Reviewer Sandra Shwayder Sanchez: Sandra is
a retired attorney and co-founder of a small non-profit publishing
collective: The Wessex Collective with whom she has published two short fiction collections
(A Mile in These Shoes and Three Novellas) and one
Her most recent novel, The Secret of A Long Journey is soon to be released by Floricanto Press in April 2012 and her first novel, The Nun, originally published by Plain View Press in 1992 is being reissued in a 2nd Edition with additional material by PVP in March 2012.
Author: Paul Allih
Author: Paul Allih
Lost Cries from the Emerald Triangle is a book I wish I’d had the creativity and courage to write and I am thrilled that Paul Allih did. It is an important book on many levels. The author is clearly well versed in portions of our history that are not traditionally taught in public schools and he folds descriptions of important historical political events into the narrative by a clever mechanism. The entire novel is the journal that the narrator keeps while he, his family and friends are besieged in their Northern California home by government troops for 13 days. His intention is clearly to preserve the truth because he knows what spin the government agents will put on it.
The plot is simple and tragic: two families move out of the urban rat race to farm legal medical marijuana on land in and near the small town of Redwood Valley . Encouraged by undercover DEA agents posing as legitimate buyers they cultivate more plants than their allotment. One night the narrator shoots at a thief in the greenhouse only to find out the thief was a DEA agent. This brings out the troops and the tanks, their crop is destroyed and a sadistic sergeant with a bullhorn taunts them. The power is cut off and their only connection to the outside world is a radio. By listening to two competing radio personalities the people barricaded in their house learn about the lies being told to the public and also hear about protestors who try to rally to their support at the end of their road. The narrator wants to remain and fight for the truth to come out instead of being railroaded in the legal system which he describes (accurately I think) as a system of laws created as a “guise to give shelter to the rich using the bones of the poor.”
Without disclosing too much of the heartrending plot I will say that an initial incident reminds the others that they cannot trust the people outside and that they are not likely to get out alive. The narrator remembers and describes other incidents like Ruby Ridge and Waco and reflects on the history of government wrongdoing and cover up from the Ludlow massacre to Iran /Contra that dominated the news briefly before it disappeared from serious public scrutiny. Interspersed with the narrator’s reflections on factual history are lyrically beautiful descriptive scenes of intense tragedy.
This book advocates a sane
and sensible approach to the use of marijuana reminding us not only
of the history lesson we should have learned from prohibiton in the
thirtes but also reminding readers that while marijuana is a
naturally growing plant that has been demonized, Big Pharma is
allowed to flood the market and charge big bucks for all kinds of
chemical products that have a list of side effects far worse
than the conditions they claim to relieve (to quote some warnings
from their ads: “including death” and they are not kidding).
The book also advocates a sane and sensible investigation into the
greedy motives behind too many of our laws. I once said
about Toni Morrison’s Beloved, that it was a masterpiece but not
for the faint hearted and I’d say the same now about Lost
Cries From the Emerald Triangle. It will put you there at the
scene feeling the pain.
Click Here To Purchase Lost cries from the Emerald Triangle (Volume 1)