Book Reviews

"B. Elwin Sherman knows how to say stuff about the stuff he knows in ways that'll make you smile and say 'That's right, too.'  Walk Tall and Carry A Big Watering Can is full of laughs, and riddled with touching insight into the human condition."  --- REBECCA RULE, humorist, storyteller

"Several chuckles, one guffaw, and I'm only up to page 20 of your book.  Thanks for mentioning me here, but I won't do kickbacks until I launch my political career."
--- MIKE MARLAND, political cartoonist

"B. Elwin Sherman's wonderful essays are fortified with his sly New England wit that's nobly weathered but never withered."  --- BARRY CRIMMINS, author and political satirist.

"B. Elwin Sherman's humor is as fine as frog's fur.  We have to keep a separate file for his rowdy contributions."  --- Rick Broussard, executive editor, New Hampshire Magazine


Fans of Richard Brautigan may be interested to hear of B. Elwin Sherman's IN WATERMELON SALT: The Lost Richard Brautigan. Picking up Brautigan's baton, Sherman explores many of his themes in his own style in this fascinating little book.  --- KEVIN RING, editor, Beat Scene

What a joy this is: a haunting tribute to Richard Brautigan. Is it possible that these seriocomic offerings WEREN'T written by him? I'm transported back to my college days and my dog-eared copies of Trout Fishing In America, and In Watermelon Sugar, and beyond. Such a joy to hear his voice re-emerge in these brilliant anecdotal salutes to an iconic American master of dark humor.

The bittersweet descension in "Paul Newman's Dog's At 4:23," the ghosty flash-forward of "The Boston-To-San Francisco Bible Study," the frozen delicacy in "An Echo Of God As Winter Flower".

What happens "When A Plumber Murders"? Who's to blame for "The Ice Age"? How does "The Slapstick Lingerie Redemption" reveal itself?

Kudos, Mr. Sherman, for resurrecting a voice that, as you say, "has been dead long enough." Thank you for this book!  -- Judith Wallace

The Miradors
Descensions of A Man
By B. Elwin Sherman

Depression-a mental illness that slowly, insidiously assaults the psyche. It causes no visible wounds. No cuts to suture, no broken bones to cast, no quick fix to send sufferers on their merry way. For those who work in the service industry, this mental illness often hides behind a pasted-on smile until suicidal ideations rip away the facade. The Miradors: Descensions of a Man candidly describes one man's near drowning in a sea of darkness and his battle to regain the surface and stay afloat.

Author B. Elwin Sherman, who has worked as a psychiatric nurse, tells his story from both sides of the stethoscope. In his journal, he comments on the medications and their side effects; the medical and psychological tests which measure patients' progress; and the effects staff attitudes have upon a patient's state of mind. He also reveals the residual effects his depression has had on his wife and children.

Though Mr. Sherman berates himself for hiding behind metaphors, those comparisons clearly illustrate the complicated and often convoluted thought processes that accompany the inwardly turned anger, the desperation and the fear. The author's poetic leanings compel readers to consider life in a different light.

As the title suggests, The Miradors: Descensions of a Man provides an extensive look into a depressed man's soul. This is a profound and demanding journal, but it contains enough light moments to balance the darkness. I highly recommend this work to anyone who has dealt with or wishes to learn more about depression. Kudos to Mr. Sherman for having the courage to put a human face on an inhumane illness.  --- Lynda E. Lukow --


No comments: