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Unquenchable Fire [Hardcover]

Rachel Pollack


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Book Description

Mar 1992
Jennifer Mazden is the survivor of a wrecked marriage and she worries about the usual things in life - work, companionship and her future. But then strange things starts happenening to her and she becomes pregnant - from a dream. At that moment she struggles to take charge of her life.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Fantasy or SF? This book is its own thing. 27 May 2000
By C. J. Silverio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In the medium-near future, a revolution has taken place. The forces of science and rationality have lost. The newage Founders of the new reality have loosed the forces of mysticism and the world has changed. Miracles happen routinely. Government and society have restructured themselves to accomodate this new strange reality.
A suburban woman has a strange experience during a holy day. She finds that she has been made pregnant by an unknown agent. How will she cope? How will her very suburban neighborhood cope?
My husband had been trying to get me to read this book for ages. Finally he got me when I couldn't escape and began reading this aloud to me. When he stopped after the first chapter, I demanded he hand the book to me so I could finish.
This book came from nowhere for me. I don't know of anything like it. I guess this is shamanistic fantasy. It feels SF-ish, though, in that it's a consistent future world with sensible rules. Whatever it is, it's a stunner, the kind of book that leaves me incredibly excited and optimistic about the state of SF & fantasy.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very strange but satisfying read 20 Sep 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I don't know what it was that attracted me to this book--
perhaps it was the striking cover art of a floating figure
with a flaming mask. Perhaps (as I now think having read it)
it was something greater than random chance.

This is not a book that I would characterize as a light,
enjoyable read. It is exceedingly strange, both in form, and
in the world it describes. The world of the book is loosely
based on our own, although that world has been transformed by a
spiritual force acting through designated tellers of stories.
These stories are so apocryphal and so powerful as to have led
to a "revolution" in the very nature of the world.

The story is told as a narrative with bits of these world-
defining recitations interspersed. The main character, a
plain young woman who works servicing the shrines to
the revolution, is battered by visitations that appear contrary
to the ones sanctioned by the government. Her struggle to
understand the meaning of her experiences is mirrored by the
reader's own attempt to understand them in the context of our
own, more mundane world.

It is difficult to describe the power of this book because of
its very unusual nature. The oddity of this book persists
throughout until the very end, when this reader (for one)
experienced that moment of pure clarity and light which makes
me think back on it, even thought I read it almost a year ago
now.

Overall, for those who like speculative and unusual fiction
and who are willing to spend the time puzzling over
Unquenchable Fire's deeper meanings, I would highly recommend
this as one of the most striking books I have read in many
years.

Lastly, the protagonist becomes pregnant during the story, and
this is a central event to the narrative. I think that anyone
who is expecting (as my wife was when I read this book) or
is a new parent will get something extra from this book!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Imagination... 6 Sep 2000
By Sean E. Mcgrath - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jennifer Mazdan is pregnant.. except she's a virgin, and there was no man involved but an Agency who needs Jennifer to give birth to this child to save humanity from dry morals, banal religion and oppressive dogma.
Wait.. doesn't this seem familiar...?
Here, Rachel Pollack has created a Messiah story that focuses on the mother of the Messiah, and how she doesn't want to be "chosen", how she'd prefer to be left alone and be obscure, the same way everyone else in her world is - dry, homogenized, merely going through the motions of life. Jennifer rebels in every way possible, but the Agency finds ways to keep her on track... but never docile and accepting.
The book tells several stories at once, each from different times, told for different purposes - "The Place Inside", "The Meaning of a Story", "The Lives of the Founders", Valarie Mazdan's adventures (a few), and, of course, Jennifer Mazdan's saga. "The Place Inside" chills me still.
The editing is uneven to say the least, but we can't fault the author for that, but rather Tusk Press. Typos abound.
Find a copy of this book and enjoy it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary 5 Aug 2005
By mana worker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is my favorite book. One which I read over and over but whos depths, mysteries, and pleasures seem untappable. Throughout the story, the spirit world is shown to have access to the earthly realm through such diverse things as brand name logos and ice-cream vendors. By this I mean, such symbols and characters are shown as spiritual agents, so to speak, messengers of the spirit world or echoes of myths. I found in this book a living magic, it contains something in it that will change its reader. Unquenchable fire shows the reader that stories are a medium through which spirit decends into matter. That being said, after reading it I began to view a thousand supposedly mundane things, from cereal boxes to street signs with new signifigance. This story is one of power.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal novel a mind-bending experience 18 Dec 1995
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
_Unquenchable_Fire_ takes the reader down Main Street, USA where everything s/he knows is right there in front of their eyes, but there's more...
Sometime in the previous seventy years a global Revolution in Consciousness has taken place. People now all operate on a higher spiritual level than they do now,
but this Higher level is so commonplace that it has lost any meaning, any speciality it may once have had.
The text shifts between the story of the main character --Jennifer Mazdan-- and the past--with brief histories of The Founders (The Revolutionary Leaders), brief
glimpses of the future and a character named valerie Mazdan, interwoven with the text of a Story "found" by Li Ku Unquenchable Fire--"The Place Inside". It's confusing enough that it you're not paying attention, there's
going to be trouble finding your way around.
This book is a novel along the lines of _The_Handmaid's_Tale_ for the sheer scope of its vision, and for it's portrayal of
an America so much like ours, despite the obvious differences, that it doesn't speak well for racial memory. We forget the important things too quickly and easily, and try to live within
the bounds other people set up for us.
Wonderful!
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