar. The icing on the cake is when the reader gets out of these parts and realizes how important these parts are to the discovery of ourselves. In this way the book manages to have many different forms of peaks that kept me from wanting to put it down. Throughout the book, I couldn't figure out how the plot could continue because it was so developed by the middle of it, but it only got better.

The end of the book is the most action packed sequence that I have ever read and by the end I felt like I had really gained a lot of insight from it. What's better? The story isn't quite over. Mr. Lawrence, I will be the first person to buy your next book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mindtrip! 2 July 2005
By Jimy Karis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In writing "22 Stories," David Lawrence undertook the very daunting task of constructing a story in which the theme of each chapter (22 in all) deals with one of the 22 cards of the Major Arcana of a tarot deck. Furthermore, each chapter takes place on a separate story within a 22-story building. Not an easy task, but one that Lawrence pulled off outstandingly.
Set in the not-too-distant future, "22 Stories" follows Phillip and Emily as they try to uncover what happened to them during an experiment while working at Virtual Design. Along the way, we (the reader) take a journey through the annals of Science Fiction, Suspense, Religion, Spirituality, Sensuality, Philosophy, and New Age Mysticism. Split into three sections, each dealing with a separate facet of existence, "22 Stories" will shake your mind from out of its slumber. Definitely worth the price of admission.
4.0 out of 5 stars Peculiar, perplexing and entertaining 7 Jun 2005
By Julie A. Dawson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
David Lawrence spins a peculiar, perplexing, and entirely cerebral tale that at its heart is all about the nature of the self. Part science fiction, part new age mysticism, and part detective novel, the work follows Emily and Phillip, lovers, empaths, and co-workers at Virtual Design who worked on a secret company experiment called Project Immersion. But something happened to them during the nine-month project, and not only have they lost their feelings for each other, but all memory of the experiment itself.

Determined to regain control of their memories and emotions, the pair embark on a quest to discover the truth. That quest takes them to, of all places, a corporate party at the 22-story Executive Building. And it is here that the line between science fiction and spiritualism blurs. As Emily and Phillip move from floor to floor of the building, each floor becomes representative of one of the cards of the Major Arcana of the Rider-Waite tarot deck.

Lawrence does a wonderful job of melding the symbolism of the deck into the story, creating a surreal experience that leaves the reader questioning the very nature of reality. My only concern is that readers unfamiliar with the tarot may miss much of the symbolism and meaning in the story. I don't believe, however, that this would take away from the reader's enjoyment.

At times dark and foreboding, the book finishes with an almost defiant affirmation of humanity and self-awareness. A great read that will appeal to both fans of science fiction and readers with a more literary bent.
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