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A Life Transparent (Monochrome Trilogy Book 1) by [Keisling, Todd]
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A Life Transparent (Monochrome Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 184 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 425 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Precipice Books; First Digital edition (5 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004I43S4E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,378,019 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By The Kindle Book Review TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
"A Life Transparent," by Todd Keisling, grabs you right from the start. The novel's anti-hero, Donovan Candle, might as well have been the inspiration for the old Beatles' song, "Nowhere Man." His existence is so devoid of meaning and substance that he literally starts to disappear. Or at least in the physical sense. This plot devise is so simple and yet so compelling that you cannot wait to find out how it all plays out.

Given the possible directions the book could've gone, I wished a less traveled path had been selected. It turns out there's a plot afoot to make many a soul disappear, replete with monsters and the lot, and Candle must rescue his wife--i.e., prove his manhood. I'm sure that many readers will like this tale as it is, and certainly it is well written and made credible through the author's skill. Keisling is an urgent and sincere writer, with good horse sense for what a character would or would not do in a particular situation. But ultimately I felt that Keisling's promising talent was not being used to its full potential. He seems to have much more to say than his own storyline permits him.

Specifically, I took issue with Candle supposedly being a nothing of a person while at the same time sharing so strong a love bond with his wife. Call me old-fashioned, but when you have this kind of love in your iife, you definitely are somebody.

Still, it's a book you'll remember, and you'll look forward to Keisling's next book.

Jon P. Bloch
(The Kindle Book Review)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book (novella). It is pacy, well written and interesting and I will definitely be getting the next one. However, I have a couple of niggles with it: the first chapter is boring. I know that's intentional, but reading what time it is every couple of paragraphs is dull (and I get that Todd is trying to show how boring his protagonist is). Also, unless I've missed something, there appear to be some errors or sections that are not explained clearly. For example, we are told that Donovan has spent 'years climbing the corporate ladder', and on the next page it shows he has had two promotions. The first sentence doesn't lead to the second in my book. A later section implies that Donovan has been disappearing for days, only for the next page to imply it is only one day after his first disappearance. These are nitpicks, definitely, but they pulled me out of the story and cost it a star. The pace picks up considerably for the middle section and this bit is truly great, I couldn't put it down. Finally the ending is a little too neat and easy. Donovan doesn't do anything ingenious to capture a man who has been on the run for ages and so the ending is a let down.

However, it is still a good read and one that I would recommend. As I said, I will get his next book and will look for other works: Todd Kiesling has the makings of being a very good writer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 53 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mundane life is Dullington's plaything. 23 Jun. 2014
By Zakk @ The Eyes Of Madness - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"We will shuffle you off your banal coil, Mr. Sparrow, and it will be glorious."

Donovan Candle is just like you and I, living a happy if somewhat mundane life. He is caught up in the trappings of a day-to-day grind, working a job that is not as meaningful as he'd like to save for things that are just out of reach. Missing out on the little joys that surround him in lieu of a bigger picture.

But when he begins to feel pulled from the tangibility of this existence he starts to flicker-out, crossing over from the saturated world to that of the Monochrome, a gray-scale world populated by lost, boring souls.

Donovan must change his ways, break away from the banality his life has become and complete a task for the ruler of the Monochrome. His soul isn't the only one at risk.

I dug this book quite a bit, and it seemed to be speaking to me at times as sometimes I too feel like I'm getting caught up in the mundane and not capturing the little joys that wisp in and out of our grasp everyday. A Life Transparent is an easy path to fall into and can be tough to break out of.

The story flows at a brisk pace and is inhabited by interesting characters. A strength of Mr. Keisling is that he creates strong, believable characters that act and speak in a non-clichéd manor. It's a refreshing trait and it helps his stories break away from the path that you, the reader, are expecting.

If I have any complaints it's that I was wanting a bit more gore/ violence, a little more menace. Maybe that's just my bloodlust showing. Albert Sparrow is a baddie with great potential who doesn't get to really unfurl his darkness. And there is a rad scene involving the Yawning, one of the creatures that populate the Monochrome, attacking one of Aleister Dullington's (ruler of the monochrome) subservients, I wanted more of that.

I'd also like to know more about Dullington's endgame, unless I missed something, his methods here don't seem to have a much weight behind them. What purpose do these lost souls have, why does he need/ want them. As this is the first entry in a trilogy I expect to get more of what I looking for in the following chapters. I am fully invested in Donovan Candle's tribulations and I am excited to see where he goes from here, perhaps a little face-to-face time with Sparrow is in order. One can only hope.

"Mr. Candle, if you interrupt me again, I will see to it that your wife's non-vital organs are separated from her body."

The Mouths of Madness Podcast
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A LIFE TRANSPARENT by Todd Keisling. 30 April 2014
By HUR MEE - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For six years I worked the brain numbing, repetitive cycle of staring at a computer screen and taking phone calls in the corporate world. My creative side and purpose for life was slowly fading into an existence that felt inescapable. A LIFE TRANSPARENT by Todd Keisling tells a story of what could happen to those who work for "The Man" instead of pursuing their life passion.

The main protagonist of this story is Donovan Candle. He works in the outbound call center for Identinel, a company that sells protection for people's identity. Donovan's true passion though is writing. He has been trying to finish his first novel, but the rigorous daily grind at work is slowly draining the life from him. Literally.

Donovan begins to experience intermittent physical transparency and strange visions of monsters in a monochromatic world. As Donovan continues with his "normal" day to day life trying to figure out what exactly is happening, his condition progresses. To make matters worse, he begins to receive strange phone calls from an unidentified man that threatens Donovan's very existence and those he loves. Why is this happening to him? What is causing him to see bizarre images of an alternate reality? Furthermore, why can't people see him flickering on and off like a light bulb right before their very eyes? Donovan teams up with his brother Michael who is a private investigator, and together they search for the answers to those questions.

A LIFE TRANSPARENT is a thriller woven with horror and mystery. Keisling takes the time to establish the setting and its characters, an essential key to good story telling. I could relate to Donovan and was glad to see his brother wanted to help. When Donovan becomes transparent, his world fades from color to grey. The people around him disappear and creatures called Yawnings appear. They are tall, lanky, pale skinned beasts, with gaping wide mouths that reveal razor sharp teeth. The Yawnings long arms and hands make it easy for them to capture victims for feeding. Very creepy and deadly. A few times I began to read faster due to the intense scenes. This monochromatic world that Keisling has created is truly unique. It paints a bleak world that could easily be turned into a movie. A LIFE TRANSPARENT is a exciting story that teaches an important lesson: Do what you love without compromise. I am looking forward to reading its sequel, The Liminal Man.

For fans that enjoy reading the works of Stephen King and Clive Barker, please check out A LIFE TRANSPARENT by Todd Keisling.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars once part of the Monochrome, always part of the Monochrome:) 5 Nov. 2014
By S.A.N MONSANTO MONSANTO - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me only one day to complete this book, the story and plot line was so good that I had no choice but to continue reading.
good suspense,good character development.

with that being said I also learned a few things ..
the word monochrome and cretins.
A fast-paced, easy read that envelopes you in an intricate sci-fi adventure ...generally,the book moves very quickly, but chapters with a more leisurely pace helped keep the tension high and the story moving without allowing the reader to become bored.
I enjoyed it ..

my fav part line is "the human existence isn't meant to be confined to a box, computer screen, a telephone, or any other device for a large amount of time.We begin to loose touch with reality, with our loved ones, with our own lives.Mediocrity is a disease of our society, and unlike diseases of the natural world, this one is entirely man made. Affliction is a choice!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull scene 28 Nov. 2011
By Dr. DR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The concept of a colorless alternate spatial dimension is a clever one. The story really never slows down once Donovan begins experiencing his intermittent transitions between worlds.

Donovan is a very likable character and I found myself really hoping for his wellbeing. However, I felt that all of the characters could have been developed more thoroughly. This might have been the reason the story read so quickly. I would have felt more compassion for Donna if I had gotten to know her better. Michael is a likable big brother type character that I was assuming would become collateral damage, but seemed to always stay at arms length from danger. I felt that the two villains could have shown a bit more malice which prevented me from developing a genuine dislike for the Sparrow or Dullington.

Donovan spent one large chase scene in the Monochrome, but the rest of story he flickered in and out. I was expecting him to get stuck in the Monochrome and encounter Dullington or his menions more often. I feel that it could have easily been twice as long with additional character and environmental detail.

I would recommend this novel to anyone that is a fan of science fiction or thrillers. I'm looking forward to more offerings from this author.

I bought the kindle edition and saw one conversion error (character omission) at the beginning of a paragraph.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bogeyman of Boredom 3 April 2011
By Tom Lichtenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a cautionary tale in the guise of a supernatural thriller. Beware of living a dull, cautious life, or even just being a boring person, or the boredom bogeyman might come and literally suck you out of this world, body and soul. This book about boredom is itself never tedious. There are a number of interesting and creative features which kept me intrigued throughout.

The main hook is that an ordinary person living a pointless existence can disappear, and become one of those missing persons whose fate is never discovered. In real life, they either change their identity and move on, or are deceased and discreetly entombed. Here they are ripped into a different world, a black and white layer beneath the colorful world we all know. In this half-life they belong to a devious dominator. Naturally there is a protagonist who gets caught up in this hell and has to fight his way out. It's a thriller from then on.

The book is very well-written, interesting, creative, and intriguing. In short, I liked it.
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