Gregory Banks uses both poetry and prose to delve into such wide-reaching topics as depression, domestic violence, suicide, and more. In several pieces, he explores the various facets of Alzheimer’s Disease, showing not only how it affects the individuals caring for those with the disease, but also his vision of the inner hell sufferers of the disease must go through. In the poem, “Surreality,” he expresses how he felt on September 11, 2001 as the sky seemed to fall, while in the short prose piece, “The Calling,” he gives a brief but powerful glimpse into the difficult moments while awaiting the death of a loved one. With simple yet poetic craft, Gregory Banks, himself a lifetime sufferer of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, often uses humor as well as surrealism to show his broad range of literary skills.
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By Gregory Banks
Jun 26, 2009
"Copied from The Compulsive Reader (www.compulsivereader.com)" What is it you expect to find in a collection of work that contains both prose and poetry? Is it that we'll see more of the author's dreams or hopes? Perhaps what we expect is to see who the author is deep down inside? I think what we expect to find in a work like this is our own thoughts, our own selves, reflected back at us, so that we can identify with it all the more. I think in many places, that's exactly what will happen for you. The short stories all seem to have a common thread running through them. Somewhere in each, you'll find something to do with death. Some have a lesson to be learned, some show us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and some have a warning. In the first story, Crossroads, the title gives us a hint of what will happen in the story. A young man stands at the crossroads, having to make a decision that will affect the rest of his life. There is a lesson here, and a... More > warning. You'll even find a hint of the supernatural. Personally, I found the poetry of Gregory Banks better than some of his stories. That isn't meant to take away from the stories, but to tell you that his poetry is worth reading. I'm not sure which was my favorite, but There in Your Eyes stands out quite nicely. So does the one called Reflections. I think the story called Crossroads is probably a favorite of the author's, but one that really caught my attention is titled The Definition of Being Alive. A man fights with the decision of living. Another thatI found intriguing is called Fading Away. It's told in segments that come together at the end and tell a story of a man's life and his love for his daughter. He too is dying. This is a small volume, less than a hundred pages, but it says a lot in those pages. I think a little editing could help the stories here and there, but overall you'll find it an interesting read. Sometimes a little depressing. I think the author meant for these to be morally uplifting. It's obvious that his Christian morality is at work as he writes, and his love of that faith is woven into the words of his work. About the Reviewer: Donna "Diamond" Denn works at a Hastings store in the book department, and loves her job. Books are an addiction for her, and she participates in a number of reading groups online, and runs an online fantasy reading group. She also knits, crochets and works on the garden as sidelines, but books are her first love.< Less
"CROSSROADS" This book grabs you and doesn't let go. The stories leave you examining your OWN life and wondering how you can become a better person. I couldn't put it down until I had finished reading it and would recommend this as a book for EVERYONE. EXCELLENT.
"Crossroads" Crossroads is a thrillingly emotional trip, it will take you to places in your mind that perhaps you've forgotten, or maybe you didn't know existed. It will thrill you and enthrall you, make you smile and make you cry. I particularly loved "Across the Threshold", an excellent trip through Mans Life, and "He Rocked", the poetically sad, yet happy story of everyone's grandfather. Truly an excellent book. Angela Hooper, author of In Dark Minds, www.lulu.com/ahooper
Gregory Banks poems speak with a new voice that is unique, yet familiar, depressing at times yet with enough humor, to keep one reading. There were so many touching poems in this collection, that I felt it a worthwhile addition to my poetry library. Ameth Carmicheal
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