Tag Archives: Robert Jacoby

Author: Robert Jacoby Blog Post & Giveaway!

Thoughts About Writing & Reading: There Are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes

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There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes

Author Guest Post
It’s coming up on the one-year anniversary of publication of my debut novel There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes. I wanted to share some thoughts about what it’s meant to me:

Few of us can imagine the anguish that precedes a suicide attempt and the wreckage involved in recovering from a failed suicide attempt. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death in young people (15- to 24-year-olds) and the second-leading cause of death in college-age students. Suicide attempts occur up to 20 times more frequently than completed suicides. Suicide is the ultimate loss of self (the ultimate self-cancellation of self).

But who can speak for the suicide survivor? Only a suicide survivor.

I wrote my novel There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes from the perspective of a young man (19-year-old Richard Issych) suffering with undiagnosed clinical depression. Richard is a suicide survivor, and the novel begins with his “second birth”; that is, he wakes up in the inpatient unit from his failed attempt at killing himself: “Void, and he in its midst, rising, consciousness materializing, blank black blanketing him, warm, so he understood he was alive, failed to kill himself.”

His distress is like that of a newborn thrust violently into a world he didn’t ask to be brought into: he cannot communicate, light hurts, the world looks and feels foreign and frightening.

***

The novel is written in the close third person point of view, through Richard’s eyes. I tried writing from different points of view, like the father and the mother. There was a scene between them, at their home, that I started early on in the writing of the book, but I soon dropped it because it was opening up the world beyond Richard. And I felt the story had to remain in his confused, claustrophobic new world in the institution.

I also tried writing from the third person omniscient view. With this view I could dip into any character’s mind to offer up their thoughts or feelings. I wrote this view in several scenes—up to the scene with Richard sitting at the table with all the young residents—but gave up because I felt the story unraveling and becoming cumbersome and, again, losing its focus. The omniscient point of view is supposed to be the most freeing for a writer, but, with this novel, I found it suffocating. And frustrating.

I had to go back and smooth everything out. I felt that it had to be about Richard only. My gut was telling me that the story had to come back to him and his foggy, limited, disjointed, and sometimes stunted worldview and follow his effort to put back together the self he had longed to destroy. So that’s what I did.

My experience with the novel was one of discovery. I was discovering elements of the story as I was writing it, I was discovering Richard as I was writing him, and it felt like I was seeing unknown parts in myself, too. I hope, as you’re reading the novel, you’ll be able to discover something of your own journey inside Richard’s journey, re-discover your own timeless truths, and clarify your own needed reasons for being.

***

People have told me the novel is a difficult read, not only for the writing style but also for the subject matter. I wanted the writing style to flow naturally out of, and because of, the subject matter. So I’d suggest reading the book from Richard’s point of view. I know this will be challenging for most people, because most people have no experience with major depression that leads to suicide. But this is partly why we read fiction, isn’t it? We read fiction to discover and experience someone else’s life and, perhaps, along the way, to come to some new understanding of our own life and our own place in the world.

So, read the novel as if you are Richard, and let the words on the page become the words in your mind become the experience for you become you as it is happening. If you can experience Richard’s story in this way, you will have a glimpse into the mind of a young person working his way back from the brink of self-destruction. And a glimpse may work its way into understanding, or even sympathy or empathy.
~Robert Jacoby

4/5 Star Review of This Book: Here

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Giveaway
Note: This giveaway will be mailed by the author.  Robert is giving away one (1) signed paperback copy of There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes to a lucky winner in the USA or Canada. Winner will be chosen November 8th.

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Review: There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes

There are Reasons Noah Packed No ClothesPublisher: Cloud Books
Author: Robert Jacoby
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
Review Source: Author

★ ☆★ ☆ – 4 Stars

Summary (Goodreads):
You need your eyes, don’t you?
So does Richard Issych. Two weeks ago he overdosed. Now he’s fighting for his life, finding threatening notes like that one on his nightstand.
“There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes” is the story of 19-year-old Richard Issych, who wakes to a harsh new reality inside an inpatient unit. Now Richard’s journey turns into one of revelations and struggling through his own reasons for being as he discovers new meanings for redemption, sacrifice, hope, love-and the will to live.
In the end, what are the reasons Noah packed no clothes? Richard can only imagine. But it has something to do with a size 3XL bowling shirt with the name “Noah” stitched over the pocket.
There are reasons . . . everyone uses his own dictionary.
There are reasons . . . some new heavens come from some new hells.
There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes

My Review:
There Are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes gets you inside of a mind with someone who tried to leave the world. It takes you through a journey of what it is like on the inside of a mental hospital. While reading such an intruding book, you are captivated into wanting to know more. The characters within the book, the conversations that took off, you never knew where a conversation would end or where it would pick up later. Who knew they “saltpetered” the ice cream. Would you think that?
Richard is the main character, you get inside his head. Once you are inside his thinking, you began to wonder if you second-guessing his decisions, just as he is. You realize how people think, and it is not just you, or how you process things, but everyone is not perfect in their own thinking.
This book is so well-written, I did get lost in some places, but it doesn’t change my mind that I would suggest others to give it a try. It isn’t something that you would think  you love to read about, but even reading you are wondering if it will make to Hollywood Movies, and I think it will! Captivating is an understatement.

About the Author:
Robert Jacoby is a poet, novelist, memoirist, and diarist. His poetry has appeared in more than a dozen literary magazines, most recently The 2River View, Sleet Magazine, and Slow Trains. He has published two books, a novel, There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes (2012), and a memoir (by interview), Escaping from Reality Without Really Trying: 40 Years of High Seas Travels and Lowbrow Tales (2011). Besides keeping writer’s sketchbooks, which contain ideas and notes for poems, portions of novels, and other works, he has kept personal notebooks. Since 1985 he has written about 900,000 words…reflections on events, life, and his work. For comparison, Thoreau and Kierkegaard wrote about 2 million words in their journals.
He is at work on a second novel, Dusk and Ember (or Leave the Dead to Bury Their Own Dead); a book of poems, Stars Fall Nude (or Everything You Know Alone You Will Know Together; and another nonfiction book—Never Stop Dancing—a memoir (by interview) of a friend who lost his wife in a pedestrian traffic accident in Washington, D.C. in April 2010, and the aftermath and recovery with his two young sons, visit his friend’s online journey, Hole in the Sun.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.