I made time in my NaNoWriMo madness to read a novella by indie author, John A. Aragon, and I was swept away. Elvis and Regrets, Adventures of a Hotshot Firefighter is a small book, but it is a timeless vision quest for the reader.
A modern western and New Mexican Iliad in which a mystic firefighter plunges toward a dark showdown with God, the Devil, the potential of Rock 'n' Roll and the meaning of our lives.
The beauty of some author’s prose is beguiling, like music for the eyes. It lures me, making me want to fall into writing in their style. Just to read their words is a treat for the eyes. One author whose work beguiles me is John A. Aragon.
Elvis and Regrets, Adventures of a Hotshot Firefighter. It is the tale of Jacobo, a young man who, in the 1970’s, is involved in fighting forest fires. What a beautiful, spiritual book! Opening with the day he first hears of the death of the king, Elvis Presley, this tale is an amazing journey into one man’s quest for spiritual knowledge and we are privileged to be along for the ride.
Jacobo and his companions are beautifully drawn with words, and rise clearly in my mind as I read his story. I can smell the scents of the fires, hear the sounds and feel the heat. There is an economy of words, each one important in its place, nothing to distract me from seeing the world Jacobo, Joe and Valkyrie are living in, see them on their vision-quest, seeking truth and God through fire and darkness.
It is a novella, only 63 pages, but it is a huge book, a fantasy and an epic quest for enlightenment. One cannot help but be changed by reading Jacobo's tale and that, to me, is the mark of a truly great book. Once again, quality trumps quantity.