G1195 Book Review of A reason for living by Julian Jingles
Author: Julian Jingles
Type of book: Jamaica, 1960s, incest, Rasta, drugs, corruption, parties, students, art, gratuitous sex, violence, Gary Stu, relationships, poor, country, activity
Year it was published: 2020
It is the mid-1960s in Kingston, Jamaica, and the country is steeped in social, political, and economic inequities. Howard Baxter, the heir to a real estate empire, has no interest in seeking or managing wealth. Painting and deflowering Jamaican maidens are his passions. As he combs the streets looking for greater meaning in his pathetic life, it soon becomes apparent that Howard's journey will not be easy. Bernaldo Lloyd, a member of the Baxter clan, is a medical student who is sensitive to the hopelessness of the Jamaican masses. Inspired by his close friend and Howard's cousin, Ras Robin Pone, and their ties with the Rastafari movement that calls for social and economic equity, Bernaldo is determined to overthrow the corrupt government. As Howard, Bernaldo and Robin become influenced by The American Black Power and Civil Rights movements demanding equal rights for African Americans, the women in their lives both love and criticize them. But when revolution breaks out, Howard finally discovers a purpose for his twisted life that leads him in a direction he never anticipated. In this tale of love, passion, and self-discovery, three Jamaican men become caught up in a 1960s revolution that reveals injustices, oppression, and a purpose for one of them.
Yes, there are characters, both main and secondary, and they do have some personalities. Main character, Howard, a young twenty something Jamaican male is artistic, is gangster type and is a sexual god to women. ( He has an odor that gets women, both straight and lesbians, related or not, married or virgins or widows to take their clothes off.) The more interesting character for me happened to be his cousin who is married to a French woman and who seems to be able to do something with himself. His other friend, Bernaldo, is also interesting because he is a gynecologist want to be ( am scared to think if it was modern times, how many women would SUE him...) Howard's sister has potential too, but not much is told about her.
Read it from cover to cover, no idea what it should have been
The story is in third person narrative from what seems to be everyone's point of view. I have to wonder: what is the message or purpose to the story? Introduction to Jamaican history is best described as poor. Is it an unusual love story? In my book, nope. The chapters are extra extra long ( divided into 3 parts with no stopping points each part 100+ pages.) There are mentions of rape, incest and abuse ( way too much in my opinion) so it's not for the squeamish.
Meet the Author:
Raymond Arthur Julian Reynolds aka Julian Jingles, is a writer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur and operates in New York, USA, and Jamaica, W.I. He began his writing career in 1966 at 16 years old, writing A Reason For Living about a family caught up in a revolution in Jamaica in the mid-1960s. It was written in three drafts and completed in 1968.
He pursued a career in journalism at the Gleaner Company in Kingston, Jamaica writing extensively on the Jamaican music industry, cultural, and social issues. At age 22 he was a columnist writing Merry Go Round, and In the Saddle for the Gleaner, and Record Shop for the Star. He has published several articles, short stories, and essays in Swing, and Cooyah, magazines, the Abeng, and Public Opinion newspapers, in Jamaica.
He immigrated to the United States in 1972 to write two screenplays, “Half Breed,” and “One Way Out.” In New York he has written for the New York Amsterdam News, the Jamaica Weekly Gleaner (NA), Everybody’s magazine, JET, the Daily Challenge, the New York Daily News, the Carib News, and as a foreign correspondent for the Gleaner in Jamaica. He developed an interest in film and television production, and received training in script writing, film, theater, and television directing and production, with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and wrote and produced three documentary films, “Jamaican Gun Court” (1974), “It All Started With The Drums” (1987), and “Jammin' In Jamaica--With The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari” (1996), and directed the latter two. He has also worked as production manager on several music videos with performers such as Kool & the Gang, the Manhattans, and Steel Pulse.
Between 1998 to 2018 he contributed frequently to the In Focus section of the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner, writing on socio-economic and cultural issues. He has been an entrepreneur as he pursues his literary career, involved in business consultancy with the National Minority Business Council in New York, and the importing, exporting and distribution of agro-products between Jamaica and the United States, and have produced several music concerts, and stage plays in New York, and Kingston.
He was married in 1972 to Charmaine Jasmine, who is deceased. He has three children, 11 grandchildren, and one great grand, and continues living in New York, and Jamaica.
Connect with the Author: website
Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Barnes and Noble ~ FiWi Productions
Add to Goodreads
Going in, I knew this book would contain graphic sex as well as violence. But what I had no idea this book would contain are women who have no thoughts beyond sex, and I wish I was joking, but i am not. I'm not a prude to sexual scenes, nor, I'd like to think to some violent scenes ( as long as they are not way too graphic,) so my rating isn't because of them. What my rating is towards are the way the author handled women characters in the book. I am sorry, but beyond them wanting to seduce main male characters there is literally nothing to them at all! What are their dreams? What are their motives? Their desires aside from sex? And let me also mention that it seemed as if every few pages is a sexual scene, which got old fast. ( even the character complained about it!) I learned tiny bit about Jamaica during 1960s, but other than that, nothing redeeming about the story nor the male characters whom I wished something bad would happen to. I also should mention that there is incest in there as well.
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0 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)