Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review - The Light by Robert Hammond

An excellent exploration of spirituality in the 1970s

Los Angeles in the early 1970s was wild whichever angle one approached it from, political, drug, music, religious. The best thing about the book is that it captures the mood of the time and the place. That sets the stage for the characters, plot and theme of the book, which is about spiritual redemption from several points of view. A novelist that makes a world so rich you can smell gets to couch the message and the reader goes on the journey with the character. The Light is by no means preachy. It follows Abel who grows up the child of a successful black mother and father in an all white neighborhood in the early 1960s. Given what white American culture was at the time would anyone wish such a thing on any kid. Abel develops problems with drugs and crime, and he has run-ins with the law. He goes through many spiritual experiments all of which take for the excesses of the grafty type of spirituality readily available at the right price in the 1970s and early 80s. Abel finds his own way after much hardship and "The Light" in his sense is a combination of a variety of practices. So the novel is tailored to it's character. The writing has the raw style reminiscent of Jim Carroll.

LINK: The Light by Robert Hammond
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