Shadowed Soul Paperback – 9 Feb 2013
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About the Author
John M. Spagnoli is the author of Shadowed Soul and How to Grow Worsleya Seeds. Avid gardener, poet, husband and father, he hales from Metropolitan New York and is currently working on a Masters from Mercy College and holds a B.A. in Anthropology from State University of New York, New Paltz. As a successful, self-managing, bi-polar gentleman the author found solutions that have enabled him to form strategies toward leading a joyful life which he has chosen to share in Shadowed Soul. Dedicated to raising awareness about depression, Shadowed Soul is the first in a fictionalized series that includes researched cases of manic-depressives who beat it, as well as some of the author’s personal experiences.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The depressive state of Milton's mind is a creeping monster he calls his Shadowed Soul' and the interplay in conversation between Thomas and Shadowed Soul bring a clarity to understanding the conflicts people with bi-polar personalities face on an ongoing basis. The story is at once complex and simple: Thomas is married to a blind girl Beth, they have a child, and Thomas agrees that the safest way to raised the newborn infant is to have Beth move in with her parents, leaving Thomas to subsist on his own in a near empty apartment. His sole dependable comrade is his dog Bailey and it is Bailey that manages to provide moments of clarity in Thomas' otherwise battered perception of the world as directed by his Shadowed Soul. Thomas' only `hobby' is interplaying with online pornography yet that aspect of his life is not nearly as threatening as the obstacles he confronts on a daily basis. The manner in which he resolves his dilemmas spins through the book to the very end - and even there we feel that more change is in the offing - a fine trait for a book that likely will have at least one sequel.
Though the opening pages of this book plunge the reader into the incongruities of the manner in which the bipolar mind works, the reading is rough - heavily weighted with metaphors and similes and words that seem more like they came from a speed wandering through a thesaurus than from the mind of our main character. But do NOT let that stop you from continuing on through the book: without losing the flavor of this language, Spagnoli use of the verbiage becomes more smoothly discernable and in the end fits the story and the characters very well. Example: `Walls too close, ceilings too low, my hell: A cement cube where people came to die slowly. Those who grafted themselves onto life were only given a brief reprieve form the savaging that the act of simply living visited upon each human being crawling and clawing aimlessly across the crust of this polluted and hateful planet, our home. If I ran now I could disappear into the night. The world would wash over me, beach flotsam. I could be consumed, hidden from view and alone. At least then my arsenal of ball-and-chain would not be dragging down those who had somehow managed to find shards of charisma reflecting light inside of me, Why had Beth Chosen to love me?' Read this several times and the synaptic distortions of the bi-polar mind become legible.
John M. Spagnoli has taken on a brave outing here, and he deserves our attention and readership. He obviously has talent: he has written a stunning first novel. Grady Harp, March 13
Thomas Milton and his wife, Beth, their dog, Bailey are the main characters. Thomas is bi-polar, Beth is blind and Bailey is a seeing eye dog. Thomas and Beth are about to add to their family, a baby is on the way.
After the baby is born, Beth and the baby move in with her parents for a while. This leaves Thomas and Bailey to get by on their own. Thomas starts to spiral. He is hearing his "shadowed soul" and that spells trouble. He has also started entertaining porn. The book was a well written and it appears a lot of thought went into it. Writing about bi-polar disease is a hard thing to tackle. The author, creates a bond with the reader and Thomas. Thomas was into hard core porn, and you feel for Thomas. It might be an uncomfortable feeling but you can see the need for Thomas to do this. The 'shadowed soul' was evil. You have to dig deep to try to understand what these people have to deal with. These people can be very productive people, such as the author. They can lead a normal life and and do great things. Sometimes I feel we need to reflect. People have real afflictions and problems that we may know nothing about. We need to be a little more considerate of other people. There are many manic-depressives that learn how to live a good normal life. As with any physical or mental problem, I feel you have to face it head on and deal with it no matter what that entails. Bravo to the author for the courage to write this informative and interesting book.
I would give this book 4 STARS.
I was given a complimentary copy of SHADOWED SOUL by the author, John M. Spagnoli for this unbiased review.
Thomas's world unravels when Beth and the baby temporary move in with her parents leaving Thomas and Bailey to cope on their own. Thomas gets into porn. Also he is visited by his "shadowed soul" who is nothing but trouble.
I found this book to be a very well written and thought out book. It definitely is thought provoking in a good way. Mr. Spagnoli did a nice job writing Thomas. I felt a connection with him that I almost did not care about his obsession with porn. I am not talking just "soft" but "hard-core" bondage type. Because of the graphic details as described about the pictures I did feel an uncomfortable about Thomas being into this type of obsession. However I could understand why Thomas was into this type of thing.
I loved, loved Bailey. Of course I love all dogs that are featured in books. I have a soft spot for them. The "Shadowed Soul" that Thomas had with him was not very nice. I can not imagine what people who have bi-polar personalities have to deal with in the normal world. After reading this book I do have a better understanding of this disorder. I applaud people like Mr. Spagnoli who does not let this disorder hinder them from achieving great things like writing a book.
Thomas and his blind wife, Beth, aptly agree that she take their infant son and move in with her parents. It is a difficult decision and a sadly necessary one. Being diagnosed with a deep bipolar disorder, Thomas grapples with his own demon, the Shadowed Soul.
Bailey, his wife's seeing-eye dog, is his only source of comfort and connection to reality. As Thomas falls deeper into his manic-depressive state, there is an abysmal drop into the delusive reality that consumes his mind.
John Spagnoli's own experience with manic-depression has given this story a disturbing sense of reality. This is an intricate mixture of the author's personal foundation and brilliant imagination.
Read the entire review here:
bookendchronicles DOT blogspot DOT com
--like whipped cream with your peas--
you get a really engaging and interesting story and
step-by-step guidance out of the hell of depression.
It's humorous in parts and frightening in others.
I read it several times and recommended it to many people.
I believe it is especially useful for individuals who suffer
from depression but prefer not to discuss it, and for
their families and friends who want to help them lead happier lives,
but don't know how to come out and say "please, ask for help".
As author John M. Spagnoli's first in the series,
I look forward to the sequel.